Debating the Color Revolutions: Getting Real About “Real Causes”

Issue Date January 2009
Volume 20
Issue 1
Page Numbers 69-73
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Way is correct that structural factors make competitive regimes more or less vulnerable, but he ignores the durability of even very weak regimes. In the color revolutions, defeat occurred because of the formation of a united opposition; collaboration among oppositions, civil society groups and international democracy promoters; ambitious campaigns to win public support, register new voters, and get out the vote; and widespread use of vote monitors. Thanks to such innovations, voters selected the opposition rather than staying home or supporting the regime, and very close elections in Ukraine, Serbia and Slovakia tilted in the favor of the opposition.

About the Authors

Valerie J. Bunce

Valerie J. Bunce is the Aaron Binenkorb Professor of International Studies and professor of government at Cornell University.

View all work by Valerie J. Bunce

Sharon Wolchik

Sharon L. Wolchik is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and coauthor (with Valerie J. Bunce) of Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Postcommunist Countries (2011).

View all work by Sharon Wolchik