Kyrgyzstan’s Latest Revolution

Issue Date July 2011
Volume 22
Issue 3
Page Numbers 150-164
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In April 2010, Kyrgyzstan experienced another “revolution,” the latest of the postcommunist “color revolutions.” The authoritarian regime fell and transitional leaders began a new democratic transition. The 2010 events illustrate the importance of agency and strategic learning in causing authoritarian collapse and initiating democratization. Prodemocratic activists and party leaders, who had learned from both the successes and failures of the 2005 “Tulip Revolution,” mobilized popular discontent to topple President Bakiev’s regime. They ushered in a democratic constitution and widespread liberalization and held Kyrgyzstan’s freest-ever elections. However, political violence, especially politically motivated ethnic conflict, corruption, and calls for superpresidentialism threaten democratic deepening.

About the Author

Kathleen Collins is associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota. Her most recent book is Clan Politics and Regime Transition in Central Asia (2006). She has done extensive field research in Kyrgyzstan and its neighbors, and writes frequently about the travails of democratization in the Central Asian region.

View all work by Kathleen Collins