From 1998 to 2005, six elections took place in postcommunist Europe
and Eurasia that had the surprising outcome of empowering the
opposition and defeating authoritarian incumbents or their
designated successors. Valerie J. Bunce and Sharon L. Wolchik
compare these unexpected electoral breakthroughs with one another
and with elections that had the more typical result of maintaining
authoritarian rule. They draw three conclusions. First, the
opposition was victorious because of the hard and creative work of
a transnational network composed of local opposition and civil
society groups, members of the international democracy assistance
community, and graduates of successful electoral challenges to
authoritarian rule in other countries. Second, the remarkable run
of these upset elections reflected the ability of this network to
diffuse an ensemble of innovative electoral strategies across state
boundaries. Finally, elections can serve as a powerful mechanism
for democratic change. This is especially the case when civil
society is strong, the transfer of political power is through
constitutional means, and opposition leaders win with small
Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
|Country of origin:
||Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics
Valerie J. Bunce
• Sharon L. Wolchik
||Electronic book text
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