Cover Osteuropa 7/2006

In Osteuropa 7/2006

Changing Authoritarian Systems
Post-Communist People’s Movements for Democracy

Gerhard Simon

Deutsche Fassung


In several authoritarian conceived post-communist states, people’s movements were established that challenged those in power and demanded a transformation of those authoritarian regimes into democratic orders. A comparative analysis of developments in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, where people’s movements forced a change in regime or were partially successful, as well as a contrasting look at the failed initiatives in Azerbaijan and Belarus, reveal the preconditions under which democratic change is possible. What is required are organisational experience in the opposition, division within the ruling elites, a clearly defined and limited goal, mass mobilisation and lack of violence.

(Osteuropa 7/2006, pp. 79–94)