Civil society, youth and societal mobilization in democratic revolutions

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  • Erstellungsdatum 14. April 2022
  • Zuletzt aktualisiert 16. Mai 2022

Civil society, youth and societal mobilization in democratic revolutions

Abstract

Youth have played an important role in mobilizing support for democratic revolutions during elections that have facilitated regime change. In Serbia (2000), Georgia (2003) and
Ukraine (2004) youth led the way in organizing democratic coalitions among hitherto warring opposition parties that the authorities had successfully divided and ruled over. In the three
countries used as case studies, youth dominated civil society and election monitoring NGOs. The article outlines a five fold framework and discusses the issues that help under-
stand the role of youth in democratic revolutions as well as those essential conditions that lead to success. Regime change only proved successful during certain time period, in our
case electoral revolutions when the authorities were at their weakest. Organization of youth groups led to the creation of Otpor (Serbia), Kmara (Georgia) and Pora (Ukraine) and pro-
vided the youth movements with structure and purpose. The training of these organized youth NGOs became a third important condition for success and often was undertaken with West-
ern technical and financial assistance. The choice of strategies to be employed during elections was an important fourth feature. In the three country case studies, discussed in this article, the
response of the authorities proved to be ineffective, weak and counter-productive.

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