Debating the Color Revolutions: Necessary Distinctions

Issue Date January 2009
Volume 20
Issue 1
Page Numbers 82-85
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Read the full essay here.

Lucan Way’s elucidating account of postcommunist authoritarianism and democratization includes compelling critiques of diffusion-based arguments, particularly with regard to timing and electoral cycles. Yet his interpretation glosses over a distinction that ought to be the foundation of any discussion about post-Soviet governments-the distinction among regimes, rulers, and political teams. Further, Way underestimates the importance of the strength of autocratic parties or armed forces. Autocrats need strong parties and armed forces because they need either to resist or to control something. To understand the power of whatever that “something” is, political scientists need to pay greater attention to the weak legitimacy of autocracy.

About the Author

Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr., is senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. Since 2006, he has been living in Tbilisi, Georgia, where he is also professor of Soviet and post-Soviet systems at Ilia State University.

View all work by Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr