supplement to People Power and Protest biblography

Supplement to People Power and Protest since 1945: a Bibliography of Nonviolent Action
compiled by April Carter, Howard Clark, Michael Randle
published by Housmans (London), March 2007
click here for details of how to buy the printed version of the book plus supplement

Table of Contents

Introduction
Resisting Rigged Elections and Oppression
Asia

Post-Soviet Regimes




Introduction

Since our bibliography was compiled in 2005 there have been several significant examples of popular nonviolent resistance and a growing literature on recent people power protests in the former Soviet Union. This supplement therefore provides some preliminary references on the successful mass pro-democracy movement against the King of Nepal in April 2006, and the significant, though unsuccessful, protests against what the protesters claimed were rigged elections in Azerbaijan (November 2005), Belarus (March 2006) and Mexico (July 2006). It also notes the mass demonstrations against Prime Minister Thaksin in Thailand in the spring of 2006, before the military coup in September 2006.

All these campaigns fall under Section D ‘Resisting Rigged Elections, Oppression, Dictatorship or Military Rule’ in the main bibliography. This supplement also provides additional references on the ‘revolutions’ already included in the bibliography: Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004-5) and Kyrgyzstan (2005)

‘People power’ has become increasingly controversial because since the ‘colour revolutions’ in former Soviet states, which received direct and indirect support from the US Administration, it is often associated with pro-Washington movements. (See for example Mark Almond, ‘”People power” is a global brand owned by America’, Guardian (15 August 2006), stressing the bias in treatment of popular protests by the western mass media.) However, the degree and significance of western government support in particular cases is itself much debated, and whilst all external intervention should certainly be assessed critically, the bibliography seeks to cover any genuine example of popular nonviolent resistance. Moreover, people power is also being used against governments supported by Washington, for example Azerbaijan (in the former Soviet Union) and Mexico – if they are under-reported in the mainstream media it is important to record the relevant sources. The civil resistance in Nepal has been widely welcomed, especially on the left.

This supplement is an interim attempt to keep pace with new protests and literature, but has a deliberately narrow focus. However, one new book on nonviolent action which should be noted is:

Cortright, David, Gandhi and Beyond: Nonviolence for an Age of Terrorism, Boulder CO, Paradigm Publishers, 2006, pp. 265.
Scholarly but accessible assessment of Gandhian satyagraha and later campaigns in the USA inspired by Gandhi ( relevant to sections A.1. and A.2. in original bibliography).


Resisting Rigged Elections and Oppression

Asia


Nepal

Nepal’s successful Movement for the Restoration of Democracy in April 1990, which led to a new constitution limiting the powers of the King, was noted briefly in the main bibliography. However, successive democratic governments of the 1990s failed to deliver any material difference to the people and the politicians themselves became increasingly corrupt. In 1996 the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) declared a ‘People’s War’. This did not receive international attention until after November 2001 but was extremely successful, and by 2003 the Maoists controlled the majority of rural Nepal.

In June 2001 King Gyanendra had succeeded to the throne after a palace massacre in which his brother, then King, was murdered. King Gyanendra proved ambitious for power, and using the crisis of the civil war as an opportunity, he dissolved Parliament in October 2002. He dismissed the Prime Minister, taking absolute monarchical power, in February 2005.

In April 2006 a mass movement (in which democrats and Maoists both participated), engaged in prolonged strikes and demonstrations which forced the king to reinstate parliament and to agree to elections to a constituent assembly to redraft the constitution. The newly elected parliament entered into negotiations with the Maoists, culminating in an agreed peace deal in November 2006.

Daly, Tom, ‘Unarmed resistance in Nepal’, Peace News, no. 2478, October 2006, p.5.
Report by observer inside Nepal.

International Crisis Group, Asia Report no 115, ‘Nepal: From People Power to Peace?’, 10 May 2006 (available at www.crisisgroup.org)
Notes that ‘the people at large’, not just the democratic political parties and the Maoists, ‘forced the king’s final climb down’.

Navin, Mishra, Nepal: Democracy in Transition, Delhi, Authorspress, 2006, pp. 295
Discusses historical background since 1951, the evolution of parliamentary democracy from 1991-2001 and examines in detail the royal takeover and war with the Maoists

Prateek Pradhan, ‘Nepal’s unfinished democratic revolution’, South Asian Journal, no. 13 (July-Sept 2006), pp. 14-23.

US Institute of Peace , Washington DC, Briefing August 2005, ‘Rule of Law and Human Rights Challenges’ by Christine Fair, Kerem Levitas and Collette Rauch.
Brief analysis of gaps in 1990 Constitution and of the King’s February 2005 coup removing the Prime Minister. (available at: http://www.usip.org)

Vishwakarma, RK., People’s Power in Nepal, New Delhi, Manak Publications, 2006.


Thailand

The entry in the main bibliography ends with successful people power against military government in 1992 and noted that Thailand’s history of frequent military coups seemed to have ceased. But the military did intervene again in Thai politics in September 2006 to overthrow the government of Thaksin Shinawatra. The coup had the backing of the king, who is popular and exerts extra-ordinary moral authority in Thailand, and was tacitly supported by residents of Bangkok, though there was some student protest.

The lack of urban resistance to the military takeover was due to the growing opposition to Thaksin, a former telecom tycoon, who as prime minister after 2000 won loyalty among the poor in the countryside through his health reforms, but was increasingly distrusted by the urban middle class for his authoritarian style and human rights violations (for example use of martial law to crush Muslim resistance in the south, and later declaration of a state of emergency) and for corruption and cronyism. When he called an unexpected election in April 2006 to bolster his authority the opposition parties boycotted it and it was annulled. The army stepped in to prevent Thaksin being returned to power again by the rural vote in a re-run election.

Urban protests in Thailand occurred early in 2006 in sustained protests against the Thaksin regime (before the military coup). The anti-Thaksin movement was launched in September 2005, and in the spring of 2006 hundreds of thousands protested in Bangkok. However, Thaksin still seems to retain the support of many of the rural people, who form the majority.

Kasian Tejapira, ‘Toppling Thaksin’, New Left Review II no. 39 (May/June) 2006, pp. 5-37.
Analyses mounting opposition up to April 2006.

Lintner, Bertil, ‘Thais call truce’, World Today vol. 62, no. 4 (April 2006), pp. 20-21.
On mass urban protest against Thaksin.

McGirk, Jan, ‘Advance of the Dharma Army’, Independent, (15 March 2006), pp. 28-29




Post-Soviet Regimes

Comparative Assessments (including reference to electoral protests in Africa)

Bunce, Valerie J. and Sharon L. Wolchik, ‘Favourable conditions and electoral revolutions’, Journal of Democracy, vol. 17 no. 4 (October 2006), pp. 5-18.

Analysis of ‘second wave of democratization’ in post-communist states and why conditions in these states favourable to success, compared for example with failure of protests over fraudulent elections in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Cote d’Ivoire.

Bunce, Valerie and Sharon Wolchik, ‘International diffusion and postcommunist electoral revolutions’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol. 39 no. 3 (September 2006) , pp. 283-304. Contribution to Special issue ‘Democratic Revolutions in Post-Communist States’ edited by Taras Kuzio. Discusses five factors in the diffusion of electoral revolutions, including the development of civil society and networks between ‘international democracy promoters’.

D’Anieri, Paul, ‘Explaining the success and failure of post-communist revolutions’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, (September 2006), pp. 331-50.
Argues that while most studies focus on grassroots movements, elites – especially security services – are crucial in determining whether movements reach a ‘tipping point’. Illustrates argument by comparing two failed revolutions (Serbia 1996-97 and Ukraine 2001) with two successful revolutions (Serbia 2000 and Ukraine 2004-2005)

Hale, Harry E., ‘Democracy, autocracy and revolution in Post-Soviet Eurasia’, World Politics, vol. 58 no. 1 (October 2005), pp. 133-65.
Includes references to Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.

Hale, Harry E. , ‘Democracy or autocracy on the march? The colored revolutions as normal dynamics of patronal presidentialism’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, (September 2006), pp. 305-29.
Argues that the ‘colour revolutions’ 2003-2005 were fundamentally succession struggles in ‘patronal presidential’ regimes rather than democratic breakthroughs, and therefore can result in retreat from democratic principles, as in Georgia.

Howard, Marc Morje and Philip G. Roesser, ‘Liberalizing electoral outcomes in competitive authoritarian regimes’, American Journal of Political Science, vol. 50 (April 2006), pp. 365-81
Makes comparisons between post-communist regimes and Sub-Saharan Africa

Kuzio, Taras, ‘Civil society, youth and societal mobilization’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, (September 2006), pp. 365-86.
Examines the leading role of youth organizations - Otpor in Serbia (2000), Kmara in Georgia (2003) and Pora in Ukraine (2004) - and conditions for success, including training, western technical and financial assistance, choice of strategies and response of authorities.


Azerbaijan

A campaign group (inspired by Georgia and later Ukraine) has been trying to promote popular resistance to electoral fraud and repression of opposition since 2003. But in this ex-Soviet state western governments are not actively encouraging opponents of the regime, because the Azerbaijan government is happy to supply oil and cooperate with the west in their anti-terrorism strategy.

Presidential elections in 2003 had confirmed Ilham Aliyev, son of President Heydar Aliyev (former First Secretary of the Azerbaijan Communist Party) as successor to his father. These elections were criticized by the OSCE, but accepted internationally, and left the electorate disillusioned and apathetic when parliamentary elections were called in November 2005. So only 50 per cent of the electorate voted. But the opposition Azadlig bloc ran 115 candidates and tried with public demonstrations to launch their own ‘orange revolution’. The OSCE and Council of Europe condemned human rights abuses and government manipulation of the elections, but western diplomats encouraged the opposition to limit their protest to the courts and authorized rallies.

Alieva, Leila, ‘Azerbaijan’s frustrating elections’, Journal of Democracyl. 17 no. 2 (April 2006), pp. 147-60.
Analysis of background and context of elections regime role and actions of the opposition.

International Crisis Group, ‘Azerbaijan’s 2005 Elections: Lost Opportunity’, Europe Briefing no. 40, (21 November 2005).

Valiyev, Anar M., ‘Parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan: A failed revolution’, Problems of Post-Communism, vol. 53 no 3 (May/June 2006), pp. 17-35.
Argues that despite violence used against opposition and shattered hopes, the protests have promoted increased political participation.


Belarus

The emergence of protest in Belarus was noted very briefly in our original bibliography. This protest has now extended to opposition to electoral manipulation in the March 2006 presidential elections, but lack of success means the literature is still limited.

Center for Political Education Minsk, The Fading Pillars of Power in Belarus: 100 Days of Milinkevich, Bratislava, Eurasian Home/Pontis Foundation’s Institute for Civic Diplomacy, 2006, pp. 12.
Available at: www.eurasianhome.org/doc_files/100_days _of_ milinkevicz.pdf

Marples, David R. ‘Color revolutions: The Belarus case’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, (September 2006), pp. 351-64.
Examines why protesters failed to achieve regime change in the 2006 presidential elections. Argues that the historical background of the regime, the popularity of the president, and electors’ concern with economic rather than democratic issues were all important. Also considers role of Russia and its ambivalence towards the Belarus regime.

Silitski, Vitali, ‘Belarus: Learning from defeat’, Journal of Democracy, vol. 17 no. 4 (October 2006), pp. 138-52.
Examines presidential election of March 2006 and argues that, although the popular protests against abuses appeared to fail, they created a ‘network of solidarity’ and a ‘revolution of the spirit’.

Silitski, Vitali, ‘Pre-empting Democracy: The Case of Belarus’, Journal of Democracy, vol. 16 no. 4, (October 2005), pp. 83-97


Georgia

The successful movement to contest the outcome of Presidential elections in Georgia in 2003 by resorting to mass demonstrations, covered in the main bibliography, ignited a continuing debate about ‘people power’ protests which have diplomatic support and other forms of support from the west, and in particular the USA. There has also been time now to assess the effects of the ‘Rose Revolution’ on the subsequent regime.

Amnesty Report, ‘Georgia: Torture and ill-treatment still a concern after the “Rose Revolution”’, London, International Section, 2005, pp. 62.

Coppieters, Bruno and Robert Levgold (eds.), Statehood and Security: Georgia After the Rose Revolution, Cambridge MA, MIT, 2005, pp. 406.

Jawad, Pamela, Democratic consolidation in Georgia after the “Rose Revolution”?, Frankfurt, Peace Research Institute, 2005, pp. 48.

Kandelaki, Giorgi, Georgia’s Rose Revolution: A Participant’s Perspective, Washington DC, US Institute of Peace, Special Report no. 167, July 2006.

Account and analysis by a student leader and a founder of Kmara. Discusses background of Shevardnadze regime, comments on why protesters and the government avoided violence, assesses role of internal media (especially Rustavi-2), and argues that the role of foreign support was limited by lack of information and by caution. Summary and full report available from: www.usip.org

Papava, Vladimir, ‘Becoming European: Georgia’s strategy for joining the EU’, Problems of Post-Communism, vol. 35, no. 1 (Jan/Feb 2006), pp. 26-32.
Examines political and economic impact of the ‘Rose Revolution’: the institutional reforms, new role for civil society and for business enterprises, paving the way for entry to EU.

Wheatley, Jonathan, Georgia from National Awakening to Rose Revolution, London, Ashgate, 2005, pp. 252.
Most of the book is on the period 1989-2002 and on the nature of the Shevardnadze regime, but chapter 6 covers ‘pressure from below’ and chapter 7 the ‘Rose Revolution’.


Kyrgyzstan

The confusing events surrounding the ‘Tulip Revolution’ against rigged elections in Kyrgyzstan in March 2005 are briefly outlined in the main bibliography (under the Asia section D.II.). The literature remains limited. The opposition has since Spring 2006 taken to the streets to demand further reforms, and mass demonstrations in early November called on the President to sign a new constitution limiting his powers. He did so on November 9, but tension between pro and anti-government demonstrators threatened political breakdown.

International Crisis Group, Kyrgyzstan on the Edge, Asia Briefing no. 55, 9 November 2006.
Summarizes developments in struggle for political reform in 2006.

Marat, Erica (ed.), The Tulip Revolution: Kyrgyzstan One Year After, James Foundation, 2006, pp. 151.
A chronological collection of articles from Jamestown’s Eurasia Daily Monitor published electronically and available at: www.jamestown.org/images/pdf/Jamestown-TulipRevolution.pdf

Radnitz, Scott, ‘What really happened in Kyrgyzstan?’, Journal of Democracy, vol. 17 (April 2006), pp. 132-46
Stresses that the ‘Tulip Revolution’ was very different from other ‘colour revolutions’ and the importance of localism.


Ukraine

The ‘Orange Revolution’ in the Ukraine in 2004-5 revealed some of the political complexities of ‘people power’ when there is an ideologically divided population. The original bibliography referenced some initial responses and debates between supporters of the protesters and critics on the left. More substantial academic analyses are listed below.

Aslund, Anders and Michael McFaul, (eds.), Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine’s Democratic Breakthrough, Carnegie Endowment, 2006, pp. 216.
Selection of essays including assessments of the role of civil society and of the youth group Pora, an examination of western influence, and a concluding analysis of the ‘revolution’ in comparative perspective.

Binnendijk, Anika Locke and Ivan Marovic, ‘Power and persuasion: Nonviolent strategies to influence state security forces in Serbia (2000) and Ukraine (2004)’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, (September 2006), pp. 411-29.
Examines the explicit strategies developed in both Serbia and Ukraine to increase costs of repression and reduce the willingness of state security forces to resort to violence. By combining degrees of persuasion and deterrence the organizers were able to avert major repression of their movements.

D’Anieri, Paul, ‘What has changed in Ukrainian politics? Assessing the implications of the Orange Revolution’, Problems of Post-Communism, vol. 52 no. 3 (Sept-Oct 2005), pp. 82-91.

Kuzio, Taras and Paul D’Anieri (eds.), Special Issue ‘Ukraine: Elections and democratisation’, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol. 38 no. 2 (June 2005), pp. 131-292.
Much of this issue analyses the previous Kuchma regime and parliamentary elections in 1994, 1998 and 2002, but there are also two articles on the 2004 presidential elections and the impact of the ‘Orange Revolution’, one by Kuzio: ‘From Kuchma to Yushchenko’, pp. 229-44.

Wilson, Andrew, Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2005, pp. 232.
Lively analysis by academic expert on the country, stressing the complexity of Ukraine’s regional politics, and of the ‘Orange Revolution’ itself.

Latin America


Mexico

People power to contest rigged elections spread to Latin America when Lopez Obrador mobilized 500,000 and then a million demonstrators to protest in July 2006 against the dubious victory of Felipe Calderon in the presidential elections and called for a recount. But they failed to force the authorities to review the results. Here the left was protesting against a candidate favoured by Washington.

The presidential election protests are only one aspect of political ferment in Mexico in 2006 – Oaxaca city and province have been convulsed by protests, also partially inspired by anger at the fraudulent election of the governor in which 60 per cent of the people abstained. Unrest began in May when the teachers demanded a pay rise, and has over six months become a major popular revolt, which is creating its own democratic institutions. This has not been a strictly nonviolent rebellion – for example students and local citizens fought with the police to maintain their occupation of the university - but mass involvement has been encouraged by attempts at violent repression by the government. (Navarro, Luis Hernandez, ‘Popular revolt in Oaxaca’, Red Pepper, (Dec 2006/Jan 2007), pp. 34-35.

On the background to the presidential election and mass protests against results see:
Giordano, Al, ‘Mexico’s presidential swindle’, New Left Review, II no. 41 (Sept/Oct 2006), pp.5-27.
Analysis of fraud and manipulation of elections to favour the ruling candidate Felipe Calderon and account of opposition’s response.

Latin American Perspectives, vol. 33 no. 2 (March 2006)
This issue focuses on Mexican politics, society and economy and provides background to the July confrontation. Articles include: Rus, Jan and Miguel Tinker Solas, ‘Introduction. Mexico 2006-2007: High stakes, daunting challenges’, pp. 5-15; Gilly, Adolfo, ‘One triangle, two campaigns’, pp. 78-83; Semo, Enrique, ‘What is left of the Mexican Left?’, pp. 84-89.

Middlebrook, Kevin J., ‘Breakthrough or breakdown?’, World Today, vol. 62 no. 6 (June 2006), pp. 24-27.
Article assessing background to July elections.

Quezada, Sergio Aguayo, ‘Mexico’s turbulent election ride’, OpenDemocracy.net, (16 May 2005) online
Very brief commentary on background to July election, noting invitation to EU to observe it.

Rubio, Luis and Jeffrey Davidow, ‘Mexico’s disputed election’, Foreign Affairs, vol. 85 no.5 (Septermber/October 2006), p. 75-85.
Argues that the July election represented a choice between continuing economic liberalization and a return to the past, but neither provide a solution to Mexico’s problems.

Whalen, Christopher, ‘Washington’s potential Mexico problem’, The International Economy, vol. 20 no. 2 (Spring 2006), pp. 40-44.






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