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The earlier years of the last decade saw the development of variously related movements in several states of the Soviet Union and the Balkans[ CITATION The07 \l 1033 ]. These revolutions were generally referred to as the color revolution. Some observers also applied to the uprisings as the revolutionary waves, for example, Michael Lind and Justin Raimondo. The Yellow Revolution in the Philippines is believed to be the oldest revolution of these revolutions. It is traced to have started in the year 1986[ CITATION Geo16 \l 1033 ]. It is through this revolution that the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos was ended. Colour revolutions advocate democracy as well as protesting against corrupt governments through non-violent research methods such as interventions, demonstrations, and strikes[ CITATION Way08 \l 1033 ]. The said revolutions have created intense pressure for change.
The movements are commonly known for their ideology of selecting a specific color or flower as their symbol. A notable measure of success has been obtained by the riots for example in Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004[ CITATION Dan10 \l 1033 ]. Most of the revolutions saw massive street protests which resulted from disputed elections and resulted in the resignation of leaders who their opponents termed to be authoritarian. In Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia democratic breakthroughs have been attained through the color revolutions. Besides the breakthroughs, it remains a question why these revolutions managed to be successful while other approaches to the same problem failed. In this paper, I will discuss the reasons behind the success of the color revolutions as well as their weakness and strengths.
Reasons behind the Success of the Color Revolutions
For the last few decades, Serbia, Ukraine, and Georgia have undergone a series of social and political alterations due to the color revolutions. These revolutions have been successful due to proper strategizing and planning. Non-violent protests have been regular, frequent and geographically concentrated in the three states. When an electoral contest is being planned, a political campaign is always formed to guarantee fair and free elections. Regularly, a non-governmental organization with coordinated political forces takes the lead[ CITATION Don10 \l 1033 ]. This organization benefits from the knowledge it gains through the manuals and international pieces of training. The civil society and the political actors thereby follow a double-pronged strategy to discredit the sitting regime through negative campaigns while at the same time positively campaigning to push individuals to the polls. They are always supported by a single assumption that in a case where the sitting regime is not so popular the high turnout will give the active opposition a win. If in any case, the sitting administration decides not to step down after a defeat or falsifies the votes then people are called to the streets[ CITATION Kar13 \l 1033 ]. A general strike kicks on until a change is achieved.
Revolutions always involve a confrontation between the opposition and the elite[ CITATION Tir14 \l 1033 ]. Color revolutions have won this because they got an innovative trait of taking place in the progress of an election campaign. At this moment, the elections take advantage of sharpening civil disobedience tools, forge alliances with civil society as well as reach out and convince the public to go against the sitting regime. The strategy of calling people to the streets is always a longtime perfected idea. In short, as long as the sitting system is facing an election encouraging people to vote their mind still gives color revolutions a win.
How Different Authors Explain the Success of Color Revolutions
Several color revolutions have been carried out in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine each with different goals. Several actors have interpreted the success of these color revolutions. To begin with, protest theory and tipping mechanisms, whose success is determined by the threshold model. This studies the decision making of each taking part in the protests. The bases of this approach are two basic ideas. To begin with, each person is sensitive to the cost and advantages of the particular protest. Each person has a different threshold in addition to personal perception of the resources and powers depending on the number of individuals taking part in the protest[ CITATION Dav09 \l 1033 ]. The success of the color revolution goes up directly proportional to the number of individuals protesting. This also lowers the probability that an individual protester will be repressed. If an individual protester reduces cost hence hiking benefits, then there come higher chances that another protester will join. Thus, the color revolution attains success as more people join a protest.
Secondly, we have the political opportunity structure and mobilization approach. For a revolution to be accomplished, the challenge is always to mobilize enough dissent and to keep it, until the particular tipping point when protests shall become self-reinforcing. The protest organization has to be well assembled. The political structure of the sitting regime must also be known. People must be persuaded to protest and make their protest activity coordinated[ CITATION Val06 \l 1033 ]. The protesting organization as well needs to be offered material support. In cases where it is possible to convince people to protest, color revolutions can be comprehensive approaches to bringing democracy to a state. A good operation ground is where elections have been stolen[ CITATION Dav09 \l 1033 ].
Strength and Weaknesses of the Approaches
The protest theory approach has numerous advantages and weaknesses concerning the success of a color revolution[ CITATION Kir12 \l 1033 ]. To begin with, the strengths, joining a protest is somewhat natural as there is no standard membership fee as the fundamental thing that holds the group together is a strong collective identity. This is an advantage to the color revolutions as they allow people to participate in the protests only to some degree hence they do not have to sacrifice a lot. The interest groups have a sort of a weakness in this as they have to take into account different the selective incentives of people. This means that people will sort of like to make some profits to join the protests. Additionally, the interest groups have some membership requirements. This is a weakness for the interest group since people will be in need of personal employee benefits as they pay some membership. This makes it hard for the opposition groups to keep people in the group.
One of the strengths of the political opportunity structure approach is that the theory addresses the issue of timing as well as the emergence of social movements. Some groups may have the resources to organize a protest against an unjust regime, but on the closure of political opportunities, they will achieve no success. Critics of this approach have argued that the theory fails to discuss culture to any extent. The organizations fail when they fail to consider the individual interests of their members. Since this approach depends on a group of individuals with a common goal and attention, they always succeed as they work towards achieving their collective goal rather than an individual goal.
Decisive Ingredients to Successful Outcomes of Color Revolutions
Several elements have contributed to the success of color revolutions. To begin with, strengthened mobilization ability or capacity is the fundamental component in the in the colored revolutions. Most of the color revolutions have been well organized as well as well funded thus making it possible to orchestrate the bringing of protesters into the streets as well as sustaining them in the streets for an extended period in addition to their deployment to most effectively giving a challenge to the regime. For example, in Georgia in the year 2004, protesters were well organized in a way that surprised side observers as well as the target government[ CITATION Iev14 \l 1033 ].
Secondly, changes in the structure of the political opportunity play a significant role in the success of color revolutions. For the many color revolutions that have been successful, fraudulent elections have been a more substantial cause of a focal point that has enabled the opposition to focus its attention on the misdeeds by the regime and fan a popular outrage. Elections have also been good sources of focal points concerning timing. Most of the color revolutions have attained their threshold due to their ability to mobilize almost every member of the organizations[ CITATION Dav09 \l 1033 ].
Lastly, elites play an important role in the success of color revolutions. They offer resources for mobilization. They also make decisions that make repression a complex idea to achieve or even more costly. When elites withdraw their support from the leader, then the color revolution takes the day. Additionally, the military has also helped in many cases to overthrow the regime in cases where non-military tactics have failed[ CITATION Dmi14 \l 1033 ].
The goal of this paper has been to identify why color revolutions have been successful among other critical questions about color revolution. The main finding is that color revolutions have been successful due to their ability to plan for action for an extended period. To be more precise, learning about a regime and waiting for the right time to act has helped color revolutions to achieve democratic breakthroughs in Serbia, Georgia, and Ukraine. The military has always remained to be the central determinant for the success of color revolutions. In cases where the army has defected, the opposition has ever taken over the regime. This paper calls for future researches to find out more reasons as to why color revolutions have been successful while other attempts to challenge the ruling elites have always failed.
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