By Scott Radnitz
Mass mobilization is one of the such a lot dramatic and encouraging forces for political switch. whilst traditional voters take to the streets in huge numbers, they could undermine or even topple undemocratic governments, because the contemporary wave of peaceable uprisings in different postcommunist states has proven. although, research into how protests are geared up can occasionally demonstrate that the origins and goal of "people power" are usually not as they seem at the floor. particularly, protest can be utilized as an software of elite actors to develop their very own pursuits instead of these of the masses.
Weapons of the Wealthy specializes in the sector of post-Soviet vital Asia to enquire the reasons of elite-led protest. In nondemocratic states, monetary and political possibilities may give upward push to elites who're self sufficient of the regime, but at risk of expropriation and harassment from above. In stipulations of political uncertainty, elites have an incentive to domesticate help in neighborhood groups, which elites can then wield as a "weapon" opposed to a predatory regime. Scott Radnitz builds on his in-depth fieldwork and research of the spatial distribution of protests to illustrate how Kyrgyzstan's post-independence improvement laid the basis for elite-led mobilization, while Uzbekistan's did not.
Elites usually have the wherewithal and the incentive to set off protests, as is borne out by way of Radnitz's multiple hundred interviews with those that participated in, saw, or refrained from protests. Even Kyrgyzstan's 2005 "Tulip Revolution," which led to the 1st peaceable switch of energy in imperative Asia considering that independence, might be understood as a strategic motion of elites instead of as an expression of the preferred will. This interpretation is helping account for the undemocratic nature of the successor govt and the 2010 rebellion that toppled it. It additionally serves as a caution for students to seem seriously at bottom-up political change.
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Additional info for Weapons of the Wealthy: Predatory Regimes and Elite-Led Protests in Central Asia
Rowman and Littlefield, 2006). 8. Eva Etzioni-Halevy, The Elite Connection: Problems and Potential of Western Democracy (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1993), 29. This definition has three advantages over others for the purposes of this book. , organizing collective action), which prevents tautological reasoning. , minister, deputy minister); position in parliament (where selection is independent of the executive, such as in Kyrgyzstan); or close family connections to a member of any of the first three categories.
Aligns itself with the poor) only when the wealth of the poor is sufficiently 18 CHAPTER ONE What kinds of strategies are available to independent elites in such uncertain institutional environments? One school of thought centers on the creation of formal institutions that countervail the state. 12 However, the assumption that insecure elites act to further the rule of law, while perhaps an accurate description of institutional development in Europe—albeit over an extended time period—leads to flawed analysis in most contemporary cases.
Brockett, “The Structure of Political Opportunities and Peasant Mobilization in Central America,” Comparative Politics 23, no. 3 (1991): 253–74; Sidney Tarrow, “State and Opportunities: The Political Structuring of Social Movements,” in Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements, ed. Doug McAdam, John D. McCarthy, Mayer D. Zald (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996). 57 The Mass Mobilization Infrastructure The two strategies that autonomous elites adopt in uncertain institutional environments—creating a social support base and developing ties with other autonomous elites—combine to create a set of relationships that in some ways mimics, but also presents a challenge to, the state.
Weapons of the Wealthy: Predatory Regimes and Elite-Led Protests in Central Asia by Scott Radnitz