Why the pretense of pursuing democracy? The necessity and rationality of democratic slogans for civil revolutions

Taku Yukawa, Kaoru Hidaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While democratic revolutions are not uniform in their pursuit of democracy, they do have something in common: those calling for revolution and participating in demonstrations do so under the banner of democracy. However, studies have revealed that these citizens were not at first committed to democracy per se; rather, they took the opportunity to vent their frustration against the current regime because of their struggle against poverty and social inequality. Why, then, do citizens who are not pursuing democracy per se participate in revolutions under the banner of democracy? Previous studies have failed to clarify this point. To fill this gap, we outline three strategic rationalities and necessities behind the use of “democracy” as a common slogan to justify civil revolutions: 1) organizing large scale dissident movements in a country; 2) attracting international support; and 3) imitating successful examples from the past. Evidence from the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia and the 2005 Orange Revolution in Ukraine supports this theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-257
Number of pages16
JournalAsian Journal of Comparative Politics
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • democratic revolution
  • democratization
  • mass protest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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