Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 57
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Frantz, Erica and Kendall-Taylor, Andrea 2016. Pathways to democratization in personalist dictatorships. Democratization, p. 1.

    Hess, Steve 2016. Sources of Authoritarian Resilience in Regional Protest Waves: The Post-Communist Colour Revolutions and 2011 Arab Uprisings. Government and Opposition, Vol. 51, Issue. 01, p. 1.

    Ishiyama, John and Pechenina, Anna 2016. Colored Revolutions, Interpersonal Trust, and Confidence in Institutions: The Consequences of Mass Uprisings*. Social Science Quarterly, p. n/a.

    Levin, Ines Sinclair, J. Andrew and Alvarez, R. Michael 2016. Participation in the Wake of Adversity: Blame Attribution and Policy-Oriented Evaluations. Political Behavior, Vol. 38, Issue. 1, p. 203.

    Onuch, Olga and Sasse, Gwendolyn 2016. The Maidan in Movement: Diversity and the Cycles of Protest. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 68, Issue. 4, p. 556.

    Saikkonen, Inga A.-L. 2016. Variation in subnational electoral authoritarianism: evidence from the Russian Federation. Democratization, Vol. 23, Issue. 3, p. 437.

    Semenov, Andrey Lobanova, Olesya and Zavadskaya, Margarita 2016. When do political parties join protests? A comparative analysis of party involvement in “for fair elections” movement. East European Politics, Vol. 32, Issue. 1, p. 81.

    Tanaka, Seiki 2016. Retirement planning for dictators: what happens to outgoing dictators?. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 16, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Ash, Konstantin 2015. The election trap: the cycle of post-electoral repression and opposition fragmentation in Lukashenko's Belarus. Democratization, Vol. 22, Issue. 6, p. 1030.

    Duvanova, Dinissa Semenov, Alexander and Nikolaev, Alexander 2015. Do social networks bridge political divides? The analysis of VKontakte social network communication in Ukraine. Post-Soviet Affairs, Vol. 31, Issue. 3, p. 224.

    Earle, John S. and Gehlbach, Scott 2015. The Productivity Consequences of Political Turnover: Firm-Level Evidence from Ukraine's Orange Revolution. American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 59, Issue. 3, p. 708.

    Gel'man, Vladimir 2015. Political Opposition in Russia: A Troubled Transformation. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 67, Issue. 2, p. 177.

    Kolstad, Ivar and Wiig, Arne 2015. Does democracy reduce corruption?. Democratization, p. 1.

    Lankina, Tomila 2015. The Dynamics of Regional and National Contentious Politics in Russia: Evidence from a New Dataset. Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 62, Issue. 1, p. 26.

    LaPorte, Jody 2015. Hidden in plain sight: political opposition and hegemonic authoritarianism in Azerbaijan. Post-Soviet Affairs, Vol. 31, Issue. 4, p. 339.

    Ó Beacháin, Donnacha and Kevlihan, Rob 2015. Imagined democracy? Nation-building and elections in Central Asia. Nationalities Papers, Vol. 43, Issue. 3, p. 495.

    Onuch, Olga 2015. EuroMaidan Protests in Ukraine: Social Media Versus Social Networks. Problems of Post-Communism, Vol. 62, Issue. 4, p. 217.

    Raik, Kristi and Dinesen, Ruxandra Lupu 2015. The European Union and Upheavals in its Neighborhood: A Force for Stability?. International Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 38, Issue. 12, p. 902.

    Shih, Chih-yu and Yu, Po-tsan 2015. Post-Western International Relations Reconsidered.

    Sundström, Aksel and Stockemer, Daniel 2015. Regional variation in voter turnout in Europe: The impact of corruption perceptions. Electoral Studies, Vol. 40, p. 158.


Enough! Electoral Fraud, Collective Action Problems, and Post-Communist Colored Revolutions

  • Joshua A. Tucker (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2007

In countries where citizens have strong grievances against the regime, attempts to address these grievances in the course of daily life are likely to entail high costs coupled with very low chances of success in any meaningful sense; consequently, most citizens will choose not to challenge the regime, thus reflecting the now well-known collective action problem. When a regime commits electoral fraud, however, an individual's calculus regarding whether to participate in a protest against the regime can be changed significantly. This argument yields important implications for how we interpret the wave of “colored revolutions” that swept through Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan in the first half of this decade. Applying the collective action framework to the colored revolutions also yields a parsimonious contribution to the political science literature on social protest: electoral fraud can be a remarkably useful tool for solving the collective action problems faced by citizens in countries where governments are not, to use Barry Weingast's language, appropriately restrained by the populace. While modest, such an observation actually can speak to a wide-ranging number of questions in the literature, including why people choose to protest when they do, how protests at one place and time can affect the likelihood for future protests, and new aspects of the relationship between elections and protest.Joshua A. Tucker is Associate Professor of Politics at New York University ( He would like to thank participants in the First and Second Danyliw Research Seminars in Contemporary Ukrainian Studies hosted by the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa and the Kennan Institute Workshop on Ukrainian Civil Society for many helpful comments and suggestions on developing the arguments contained in this article. He would also like to thank Dominique Arel, Jessica Allina-Pisano, Mark Beissinger, Valerie Bunce, Paul D'Anieri, Jerry Hough, Jason Lyall, Grigore Pop-Eleches, Lucan Way, and William Zimmerman for their time in commenting on earlier drafts of the paper, as well as the anonymous reviewers at Perspective on Politics. Marc Berenson and Matthew Berner provided excellent research assistance.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *