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Structure and Example in Modular Political Phenomena: The Diffusion of Bulldozer/Rose/Orange/Tulip Revolutions

  • Mark R. Beissinger (a1)

The article develops an approach to the study of modular political phenomena (action based in significant part on emulation of the prior successful example of others), focusing on the trade-offs between the influence of example, structural facilitation, and institutional constraints. The approach is illustrated through the example of the spread of democratic revolution in the post-communist region during the 2000–2006 period, with significant comparisons to the diffusion of separatist nationalism in the Soviet Union during the glasnost' era.Mark R. Beissinger is Professor of Politics, Princeton University ( The author is grateful to the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the opportunity to pursue research for this essay. He would also like to thank Nancy Bermeo, Valerie Bunce, Atul Kohli, Jon Pevehouse, Grigore Pop-Eleches, Edward Schatz, Jack Snyder, Al Stepan, Joshua Tucker, and two anonymous reviewers for their feedback on an earlier version of this article.

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Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
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