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Regime Cycles: Democracy, Autocracy, and Revolution in Post-Soviet Eurasia

  • Henry E. Hale (a1)

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Research on regime change has often wound up chasing events in the post-Soviet world because it has frequently assumed that regime change, if not simple instability, implies a trajectory toward a regime-type endpoint like democracy or autocracy. A supplemental approach recognizes that regime change can be cyclic, not just progressive, regressive, or random. In fact, regime cycles are much of what we see in the postcommunist world, where some states have oscillated from autocracy toward greater democracy, then back toward more autocracy, and, with recent “colored revolutions,” toward greater democracy again. An institutional logic of elite collective action, focusing on the effects of patronalpresidentialism, is shown to be useful in understanding such cyclic dynamics, explaining why “revolutions” occurred between 2003 and 2005 in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan but not in countries like Russia, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.

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1 Bunce, Valerie, “Should Transitologists Be Grounded?” Slavic Review 54 (Spring 1995); Colton, Timothy J., “Politics,” in , Colton and Legvold, Robert, eds., After the Soviet Union (New York: W. W. Norton, 1992); Fish, M. Steven, Democracy from Scratch (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995); Huntington, Samuel P., The Third Wave (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991); Lynn Karl, Terry and Schmitter, Philippe C., “Modes of Transition in Latin America, Southern and Eastern Europe,” International Social Science Journal 43 (June 1991); McFaul, Michael, Russia's Unfinished Revolution (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2001); O'Donnell, Guillermo, “On the State, Democratization, and Some Conceptual Problems: A Latin American View with Some Glances at Postcommunist Countries,” World Development 21 (August 1993). More recently, see Shleifer, Andrei and Treisman, Daniel, “A Normal Country,” Foreign Affairs (March-April 2004).

2 Bunce, Valerie, “Rethinking Recent Democratization: Lessons from the Postcommunist Experience,” World Politics 55 (January 2003); Hanson, Stephen E., “Defining Democratic Consolidation,” in Anderson, Richard D., Jr., Fish, M. Steven, Hanson, Stephen E., and Roeder, Philip G., eds., Postcommunism and the Theory of Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001); Linz, Juan J. and Stepan, Alfred, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996); and Munck, Gerardo L., “The Regime Question: Theory Building in Democracy Studies,” World Politics 54 (October 2001).

3 Fish, M. Steven, “The Dynamics of Democratic Erosion,” in Anderson et al. (fn. 2); Roeder, Philip G., “Varieties of Post-Soviet Authoritarian Regimes,” Post-Soviet Affairs 10 (January 1994).

4 Something like a manifesto for this school is Carothers, Thomas, “The End of the Transition Paradigm,” Journal of Democracy 13 (January 2002). Other work on hybrid regimes includes Diamond, Larry, “Thinking about Hybrid Regimes,” Journal of Democracy 13 (April 2002); Herbst, Jeffrey, “Political Liberalization in Africa after Ten Years,” Comparative Politics 33 (April 2001); Lynn Karl, Terry, “The Hybrid Regimes of Central America,” Journal of Democracy 6 (July 1995); and Levitsky, Steven and Way, Lucan, “The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism,” Journal of Democracy 13 (April 2002).

5 Karatnycky, Adrian, “Ukraine's Orange Revolution,” Foreign Affairs (March-April 2005); McFaul, Michael, “Transitions from Communism,” Journal of Democracy 16 (July 2005); and Silitski, Vitali, “Beware the People,” Transitions Online, March 21, 2005.

6 In political economy, see Alesina, Alberto, Roubini, Nouriel, and Cohen, Gerald, Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997).

7 For example, Huntington (fh. 1); Linz, Juan J. and Stepan, Alfred, The Breakdown of Democratic Regimes: Crisis, Breakdown, and Reequlibration, An Introduction (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978); and Motyl, Alexander, “Communist Legacies and New Trajectories,” in Brudny, Yitzhak, Frankel, Jonathan, and Hoffman, Stefani, eds., Restructuring Post-Communist Russia (New York: Cambridge, 2004).

8 Higley, John and Burton, Michael G., “The Elite Variable in Democratic Transitions and Breakdowns,” American Sociological Review 54 (February 1989), 18.

9 Dahl, Robert A., Polyarchy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971).

10 Slightly modifying Higley and Burton's (fn. 8) definition of “national elite,” the simple term “elite” is defined here as “persons who are able, by virtue of their authoritative positions in powerful organizations and movements of whatever kind, to affect … political outcomes [at the local or national level] regularly and substantially” (p. 18).

11 Gel'man, Vladimir, “Regime Transition, Uncertainty and the Prospects for Redemocratisation,” Europe-Asia Studies 51 (September 1999); idem, “Uroki Ukrainskogo,” Polis (January-February 2005); Higley and Burton (fn. 8); Mosca, Gaetano, The Ruling Class (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1939); Pareto, Vilfredo, The Mind and Society: A Treatise on General Sociology (New York: Dover, 1935).

12 Higley and Burton (fn. 8), 19.

13 See the famous debate on presidentialism and parliamentarism involving Horowitz, Donald, Lijphart, Arend, Linz, Juan, Martin Lipset, Seymour, and others, reprinted in Diamond, Larry and Plattner, Marc F., eds., The Global Resurgence of Democracy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993); and also Bratton, Michael and van de Walle, Nicolas, Democratic Experiments in Africa (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997); Easter, Gerald M., “Preference for Presidentialism: Postcommunist Regime Change in Russia and the NIS,” World Politics 49 (January 1997); Fish, M. Steven, Democracy Derailed in Russia: The Failure of Open Politics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Linz, Juan and Valenzuela, Arturo, The Failure of Presidential Democracy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994); Mainwaring, Scott and Shugart, Matthew S., “Juan Linz, Presidentialism, and Democracy,” Comparative Politics 29 (July 1997).

14 O'Donnell, Guillermo, “Delegative Democracy,” Journal of Democracy 5 (January 1994); also O'Donnell (fn. 1). For a discussion of Russia in light of these ideas, see Hale, Henry E., McFaul, Michael, and Colton, Timothy J., “Putin and the ‘Delegative Democracy’ Trap: Evidence from Russia's 2003–04 Elections,” Post-Soviet Affairs 20 (October-December 2004).

15 The term “patronal” is used instead of the common “patrimonial” or “neopatrimonial” since the latter frequently connote authority not only by selective material exchange but also by strong attachments rooted in extended kinship, territory, or tradition. Networks based on the latter attachments might be expected to be more stable than purely patronal networks and less susceptible to the dynamics described here, though this deserves further exploration. On these concepts and implications for regime change, see Bratton and van de Walle (fn. 13); and Chehabi, H. E. and Linz, Juan J., Sultanistic Regimes (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998).

16 Kitschelt, Herbert, Mansfeldova, Zdenka, Markowski, Radoslaw, and Toka, Gabor, Post-Communist Party Systems: Competition, Representation, and Inter-Party Cooperation (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

17 This argument builds on several important theoretical works addressing the role of expectations about the future in stabilizing or destabilizing elite coordination around authoritarian or patronal leaders: Kuran, Timur, “Now Out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution of 1989,” World Politics 44 (October 1991); Fernando Medina, Luis and Stokes, Susan C., “Monopoly and Monitoring: An Approach to Political Clientelism,” in Kitschelt, Herbert and Wilkinson, Steven, eds., Patrons or Policies? Patterns of Democratic Accountability and Political Competition (New York: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming); Olson, Mancur, “The Logic of Collective Action in Soviet-type Societies,” Journal of Soviet Nationalities 1 (Summer 1990); and Olga Shvetsova, “Resolving the Problem of Pre-Election Coordination: The 1999 Parliamentary Election as Elite Presidential ‘Primary,’” in Hesli, Vicki and Reisinger, William, eds., Elections, Parties and the Future of Russia (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

18 On focal points, see Schelling, Thomas C., The Strategy of Conflict (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980).

19 Shvetsova (fn. 17) coined this term.

20 The general insight that elite contestation can promote influence by the masses has been voiced in a host of works, including Easter (fn. 13); O'Donnell, Guillermo and Schmitter, Philippe C., Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986); Przeworski, Adam, Democracy and the Market (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991); Roeder, Philip G., Red Sunset: The Failure of Soviet Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993).

21 McFaul, Michael, “The Fourth Wave of Democracy and Dictatorship: Noncooperative Transitions in the Postcommunist World,” World Politics 54 (January 2002).

22 Christensen, Robert K., Rakhimkulov, Edward R., and Wise, Charles R., “The Ukrainian Orange Revolution Brought More Than a New President: What Kind of Democracy Will the Institutional Changes Bring?” Communist & Post-Communist Studies 38 (June 2005).

23 Stephen E. Hanson, “Instrumental Democracy: The End of Ideology and the Decline of Russian Political Parties,” in Hesli and Reisinger (fn. 17).

24 The core logic was initially developed with reference to the Russian case and to certain of the theories cited above. Thus to some extent the analysis of the other post-Soviet cases does constitute a test. For present purposes, however, the case narratives that follow are presented not as an explicit test but as useful illustrations of the theory's potential. This will hopefully spawn further research and more precise and thorough testing than is possible in the scope of a journal article.

25 On the origins of this sort of clientelism in the former USSR and in other countries with legacies of patrimonial communism, see Kitschelt et al. (fn. 16).

26 Breslauer, George W., Gorbachev and Yeltsin as Leaders (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002); Fish (fn. 13); Huskey, Eugene, Presidential Power in Russia (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1999).

27 As counted throughout most of the 1990s and early 2000s.

28 Afanas'ev, M. N., Klientelizm i Rossiiskaia Gosudarstvennost' (Clientelism and Russian statehood) (Moscow: Moscow Public Science Foundation, 1997); Matsuzato, Kimitaka, ed., Regiony Rossii: Khronika I Rukovoditeli (The regions of Russia: Chronicle and leaders) (Sapporo, Japan: Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University, 2003).

29 On different presidential elections, see Treisman, Daniel, “Why Yeltsin Won: A Russian Tam-many Hall,” Foreign Affairs 75 (September-October 1996); Hale, Henry E., “The Origins of United Russia and the Putin Presidency: The Role of Contingency in Party-System Development,” Demokratizatsiya 12 (Spring 2004a); idem, “Russia's Presidential Election and the Fate of Democracy: Taking the Cake,” AAASS News Net 44 (May 2004b).

30 Johnson, Juliet, A Fistful of Rubles (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2000); and McFaul, Michael, Russia's 1996 Presidential Election: The End of Polarized Politics (Stanford, Calif: Hoover Institution Press, 1997).

31 On the oligarchs and their relationship to central authority, see Hough, Jerry F., The Logic of Economic Reform in Russia (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2001); and Johnson (fn. 30).

32 Hale, Henry E., “Explaining Machine Politics in Russia's Regions: Economy, Ethnicity, and Legacy,” Post-Soviet Affairs 19 (July-September 2003); Johnson (fn. 30).

33 Johnson (fn. 30).

34 On these elections, see McFaul (fn. 30); Reddaway, Peter and Glinski, Dmitri, The Tragedy of Russia's Reforms (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2001); and Treisman (fn. 29).

35 According to an August 20–24, 1999, nationwide survey by the VTsIOM agency, reported in Russian Election Watch 2, no. 2 (September 1999), 1, http://bcsia.ksg.harvard.edu/publication.cfmppro gram=CORE$ctype=paper&item_id=276 (last accessed February 19, 2006).

36 Hale (fn. 29, 2004a).

37 On these elections, see Colton, Timothy J. and McFaul, Michael, Popular Choice and Managed Democracy (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2003); Hale (fn. 29, 2004a); and Shvetsova (fn. 17).

38 Hale (fn. 29, 2004b).

39 Alstadt, Audrey L., “Azerbaijan's Struggle toward Democracy,” in Dawisha, Karen and Parrott, Bruce, eds., Conflict, Cleavage, and Change in Central Asia and the Caucasus (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997).

40 This paragraph draws on Cornell, Svante E., “Democratization Falters in Azerbaijan,” Journal of Democracy 12 (April 2001); Jean-Christophe Peuch, “Azerbaijan: Aliev's Withdrawal Marks End of Political Era,” RFE/RL News & Analysis, October 3, 2003, http://www.rferl.com/features/2003/10/03102003170908.asp (last accessed February 19, 2006); “Opposition Gains Confidence as Azerbaijan's Presidential Election Approaches,” EurasiaNet, October 6, 2003, http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eavl00603.shtml (last accessed February 19, 2006); and Rasizade, Alec, “Azerbaijan after Heydar Aliev,” Nationalities Papers 32 (March 2004).

41 On Ukrainian privatization, see Kravchuk, Robert, Ukrainian Political Economy: The First Ten Years (New York: Pallgrave MacMillan, 2002).

42 Matsuzato, Kimitaka, “All Kuchma's Men: The Reshuffling of Ukrainian Governors and the Presidential Election of 1999,” Post-Soviet Geography and Economics 42 (September 2001); Way, Lucan, “The Sources and Dynamics of Competitive Authoritarianism in Ukraine,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 20 (March 2004).

43 Matsuzato (fn. 42); Mikhail Pogrebinsky, “Kak Ukraina Shla k ‘Oranzhevoi’ Revoliutsii,” in Pogrebinsky, ed., “Oranzhevaia” Revoliutsiia: Versii, Khromka, Dokumenty (The “Orange” Revolution: Versions, chronicle, documents) (Kyiv: Otima, 2005).

44 Darden, Keith, “Blackmail as a Tool of State Domination: Ukraine under Kuchma,” East European Constitutional Review 10 (Spring-Summer 2001). See also Arel, Dominique, “Kuchmagate and the Demise of Kuchma's ‘Geopolitical Bluff,’” East European Constitutional Review 10 (Spring-Summer 2001).

45 Some of the best such arguments include Darden (fn. 44); Levitsky and Way (fn. 4); Way (fn. 42). An exception is Kuzio, Taras, “The 2002 Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine: Democratization or Authoritarianism,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 19 (June 2003).

46 As of the start of 2004, some 80 percent of citizens did not want Kuchma to continue as president. See Vydrin, Dmitry and Rozhkova, Irina, V'Ozhidanii Geroia: Yezhenedel'nik Goda Peremen (While awaiting a hero: A weekly of the year of changes) (Kharkiv: Kankom, 2005), 19.

47 Danilochkin, Sergei, “Ukraine: Kuchma Cleared to Run for Third Term,” RFE/RL Features, December 30, 2003.

48 Vydrin and Rozhkova (fn. 46), 193–94, 200, 220, 257.

49 Ibid., 212.

50 Kuzio (fn. 45).

51 See Serhii Leshchenko, “Petro Poroshenko v Inter'eri Kartyn i Kartynok,” Ukraiins'ka Pravda, www2.pravda.com.ua, January 11, 2005, 19:36.

52 Viacheslav Nikonov, “‘Oranzhevaia’ Revoliutsiia v Kontekste Zhanra,” in Pogrebinsky (fn. 43), 100; author interview with Pogrebinsky, Kyiv, August 12, 2005; author interview with Dmitry Vydrin, Kyiv, August 12, 2005.

53 Pogrebinsky (fn. 43), 116. Also author interview with Pogrebinsky (fn. 52); Vydrin and Rozhkova (fn. 46), 227; author interview with Vydrin (fn. 52).

54 Vydrin and Rozhkova (fn. 46), 387; Yanevsky, Daniil, Khronika “Oranzhevoi”Revoliutsii (Chronicle of the “Orange” Revolution) (Kharkiv: Folio, 2005), 76.

55 Nikonov (fn. 52), 100.

56 Kuzio, Taras, “Yushchenko Victory to Speed Up Ukraine's Democratization and Europeanization,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, December 17, 2004; Yanevsky (fn. 54).

57 Dominique Arel has powerfully argued that the regional differences at work in the Orange Revolution most fundamentally reflect differences in national identity. See Arel, “Ukraina Vybyraet Zapad, No Ne Bez Vostoka,” Pro et Contra (July-August 2005); an English-language version, “The Orange Revolution: Analysis and Implications of the 2004 Presidential Election in Ukraine,” February 25, 2005, is available at http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/grad-etudesup/ukr/pdf/Arel_Cambridge.pdf (last accessed February 20, 2006).

58 Aleksandr Litvinenko, “‘Oranzhevaia Revoliutsiia: Prichiny, Kharakter i Rezultaty,” in Pogrebin-sky (fn. 43), 13; Yanevsky (fn. 54), 58, 64.

59 Author interview with Pogrebinsky (fn. 52).

60 Table of official election results in Central Election Commission of Ukraine, Vybory Prezydenta Ukraiiny 2004 Roku: Elektoral'na Statystyka (Elections for the president of Ukraine 2004: Electoral statistics) (Kyiv: Central Election Commission, 2005), 496–97.

61 Maksim Strikha, “Ukrainskie Vybory: Do i Posle,” in Pogrebinsky (fn. 43), 155. Exit poll results can be found in Vydrin and Rozhkova (fn. 46), 391.

62 Slaboshpyts'kyi, Mykhailo, Peizazh dlia Pomaranchevoii Revoliutsii (A landscape for the Orange Revolution) (Kyiv: Yaroslaviv Val, 2005), 84, 8688.

63 Ibid., 86–88; Yanevsky (fn. 54), 55–56.

64 Kyiv State Rada, Rishennia 733/2143, “Pro Zahostrennia Suspil'no-Politychnoi Sytuatsii v Misti Kyevi, Iaka Sklalas'ia Pislia Proholoshennia Tsentral'noiu Vyborchoiu Komisieiu Rezultativ Povtor-noho Holosuvannia po Vyborakh Prezydenta Ukraiiny,” November 22, 2004, reprinted in Kiev State Administration, Potnarancheva Revoliutsiia i Kyiivs'ka Vlada: Pohliad Kriz' Pryztnu Faktiv (The Orange Revolution and Kyivan power: A look through the prism of the facts) (Kyiv: Kyiv State Administration, 2005), 45; Yanevsky (fn. 54), 97.

65 Kyiv State Administration, Rozporiadzhennia no. 2132, “Pro Zakhody Shchodo Zabezpechen-nia Hromads'koho Poriadku v Stolytsi Ukraiiny—Misti-Heroi Kyevi,” November 24, 2004, reprinted in Kiev State Administration (fn. 64), 9–11; author interview with Oleksandr Petik, head of the Kyiv city administration's main directorate for internal politics, August 11, 2005; Slaboshpyts'kyi (fn. 62), 88–89.

66 Author interview with Petik (fn. 65); author interview with Pogrebinsky (fn. 52); Yanevsky (fn. 54), 82, 88.

67 Kyiv State Administration, Rozporiadzhennia no. 2132, in Kyiv State Administration (fn. 64); author interview with Petik (fn. 65).

68 Arel (fn. 57); Kuzio, Taras, “Did Ukraine's Security Service Really Prevent Bloodshed During the Orange Revolution,” Eurasian Daily Monitor, January 24, 2005.

69 Author interview with Petik (fn. 65).

70 RFE/RL Newsline, April 11, 2002.

71 Fairbanks, Charles H. Jr, “Georgia's Rose Revolution,” Journal of Democracy 15 (April 2004).

72 RFE/RL Newsline, February 11, 2005. On the revolution and reconsolidation, see also Georgi Derl-ugian, “Georgia's Return of the King,” Working Paper no. 22, Program on New Approaches to Russian Security (Washington, D.C.: csis, 2004), http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/ruseur_wp_022. pdf (last accessed February 20, 2006); and Fairbanks (fn. 71), who notes that Saakashvili has effectively replaced Georgia's “superpresidential” constitution with a stronger “hyperpresidential” one.

73 RFE/RL Newsline, February 28, 2005; Aaron Rhodes, “Akaev's Acrid Legacy,” Transitions Online, February 23, 2005, www.tol.cz; TOL, “A Second Round Beckons,” Transitions Online, February 28, 2005; Erica Marat, “Mass Protests, Little Change after Kyrgyz Parliamentary Runoff,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, March 15, 2005.

74 Nur Omarov, cited in Kabar (Kyrgyzstan), http://www.kabar.kg/rus, June 30, 2005, 09:40.

75 RFE/RL Newsline, March 16, 2005; RFE/RL Newsline, March 22, 2005; “Kurmanbek Bakiyev becomes Kyrgyz Prime Minister and Acting President,” Times of Central Asia, March 25, 2005, 01:40, http:// www.times.kg/news/Protests/Kyrgyzstan/2005/03/25/0068147; Erica Marat, “Kyrgyz Crisis Reaches Bishkek—Rumors Suggest Akayev Has Fled Country,” Eurasia Daily Monitor, March 21, 2005.

76 RFE/RL Newsline, July 12, 2005.

77 Kurmanbek Bakiev, “Kurmanbek Bakiev,” interview, Gazeta.Kg (Kyrgyzstan), June 28, 2005,21:06.

78 While the author was an observer for the OSCE in the Kyrgyzstan presidential election, the views expressed in this paper are those of the author only and not necessarily those of the OSCE. The OSCE final report on the election can be found at http://www.osce.org/documents/odihr-el/2005/12/17585_ en.pdf (last accessed February 19, 2006).

79 Liz Fuller, “Democracy or Oligarchy?” RFE/RL Newsline, v.l, no.122, pt. I, September 22, 1997.

80 Paul Goble, “Why Ter-Petrossyan Fell,” End Note, RFE/RL Newsline, February 6, 1998; Emil Danielyan, “Armenian President's Resignation Likely to Cause Policy Changes,” RFE/RL Newsline, February 5, 1998; RFE/RL Newsline, November 3, 1997.

81 This case shows that the elite contestation phase does not necessarily play out in the electoral arena.

82 On the Tajikistan election, see Zafar Abdullaev and Kambiz Arman, “To the Rulers, Víctory,” Transitions Online, February 28, 2005; and the OSCE'S final report, available at http://www.osce.org/ documents/html/pdftohtmi/14852_en.pdf.html (last accessed February 19, 2006).

83 TOL, “Sidelining the Opposition,” Transitions Online, February 26, 2005.

84 On Rakhmonov's perceived popularity, see Freedom House, Nations in Transit 2004, http://un-panl.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/NISPAcee/UNPAN017051.pdf (last accessed February 20, 2006).

85 Thus, while nearly all unpopular leaders in Eurasia's patronal presidential countries attempted repressive behavior in order to win elections, we see that they were successful in doing so (maintaining the necessary elite loyalty) only when they were not lame ducks or when the chosen successor was broadly popular in his own right (for example, Putin in Russia).

86 Christensen, Rakhimkulov, and Wise (fn. 22).

87 Not just any dispersion of power will have a long-run democratizing effect, of course, since a badly designed division of authority or a muddling of authority could produce instability and a reversion to autocracy; see Paul D'Anieri, “What Has Changed in Ukrainian Politics? Assessing the Implications of the Orange Revolution,” Problems of Post-Communism 52 (September-October 2005). In Ukraine, President Yushchenko has hinted that he would like to alter the deal struck in late 2004, and many of his present and former associates have made even stronger statements to this effect, although for now elites generally expect power to be divided in the future. As D'Anieri points out, however, it is unclear at the time of this writing exactly how power will be divided. The case of Moldova's parliamentary system represents a sort of middle-ground case: its parliament elects the president. This gives the opposition greater opportunity to gain a stake in power and hence increases scope for contestation: the incumbent party lost the first parliamentary election under these rules in 2001 and the new incumbent party, seeking reelection in 2005, had to strike a deal with members of another party to stay in power. But once installed, the president has a great deal of authority to exercise power and constrain opposition, much like the Westminster system whose potentially antidemocratic effects are ably described by Horowitz, in Diamond and Plattner (fn. 13). Kyrgyzstan is presently in something of a limbo, with Bakiev having promised a diminution of presidential authority in favor of the prime minister (Kulov), but so far without this being institutionalized in an amended constitution. On these cases and issues, see Henry E. Hale, “How the Mighty Fall: The Colored Revolutions and Eurasia's Democratic Prospects” (Paper presented at the 11th annual world convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, New York City, March 23–25, 2006).

88 Rustow, Dankwart, “Transitions to Democracy: Towards a Dynamic Model,” Comparative Politics 2 (April 1970). On postcommunist cases, see Frye, Timothy, “A Politics of Institutional Choice: Post-Communist Presidencies,” Comparative Political Studies 30 (October 1997); McFaul (fn. 1).

89 I explore some of the latter issues in Hale (fn. 87).

90 On Russia, see Hale, Henry E., Why Not Parties in Russia? Democracy, Federalism, and the State (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

91 On how parties (among other things) can stem elite defection, see Geddes, Barbara, “What Do We Know about Democratization after Twenty Years?” Annual Review of Political Science 2 (June 1999); and Way, Lucan A., “Authoritarian State-Building and the Sources of Regime Competitiveness in the Fourth Wave: The Cases of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine,” World Politics 57 (January 2005).

92 That economic liberalization and diversification might dampen “consolidation” phases even in countries with patrimonial communist legacies is suggested in Junisbai, Barbara and Junisbai, Azamat, “The Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan: A Case Study in Economic Liberalization, Intraelite Cleavage, and Political Opposition,” Demokratizatsiya 13 (Summer 2005).

93 On how clientelism might decline in a country, see Kitschelt and Wilkinson (fn. 17).

* Special thanks are due to Sergiu Manic for research assistance, to George Washington University's Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies and to the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute for financial and institutional support, and to all who read and provided feedback on earlier drafts, including Karen Dawisha, Shinkichi Fujimori, Venelin Ganev, Cynthia McClintock, Lucan Way, anonymous reviewers, the editors, and organizers of and participants in the First Annual Danyliw Research Seminar in Contemporary Ukrainian Studies (September 29-October 1, 2005) and the symposium on “Reconstruction and Interaction of Slavic Eurasia and Its Neighboring Worlds” (December 9–10, 2004) organized by the Slavic Research Center, University of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Japan, where the first version of this article was presented. An early draft was also circulated in a working paper by the Program on New Approaches to Russian Security, for which I am also grateful. All views are those of the author and not necessarily of any person or institution named above.

Regime Cycles: Democracy, Autocracy, and Revolution in Post-Soviet Eurasia

  • Henry E. Hale (a1)

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