Living the revolution : A view of the Georgian opposition movement in post-revolutionary Georgia

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Title: Living the revolution : A view of the Georgian opposition movement in post-revolutionary Georgia
Author: Rantamäki, Sami
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Politiikan ja talouden tutkimuksen laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political and Economic Studies
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för politik och ekonomi
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2016
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Political Science, Politics
Yleinen valtio-oppi, politiikan tutkimus
Allmän statslära, politologi
Abstract: This thesis explores the characteristics of parts of the Georgian opposition mass movement, emerging in Georgia after the Rose Revolution in 2003. The aim of the study is to examine civil society organizations as parts of social mass movements, focusing on factors as organizational structure, mobilization, networks and collective identity. Starting in Georgia 2003, several 'colour revolutions' have occurred in post-Soviet states where the authoritarian regime has either failed or strengthened its power. As in the Georgian case, revolution did not imply democratization of the society. Therefore shortly after the revolution, a new opposition movement occurred, once again demanding resignation of the political elite. This study takes the question to the actors demanding political change: the participants and leaders of organizations involved in anti-governmental protests actions. The data for the study consists of 10 interviews conducted in Georgia with organization leaders and members as well as former politicians. Some of the interviewees had been political active even before the Rose Revolution, other joined the reconstructed opposition movement during the rule of Saakashvili. The study claims, that even if social mass movement features are found in the opposition organization structure emerging in Georgia under the rule of Saakashvili, the structure is rather unclear and the common goals undefined. Formal networks between the organizations are missing, and collective identity is restricted. Membership and mobilization patterns are indistinct, but the waves of attempts for political change in especially 2007, 2009 and 2011 still indicates an ongoing process of protests.

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