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Title: The Chimera of Colorful Revolution in Macedonia: Collective Action in the European Periphery
Authors: Vankovska, Biljana 
Keywords: collective action, Macedonia, protests, movements, periphery
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Balkanologie. Revue d'études pluridisciplinaires
Source: Vankovska, B. (2020). “The Chimera of Colorful Revolution in Macedonia: Collective Action in the European Periphery”, Balkanologie, vol. 15, no. 2, 2020.
Project: Pour une approche socio-historique de l'action collective dans les Balkans
Journal: Balkanologie. Revue d'études pluridisciplinaires
Abstract: Macedonia, as a hardly known part of ex-Yugoslavia at the European periphery, has rarely made Western headlines except for the security problems too often associated with the region and the country’s bizarre “name issue.”1 Yet for a brief moment in 2014-2016, it seemed as if a sudden upsurge of social movements and popular protests would put it on the world map of countries experiencing collective actions and calls for radical social change. Many saw this upsurge as an encouraging development in a country burdened by democratic deficit and a hybrid illiberal regime, hoping that it could be part of a “Balkan Spring” (with similar events occurring in Croatia and Bosnia- Herzegovina).2 The developments became especially widely known because of the final act of the performance – the so-called Colorful Revolution (CR) of 2016 – when protesters used paintballs of diverse colors to shoot official buildings and monuments. However, the collective action stopped abruptly in mid-2016, as societal energy dried up like rain water in a desert.This study sheds light on the reasons for and the context of the sudden surge and deflation of popular mobilization, as well as the general effects of the events as seen from the distance of five years’ time. The text structure is determined by the predominantly socio-historical approach of the analysis: the first part sketches the historical context with special emphasis on the way Macedonia has been governed – both internally and externally – since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991. Its aim is to present the main features of the political and institutional landscape before the phase of collective actions began in 2014. The second part focuses on the specific grassroots movement in which multiple plenums formed (plenumization), while the third part questions the very nature of the Colorful Revolution, its end and its after-effects. The conclusion summarizes what the study reveals about collective action.
DOI: 10.4000/balkanologie.2583
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Philosophy, Collection 04: Journal Articles / Статии во научни списанија

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