Rotten Door Revolutions

Professor Lucan Way discusses the revolution in Kyrgyzstan:

Africa, the former Soviet Union, and the Americas have recently witnessed several examples of “rotten door” transitions, in which protesters essentially knocked down doors that had already rotted from within. In such cases, even a small opposition push was sufficient to trigger regime collapse. In Georgia (2003), Haiti (2004), and Madagascar (2002, 2009), as well as Kyrgyzstan in 2005 and 2010, presidents fell because security forces would not or could not put down relatively small protests and were thus left defenseless as opponents overran the state...

Rotten door transitions are often easy, in the sense that they require little opposition mobilization. Yet rotten door transitions often do not lead to democracy, for several reasons. First, they often take place in a context of extreme state weakness, in which state agencies cannot enforce the rule of law across the national territory. Although such conditions may aid protesters seeking to storm the capital, they are hardly favorable to stable democratization.

Professor Scott Radnitz thinks the country came close to civil war last week.