Carnival of Revolutions

by Nathan Hamm on 5/30/2005 · 11 comments

Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Revolutions. Were I a more creative person, I’d have some tie-in to memorial day. But alas, I am not, so the straight dope will have to suffice. Without further ado, here is a humble collection of democracy news–good and bad–from the past week.


There are only two more days to vote in the Reporters Without Borders Freedom Blog Awards.

One of the wonderful things about blogs is that they cut out the media middleman and allow people the world over to tell their stories in their own words. Every day, Global Voices Online brings readers those stories with the world blog roundup.

Blogrel’s Katy looks at the role of NGOs in revolutions.

Dan Morgan of NoSpeedBumps discusses democratic peace theory.



Robert Mugabe continues to plunge Zimbabwe into chaos. His latest crackdown is on street trading. Nearly 10,000 merchants have been arrested.

Zimpundit has much more on Zimbabwe, including news that Mugabe may be ill and commentary on the convoluted economic logic of the Zimbabwean government.


The EU has declared Ethiopia’s recent elections rigged and called out Jimmy Carter for so quickly giving his blessing to the vote. Robert Mayer says that Carter is doing more harm than good for democracy.

For more discussion of Ethiopia’s election, see the very well-written ethiopundit.


Abu Aardvark rounds up reaction and news on the vicious attack on Kifaya members protesting this week’s referendum on presidential elections.

Brian discusses Cairo life alongside the political turmoil.

Additional pictures and commentary on the attacks on protesters can be found at Enough!

Kirk H. Sowell covers Egypt’s dynastic authoritarianism.



Will Franklin says the stage is set for a showdown over Belarus’s election next year. The opposition is looking to duplicate the tactics used in Ukraine last year, the US is gearing up to offer its support, and all that remains to be seen is whether or not Russia views Lukashenko as valuable enough to protect.

Belarus has passed a new security law formalizing the state’s right to do just about anything it wants in the lead up to elections.

Volodymyr Campaign notes that Belarus’s KGB chief thinks that there are no grounds for revolution in his country.

Central Asia

Kazakhstan is cracking down on religious practice.

The big news in Uzbekistan the past week has been China’s vocal support for the government’s crackdown on Andijon’s protesters. A summary of all sorts of news can be found here and in our Uzbekistan archive.

Though the odds are long, there are grounds for US-Russia cooperation over Uzbekistan. The Russian experts’ diagnosis of what’s wrong in Uzbekistan appears to be the same as that of American experts.


Armenia’s electoral reforms signal that the country is backsliding.

Tim Russo says that the Armenian reforms are window dressing to distract everyone from fraud being planned in plain view.

Azerbaijan’s government has asked the US to provide exit polls for the upcoming parliamentary election.

Middle East

Robert Mayer discusses Lebanon’s electoral system and alliances and follows up with a post on the first round of voting.

Schwartz of Thinking-East.Net has a roundup of Middle East news.

Syria is cracking down on human rights activists and political opposition. Syrian blogger Ammar Abdulhamid is calling for the release of arrested dissidents and has ways for readers to help.


Younghusband casts doubt on the popularity of Rafsanjani and his prospects in the upcoming presidential election.

J.B. and Hoder have much more on candidates.

Keep up with Iran news at the excellent Iran Scan hosted by openDemocracy.


Gateway Pundit marks the fifteenth anniversary of Burma’s 1990 election–the results of which were utterly disregarded by the military government. The party that won the election, the NLD, held a small rally in Rangoon to mark the anniversary.

Hong Kong

Global Voices Online profiles Glutter, a pro-democracy blog from Hong Kong.

Latin America

Stefania Lapenna writes about the convention of Cuban dissidents in Havana.

Bolivia appears to be coming apart at the seams. Publius Pundit has an impressive collection of links on the story.


June 6: Publius Pundit
June 13: Gateway Pundit
June 20: Siberian Light
June 27:
July 4:
July 11: Publius Pundit
July 18: Boxing Alcibiades
July 25: soapgun blog
August 1: SophistPundit
August 8: Blogrel
August 15: Am I A Pundit Now?
August 22: OPEN
August 29: OPEN
September 5: Thinking-East
September 12: OPEN
September 19: OPEN

Email if you would like to host the Carnival of Revolutions at some point in the future. We prefer that you have some experience blogging on these issues, as it requires a moderate level of expertise to prepare the carnival each week.

The submission deadline is each Sunday evening.. Any blogger can submit a post on the rapid flurry of events we see each week, or on a broader theoretical idea. The criteria are fairly broad, but inclusion of your submission is ultmately up to the host.

To submit a post for inclusion next week, use this submission form.

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Zsa Zsa May 30, 2005 at 11:43 am

It amazes me that so much is going on around the world and we don’t hear more about it! People all over the world are fighting for democracy and freedom… I really appreciate the blogs for making more people aware! Thanks!

D.B. Light May 30, 2005 at 2:16 pm

For more on Mad Bobby Mugabe’s Reign of Terror in Zimbabwe, check out

abdymok May 30, 2005 at 11:49 pm

it might be helpful for democracy buffs covering the carnival of revolutions to brush up on what did not happen in belarus during the last revolution in 2001.

and explain why.

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