Book Talk. Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe by Olena Nikolayenko

Thursday, October 19, 2017
12:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University for a presentation by Olena Nikolayenko (Fordham University) of her book Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

At the turn of the twenty-first century, a tide of nonviolent youth movements swept across Eastern Europe. Young people demanded political change in repressive political regimes that emerged since the collapse of communism. The Serbian social movement Otpor (Resistance) played a vital role in bringing down Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. Inspired by Otpor's example, similar challenger organizations were formed in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, and Ukraine. The youth movements, however, differed in the extent to which they could mobilize citizens against the authoritarian governments on the eve of national elections. This book argues that the movement's tactics and state countermoves explain, in no small degree, divergent social movement outcomes. Using data from semi-structured interviews with former movement participants, public opinion polls, government publications, non-governmental organization (NGO) reports, and newspaper articles, the book traces state-movement interactions in five post-communist societies: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

Olena Nikolayenko is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Political Science at Fordham University. She is also an Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University. Her research interests include comparative democratization, social movements, political behavior, women’s activism, and youth, with a regional focus on Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia. In her recent book, Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2017), she examined interactions between nonviolent youth movements and incumbent governments during national elections in five post-communist states: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine.

This event is free and open to the public.