New Special Issue – Elections 2016: Political Dynamics in Post-Soviet Space


In the fall and winter of 2016 a series of elections took place in the post-Soviet region. Azerbaijan changed its constitution via a referendum. Belarus, Georgia and Russia held parliamentary campaigns, while Moldova and Uzbekistan unexpectedly went to the polls to elect new presidents, as did the residents of the unrecognized de facto state Transnistria. These elections are in focus for a special issue, commemorating the 25th anniversary of Democratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization edited by Sofie Bedford (IRES) and Ryhor Nizhnikau (FIIA). The point of departure for this publication is that although the communist past is common for all the concerned states these are today at very different stages in their post-Soviet development. Thus, these coinciding elections provided a great opportunity to study the immensely different functions and meanings of elections in these cases and elaborate on what this can tell us about trajectories of change across the board. Moreover, the articles in the issue at hand illustrate that even though some of these elections appear uninteresting at first glance (since the results certainly come as no surprise) they proved to be a useful tool to help shed light on issues such as the emergence of hybrid forms of domestic institutions, hybrid governance, novel tools of autocracy and new roles of state and non-state actors inside and outside the country.

All the articles are available for download. At the journals home page you can read an interview with the special editors as well as see extra material from the authors like photos and additional data.

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