How Civic Mobilizations Grow in Authoritarian Contexts
This report examines what helps and hurts civic mobilizations in authoritarian countries and provides insight on how these mobilizations grow.
How Civic Mobilizations Grow in Authoritarian Contexts is a new report from Freedom House that analyzes how civic movements organize and expand in countries governed by authoritarian regimes.
The report examines 21 recent examples of these movements in authoritarian countries to determine the factors that helped or hindered their growth. These factors include whether these movements are led by new or established opposition members, how mobilization campaigns frame their cause, and the roles played by diasporas, the internet, and repression.
In addition to the larger report, below you will find focused case studies on civic mobilizations in Belarus following their contentious 2020 election, Sudan in 2018-19, Ethiopia in 2015-18, and Vietnam in 2016.
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The 2020 presidential campaign in Belarus and the subsequent protests have shaken many observers’ views of what was possible in the country’s politics.
In April 2019, Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir was deposed in a coup d’etat that was preceded by months of pressure from the largest social movement in recent history.
Years of protests led by Oromo youth spread to other areas of the country and resulted in the 2018 resignation of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
In 2016, the government’s response to an environmental disaster triggered the “Formosa protests,” one of Vietnam's largest civic mobilizations in recent decades.
The bibliography includes select academic sources published in the last two decades that shed light on civic mobilization in authoritarian contexts.