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Analytical Brief: The Transition Tango in Fiji

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By 36th Parallel Assessments Ltd publisher  Dr Paul Buchanan
The move from authoritarian to freely elected rule is a dynamic moment.  It should be seen as a window of opportunity but also one of significant risk. The Fijian political transition scheduled for mid 2014 should be considered in this light. Introduction.
Transitions from below, or bottom-up transitions, are collectively organized mass mobilizations against the regime in power. Taken to the extreme, they can result in regime collapse or downfall. The ultimate expressions of these are social revolutions involving mass collective violence such as the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Chinese Revolution of 1948, the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and the Iranian and Nicaraguan Revolutions of 1979.
The so-called Arab Spring provides other examples of bottom-up transitions, although like the revolutions just mentioned they do not necessarily end up in democracy. In fact, bottom-up transitions are more likely to see the repl…