THE “COLORFUL REVOLUTION” AND THE MOVEMENT “FOR A SHARED MACEDONIA” SYMBOLS OF AN AWAKENING PARTICIPATORY CIVIC CULTURE OR INDICATORS OF DEEP PARTY DIVISIONS IN MACEDONIAN SOCIETY? A CASE STUDY – PRILEP
This is a case study on the Macedonian movements ‘I Protest’ (better known as the Colorful Revolution) and ‘For a Shared Macedonia’ in the town of Prilep, which is based on empirical findings from two separate surveys including 141 participants from the first and 89 from the second one. The main research question is: can these movements be considered as heralds of the awakened civic culture in Macedonia’s periphery, or they are rather parties’ tools for gaining power.
There is a deep gap between the expectations and the claims of both movements. Generally both movements want punishment of corruption, and yet they differ in the method to be used in achieving that. Protesters in the Colorful Revolution support Special Public Prosecutor while the For a Shared Macedonia’s protesters do not.
We argue that despite of the readiness of protesters for engagement in protests (which could be considered as an awakened political participation), this is not a direct indicator of an awakened participatory culture beyond party mobilization. Although the main benefit from both movements for Macedonia can be considered to be the aroused trust in political participation, as a method for influencing the increase in responsibility among politicians, the results presented in this paper suggest a great need for strengthening of the civil society sector at a local level, in order for it to be a constructive party in the creation of public policies, instead of being an extended arm of political parties.
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