Abstract

The movement of election observers emerged during the last federal election campaign in 2011-2012 and substantially transformed after it. On the basis of theoretical approaches to the study of social movement’s dynamics, the author analyzes the stages of development of election observers movement and identifies the most important factors of its mobilization. At the same time, the author notes that genesis of the movement has a certain specificity. Its development took place within already established institution of election observation. In this context, the analysis of movement dynamics begins with a description of how this particular institute has been formed since 1990s.

Then, the author identifies the most significant factors of mass mobilization of election observers movement, namely the conflict which is expressed in mass dissatisfaction with procedures and results of State Duma elections in December 2011; general social discontent; human and organizational resources and collective identity. The next stage of development is formalization and consolidation when social movement organizations gain strength and unite in coalitions. The final stage of development is characterized by demobilization of movement because of internal exhaustion, external polarization and total disappointment in the ability to achieve the main goal of the movement, fair elections. Nevertheless, the author doesn’t conclude that the movement came to an end. Under certain conditions, the dynamics of its development can become cyclical.

Keywords: movement of election observers, social movements, elections, social movements dynamics