Edited By Florian Bieber, Magdalena Solska and Dane Taleski
12. Ukraine after Euromaidan: Increased Pluralism amid Patronal Politics (Oleksii Sydorchuk / Olexiy Haran)
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Oleksii Sydorchuk and Olexiy Haran
12. Ukraine after Euromaidan: Increased Pluralism amid Patronal Politics
Ukraine’s development after the turbulent events of Euromaidan and the ensuing Russian aggression saw increased space for political competition and social activism against the backdrop of continued patronage politics. Reinvigorated civil society mirrored the consolidation of Ukrainian society around the need to resist the foreign threat and implement sweeping reforms, while the disintegration of authoritarian vertical government and the collapse of the party system paved the way for the dissipation of power and the intensification of political struggle. Yet, high-level politics remained dominated by informal networks and patron-client relations, which trumped formal rules, undermined reform progress, and constrained post-2014 liberal gains. Struggles between representatives of vested interests and reformist forces will, to a great degree, determine Ukraine’s ability to resist implantation of Russian authoritarian model and safeguard its democratic achievements.
Keywords: civil society, Euromaidan, informal networks, patronal politics, political institutions, reforms, Russian aggression
Throughout its independence period, Ukraine’s democratic development has been a series of uneven steps forward intermingled with drastic reversals. Until the Euromaidan revolution of 2013–2014, the political regime oscillated between periods of growing authoritarianism under Presidents Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yanukovych and increased openness and competitiveness during the presidential tenures of Leonid Kravchuk and Viktor Yushchenko. Euromaidan, known also as the Revolution of Dignity, was a popular reaction against threatening monopolization of power under Yanukovych who first...
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