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Ukraine after the Euromaidan

Challenges and Hopes

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Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi

Ukraine’s protest movement of 2013–14, known as the Euromaidan, and its culmination, the people’s uprising in late 2013–early 2014 became one of the most dramatic world events in recent years. The accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation and military conflict in the Donbas demonstrate that the dramatic dynamics of the country’s ongoing transformation are still far from predictable. This book examines the manifold aspects of Ukraine’s current crisis and its political upheaval. The contributors to the book, Ukrainian experts in a variety of disciplinary fields, explore social, political and cultural reasons and factors behind the country’s transformation in its national and regional dimensions, the impact of Ukraine’s revolution on European and global politics, and also the new challenges of tough reforms with which the country is faced. The contributors share the view that the Euromaidan brought new opportunities for Ukraine’s modern development and the greatest historical chance for the country’s European future since independence in 1991.
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Ukraine’s Revolution as De-Institutionalisation of the Post-Soviet Order

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The reasons for and the lessons and significance of the long-term historical effects of Ukraine’s protest movement and its culmination, the people’s uprising in late 2013–early 2014, still require in-depth study. This is so due to the ongoing process of the country’s dramatic social-political changes, the final outcomes of which are hardly predictable. Indeed, at the beginning of 2014 nobody would have been able to predict the ignominious flight of former president Yanukovych and the rapid collapse of his authoritarian state machine over the following couple of days, the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation, the pre-term election of the new president Petro Poroshenko in one electoral turnover (for the first time in Ukraine’s complex political history), radical separatism and the ensuing strange, “hybrid” war (officially still called an “anti-terrorist operation”) on the Ukrainian Donbas, and all the complex socio-economic and financial consequences of the country’s dramatic geopolitical turn towards Europe. The new historical challenges, unknown since Ukraine gained independence in 1991, and social-revolutionary upheaval on an unprecedentedly high level undermined a conservative evolutionary transformation of Ukrainian society. Moreover, it seems that the controversial and strategically inconsistent model of the country’s post-Soviet development has collapsed.

It is clear that the streets begin to “speak” whenever and wherever the conventional political mechanisms of at least formally democratic and consensual regulation are either broken or substantially corrupted. In examining the case of Ukraine, I will refer to two interconnected concepts explaining the Ukrainian political situation and...

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