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Ukraine as a neo-patrimonial state: understanding political change in Ukraine in 2005-2010

Katerina Malygina
SEER: Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe
Vol. 13, No. 1, Political changes and the role of institutions (2010), pp. 7-27
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43293343
Page Count: 21
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Ukraine as a neo-patrimonial state: understanding political change in Ukraine in 2005-2010
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Abstract

After the Orange Revolution, it was supposed by many that the change to liberallyminded, western-oriented leaders and the reduction of the presidential powers would be sufficient to guarantee Ukraine's transition to democracy. However, this proved to be wrong. A change of institutional design in Ukraine led indeed to less authoritarianism, as well as to free and fair elections and freedom of speech. But, as the post-revolutionary experience has shown - informal rules do matter in Ukraine. The formal framework only limits the scope of action, but the actors are not guided in their behaviour exceptionally by the formal rules. Thus, Ukraine and remains a neo-patrimonial state, with both formal and informal logics of action. In order fully to understand the political change in Ukraine after the Orange Revolution, one should not limit the whole explanatory strength solely to the formal institutions. The model proposed in this article, consisting of such variables as formal and informal resources as well as actors' expectations, should help in understanding the scope of political change in Ukraine since 2005.

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