Ukrainian Political Culture

An exploration into Ukrainian political culture during the process of political and economic transformation.

This paper analyses public opinion of the Ukrainians towards political and economic changes in Ukraine during the first decade of transformation (1991-1999). The paper assumes that the economic crisis is a serious precondition for the emergence of anti-democratic attitudes in Ukraine. It reveals that there are serious problems with democratisation in Ukraine and how the general economic, political and social disorientation helped the elites to implement “partial reforms” only, which were beneficial for their private gains. It also looks at how the low level of people’s political participation, undeveloped civil society and general mass ignorance paralysed society, prevented the population from playing an active economic and political role, despite of high protest potential.

Chapter 1
Theoretical framework
Comparative Perspectives on Democratic Transformation
Democratic and Economic Regimes Under Postcommunism
Quadruple Transformation: Four Attempts to Break with the Past
The People
The Elites
Chapter 2 The Winners of the First Decade
Dynamics of the Economy
The Attempts for Democratisation
Chapter 3 Public Attitudes Towards Transformation
Attitudes Towards Economic Changes
Attitudes Towards Political Changes
Attitude Toward Mass Media, Level of Knowledge and National Culture
Democratisation in the Times of the Crisis Mentality
When the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union proclaimed the revolutionary programs of democratic and market development, they had ambitions to repeat the successful Western models of development. As some scholars admit (Ray, 1995), these programs were not original because they were designed to rectify a distance with the highly developed West, where a tandem of democracy and market economy already proved the successful results. However, the first decade of the transformation revealed many problems. The outcomes of the beginning of the transformation were problematic in the economic sphere: the mix of economic hardships, deterioration of the standards of life, the weak role of the state in establishment of the proper regulatory base for the market economy.