Round Table “Ukrainian Politics in Comparative Perspective” >> Karazin University

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June 22, 2017

Round Table “Ukrainian Politics in Comparative Perspective”


Karazin University has held a round table on Ukrainian politics in the comparative perspective that took place on the initiative of the Department of Political Science of the School of Philosophy of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, George Washington University and the Analytical Center “Observatory of Democracy”. The event was part of the PONARS Eurasia program of George Washington University aimed tо develop new approaches to studies of foreign and domestic policies, authoritarianism and democracy, security and cooperation in Russia and Eurasian countries, particularly in the post-Soviet space.

The round table was held with the participation of international experts: Kateryna Smagliy (Kennan Institute Kyiv Office), Elise Giuliano (Columbia University, USA), Marlene Laruelle (George Washington University, USA), Yuriy Matsiyevsky (National University “Ostroh Academy”), Mykhailo Aleksieiev (San Diego State University, USA). The guests shared their opinions on the political processes taking place in Ukraine. In particular, Ms. Smagliy focused on the problem of shaping civil society after the events of the Revolution of Dignity, the degree of its influence on decision-making and reform implementoin. The speaker stressed that Ukrainians’ activity is currently on the decrease, yet we can outline the directions of positive change such as volunteering, involvement of citizens in carrying out democratic reforms, their fight against corruption, creation of new political parties.

Mr. Aleksieiev addressed the effect of solidarity around the flag, “When a war breaks out, or a state is involved in a military conflict beyond its borders, the national pride greatly increases. The support and popularity of the country’s leader are growing, too.” Drawing on the research data of the Ukrainian and Russian society over the past decade, the speaker noted that with regard to Ukraine and Russia it is appropriate to divide consolidation around the leader and around the national idea. Mr. Aleksieiev also determined three factors that influence the emergence of the first or second model — assertive or defensive policy of the nation, the level of personalization of the power, and the level of maintaining people’s trust in the state leader.

Mr. Matsiyevsky dwelled on the peculiarities of the political regime in Ukraine, shared his view of the prospects of quality changes in the institutional sphere. In her report, Ms. Laruelle revealed the peculiarities of the presidential regime in the Russian Federation on the example of the country’s preparation for celebrating a centenary of the Revolution of 1917.

The round table ended with a discussion.

Translation by Inna Zaets

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