No. 3: Special issue: Civil society in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine

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    Introduction to the Special Issue: Civil Society in Ukraine: Building on Euromaidan Legacy
    (2017) Burlyuk, Olga; Shapovalova, Natalia; Zarembo, Kateryna
    Introduction article to the Special Issue of the Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal.
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    New Civic Activism in Ukraine: Building Society from Scratch?
    (2017) Worschech, Susann
    Since Euromaidan, civil society in Ukraine faces new challenges and a new role in society. Volunteer work, donations and civic activism have increased vis-à-vis the humanitarian crisis and the war in Eastern Ukraine in an unprecedented dimension. Civil society’s takeover of state responsibilities depicts the compensation of state failure. But it is questionable whether the post-Euromaidan civil society contributes to Ukraine’s democratization process. Based on two case studies, in this article I examine new issues civil society in Ukraine deals with, what forms the basis of a new quality of civic activism and participation. Further, I describe structures, activities and interrelations of this new Ukrainian volunteer movement, with the aim to discuss its ambivalent role in fragile democratization.
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    Substituting for the State: The Role of Volunteers in Defense Reform in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine
    (2017) Zarembo, Kateryna
    While the role of volunteers in sustaining the Ukrainian armed forces against the backdrop of Russian aggression since 2014 has been widely acknowledged in literature, the effect of volunteer initiatives on the state defense capacity in longer term has not been studied thus far. This article aims to address this gap and explore whether volunteer participation led to institutional strengthening of the Ukrainian defense state capacity or to its weakening. The analysis will conclude that the volunteers in fact contributed to both - strengthening the state and weakening it at the same time; the outcome dependent on the context in which the volunteers took action at different times. While volunteer participation failed to bring about systemic reform, it did provide powerful democratic oversight over the state’s key defense institution.
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    The Comparative Analysis of Regional Governors’ Approaches to Fostering Inclusive Political Institutions in Post-Euromaidan Donbas
    (2017) Romanova, Valentyna
    This study is inspired by a theory-driven expectation of a co-author of Why Nations Fail Daren Acemoglu in regard to fostering inclusive political institutions in post-Euromaidan Ukraine despite the armed conflict in Donbas. I examine how appointing a civil society activist - the one who used to help the Ukrainian Army during the security operation in Donbas - for a position of a regional executive in post-Euromaidan Luhansk oblast affects regional governors’ approaches towards the key conditions of inclusive political institutions: state capacity and power distribution. State capacity, namely its key dimension of monopoly over violence, is operationalized as control over the contact line in the armed conflict in Donbas. Power distribution is operationalized as holding democratic elections. I compare the approaches of three regional executives, including the one who was the civil society activist, towards state capacity and power distribution. I find that appointing the civil society activist for a position of a regional executive in post-Euromaidan Luhansk oblast affects regional governors’ approach towards control over the contact line, but not towards holding democratic elections. The study contributes to literatures on inclusive political institutions by analyzing new empirical data in line with the conceptual framework of Acemoglu and Robinson tailored for its application in post-Euromaidan Luhansk oblast.
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    Talking Peace at the Edge of War: Local Civil Society Narratives and Reconciliation in Eastern Ukraine
    (2017) Bazilo, Ganna; Bosse, Giselle
    international organizations. Yet, more and more local civil society organizations (CSOs) are embracing reconciliation as a new agenda in the post-Euromaidan period. In this article, we analyze the role of local Ukrainian CSOs in fostering dialogue and reconciliation in Eastern Ukraine. Research on sub-state actors as legitimate agency in peacebuilding in Eastern Ukraine remains scarce. By drawing on the “everyday peace” perspective, we show that local bottom-up narratives of the conflict differ greatly from the top-down narratives of states and international organizations. Whereas the latter tend to reconfirm the status quo of the conflict or the (neo-) liberal economic approach to peace, local CSOs promote “rehumanizing the other,” which constitutes a quintessential process in achieving sustainable peace in Eastern Ukraine.