Monday, April 15th, 2019 How Ukraine is Ruled: Informal Politics and Neopatrimonial Democracy after the Euromaidan Revolution

Monday, April 15, 20194:00PM - 6:00PM108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place


What has changed and remained the same in Ukrainian politics after the Euromaidan revolution? Definitely, the Ukrainian political system has become more democratic, transparent, and competitive. At the same time, the patrimonial nature and organizing principles of the political system remain the same. Surprisingly, after the Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine’s patrimonial politics are paradoxically contributing to the institutionalization of political pluralism and political competition, via a series of formal and informal power-sharing arrangements between the major Euromaidan players. In my presentation, I try to examine the decisive role of informal politics and shadow patron-client networks in Ukraine that remain an under-researched topic for a long time and demonstrate how a neopatrimonial democracy in which state capture is the primary gain, unexpectedly stimulates competitive politics.

Dr. Oleksandr Fisun is Professor of Political Science and Department Chair at the V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine. His primary research interests are Ukrainian politics and comparative democratization. He has held visiting fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy (Washington, DC), the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies at the University of Washington (Seattle), Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta (Edmonton), and the Aleksanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is the author of Demokratiia, neopatrimonializm i global’nye transformatsii [Democracy, Neopatrimonialism, and Global Transformations] (Kharkiv, 2006), as well as numerous book chapters and articles on regime change, informal politics, and neopatrimonialism in Ukraine.


Oleksandr Fisun
Professor of Political Science and Department Chair, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University

Lucan Way
Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto; co-director of the Petro Jacyk Program

Main Sponsor

Petro Jacyk Program for the Study of Ukraine


Centre for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies

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