Ukraine: The Role of Regionalism

Issue Date July 2010
Volume 21
Issue 3
Page Numbers 99-106
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A focus on regional diversity can help us rethink Ukraine’s transition outside the various boxes created by (hybrid) regime typologies. The politics of regions has played a role in Ukraine regardless of the ‘more authoritarian’ or ‘more democratic’ labels used to describe the regime at various stages. Regional divisions have structured political competition and societal mobilization. Rather than being an obstacle to Ukraine’s state-building and democratization, as theory suggests, regional diversity has been a source of strength. The existence and further consolidation of a regional balancing mechanism has helped Ukraine to avoid tilts to policy extremes and put a stop to authoritarian backsliding.

About the Author

Gwendolyn Sasse is university reader in the comparative politics of Central and Eastern Europe and professorial fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. She is the author of The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict (2007).

View all work by Gwendolyn Sasse