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Civil Society in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine


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About the Author

Dr Natalia Shapovalova is an Associate Fellow at Vesalius College Brussels and member of the Carnegie Civic Research Network. She studied politics and international studies at Warwick, Maastricht, Lublin and the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Her research has been published with Routledge, Palgrave, John Hopkins University Press as well as in European Security, East European Politics and the Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal. Dr. Andreas Umland is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation at Kyiv. He studied Political Science, Journalism, History, and Russian at Leipzig, Berlin, Oxford, Stanford, and Cambridge and held fellow- and lectureships at Stanfords Hoover Institution, Harvards Weatherhead Center, St. Antonys College, Oxford, Urals State University, Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Shevchenko University of Kyiv, and the Catholic University of Eichstaett, Germany. His articles have appeared in, among other journals, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Democracy, Political Studies Review, European Political Science, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Harvard International Review, Europe-Asia Studies, The Russian Review, Problems of Post-Communism, Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Russian Politics and Law, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, and other periodicals.


In the dramas and struggles of the post-Soviet transitions, the role of Ukraine's civil society stands out as a feature of huge systemic importance. By comparison, in Russia political civil society has been virtually extinguished, and the authoritarian-oligarchic-corporatist regime is unchallenged. The further you go west in Europe, the role of political civil society fades away in the shadows of regular democratic practice. But here in Ukraine, civil society is a front-line political actor, ready to take literally to the barricades when the democratic institutions are failing. It is often said these days in Ukraine, 'unless the regime shapes up better, there will be another Maidan', which is testimony to the phenomenon. The authors are to be congratulated on explaining in all its depth and multiple aspects this major story, so it can take its deserved place in the annals of contemporary political science.--Michael Emerson, Centre for European Policy Studies, Brussels
In the space of the decade 2004-2014, Ukraine's people have twice demonstrated deep democratic desires by massive street actions and twice succeeded in overturning authoritarian governments. Sadly, civil society has then twice been disappointed by the politicians who rose from these successes. This book not only details how strong Ukraine's civil society is but addresses comprehensively how it is maturing further to ensure that democratic revolutions are followed up and properly implemented. An important read for anyone involved in Ukrainian issues.--Oleh Havrylyshyn, Carleton University
This book is a critical inquiry into civil society and its role in political processes that shaped post-Soviet Ukraine. The authors not only analyze the reality of solidary actions of Ukrainian citizens, but also create a new set of terms referring to the phenomena of NGO formation, transgression of civic organizations into uncivil units, enfranchising and, simultaneously, entailing an illiberal impact of civic groups on society at large. Anyone seeking to understand contemporary Ukraine and its citizens can do no better than to read this book.--Mykhailo Minakov, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

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