Politics and Society in Ukraine

Politics and Society in Ukraine

Politics and Society in Ukraine

Politics and Society in Ukraine

Synopsis

Paul D'Anieri is associate professor of political science and Russian and East European Studies at the University of Kansas and has been visiting professor at L'viv State University and at Harvard.

Excerpt

Despite the flowering of scholarship on Ukraine since its independence in 1991, there has not yet been an attempt to provide a coherent overview of Ukrainian political institutions and the political process in Ukraine. For several years, events moved so quickly that to try to cover them in a book-length study was an invitation to immediate obsolescence. Moreover, many of the basic subjects of such a study, such as the structure of the constitution, were unresolved in Ukraine until relatively recently. Since the adoption of the Ukrainian constitution in 1996 and the introduction of a new currency that year, however, the fundamentals of the independent state are now in place in Ukraine. This is not to deny that much is still in flux but rather to assert that an overview of Ukrainian political structures and processes is now both possible and needed. This book aims to fill that need.

The book is deliberately written from an eclectic theoretical approach rather than by advancing a single theory or interpretation of events. This reflects not only the ambiguity of the subject but the varied backgrounds of the authors: D'Anieri was trained in government and international relations, Kravchuk in public administration, and Kuzio in Ukrainian area studies. We hope that this plurality of perspectives enriches the book as much as it has our own discussions. Although all three authors contributed to the various chapters and all take responsibility for the final product, each took responsibility for the drafting of various of the original chapters, and this division of labor should be made clear: D'Anieri drafted Chapters 7 (foreign policy), 8 (defense), and 9 (conclusion). Kravchuk drafted the introduction and Chapters 4 (Ukraine's weak state) and 6 (economic reform). Kuzio drafted Chapters 1 (the Soviet legacy), 2 (nation building), 3 (religion), and 5 (politics and civil society).

The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the institutions and people who made this project possible. We especially thank Rob Williams of Westview Press, whose combination of support and patience was essential to bringing the project to completion. Paul D'Anieri wishes to thank those at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute -- Director . . .

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