Democracy in Ukraine and Its Current Struggles

24 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2018

Date Written: August 23, 2017


This study analyses the issue of democracy in Ukraine and major factors which determine the prospects for democracy in the one of the largest European countries. The research question is as to how Ukraine fares in terms of common democracy criteria. The related question is as to which factors or obstacles affect democracy in Ukraine, specifically after the “Euromaidan.” The major measures of democracy, such as the Polity and Freedom House indexes, show that Ukraine did not turn into a democracy as a result of the “Euromaidan.” The Polity index and various evidence, specifically concerning the violent political transition during the “Euromaidan,” suggest a relative movement towards greater authoritarianism. Such development contrasts with relative democratization of Ukraine after it gained independence following a collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and after peaceful mass protests and an additional round elections during the “Orange Revolution” prevented an attempt to seize power with help of falsification of election results.

However, the changes in the state of democracy in independent Ukraine and the application to Ukraine of various factors, which previous studies identified as promoting or hindering democracy, indicate that consolidated liberal democracy or consolidated autocracy are unlikely to take root in Ukraine. Such factors include the economic development level, semi-democratic political values, historical legacies, political institutions, political leadership, civil society, and European Union integration. The effect of Ukrainian diaspora on democracy in Ukraine is a factor that requires further research.

Keywords: Ukraine, Democracy, Public Opinion, Comparative Politics

Suggested Citation

Katchanovski, Ivan, Democracy in Ukraine and Its Current Struggles (August 23, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Ivan Katchanovski (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa ( email )

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 1H7


Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics