Policy Memos

Electoral Laws and Patronage Politics in Ukraine

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Ukraine’s current political system can be considered a classic case of patronage politics. The persistence of patronage politics in Ukraine can be attributed not only to structural, historical, and cultural factors, but also to particular decisions regarding constitutional design, electoral rules in particular. In particular, the 2010 rollback of Ukraine’ s 2004 constitutional reforms have strengthened President Viktor Yanukovych’s ability to wield both formal and informal tools of governance, including by broadening the patron-client foundations of his regime. At the same time, however, this process also has appeared to lead to a weakening of the ruling party itself while spurring consolidation of the opposition. Ironically, Ukraine’s new bout of patronage politics may in the end promote rather than hinder the country’s ongoing political transformation. [...]

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About the author

Head of the Department, Professor, Political Science
Kharkiv National University