The Regional Level of Ukraine’s Party System in 2005–2012
Keywords:Ukraine, regions, party system, party politics, congruence
AbstractThis article describes the results of a regional-level study of Ukrainian political parties’ interactions. The study sought to identify the congruence or incongruence of the party affiliation
of the regional executives and the heads of regional assemblies across Ukraine when Ukraine’s democratic performance rose and fell. The study found that when democratic performance rose, so did regional-level, party-affiliation incongruence, with the greatest ideological incongruence occurring in regions with special institutional arrangements, such as Kyiv and Sevastopol. When
Ukraine’s democratic performance fell, the number of ideologically congruent regions rose. These shifts occurred because a decline in democratic performance leaves little institutional room for statewide opposition, and the main competitors of the ruling party in regional bodies of power are non-statewide parties and blocs. Thus, this article argues that political cleavages in a regionally diverse post-communist state do not automatically mirror the statewide party competition.
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