Democracy comes through
a desovietization process
CorruptionCorruption is a central instrument foris a central instrument for
totalitarian governmenttotalitarian government
Central to totalitarianism is corruption. It is an
indispensable, socially accepted and strictly
regulated function of the totalitarian system
that is non-accountable and non-transparent,
secured with impunity and providing no room
for public / private dialogue.
Democracy – a means of public restrainsDemocracy – a means of public restrains
Alternatively, for centuries democracy has developed as a
means of public restraint that imposes boundaries on
government discretion and power.
The constraints are implemented by sophisticated
political, governmental and societal institutions: starting
with constitutions, legislation, to Green and White policy
papers, public service delivery surveys, public budget
hearings and the Ethic Codes of public servants.
All these components are targeted to ensure public
control over state power.
The New Phenomenon of ManufacturedThe New Phenomenon of Manufactured ,,
Transformation to DemocracyTransformation to Democracy
Ukraine is now undergoing a manufactured,
donor-guided transformation from
totalitarianism to democracy, as opposed to the
evolutionary democratization process as it
developed in the West.
ManagementManagement of Changeof Change: the Challenge of: the Challenge of
Democracy in Ukraine depends upon the quality of the
management of this accelerated societal change, as
◦ design and guidance of the reforms;
◦ assessment whether reforms produce thriving democratic
◦ creation of new skills for key actors in democracy, such as the
government, private business and civil society; and
◦ access to new informational and technical resources.
Donor ResponsibilityDonor Responsibility
Conceptual guidance and financial support for our
transformation has been undertaken by the international
This calls for intellectual responsibility on the donor's
side, including taking into consideration all factors in the
Assessing the level of technical readiness to digest and
implement the advised measures is only one obvious
Donors must also connect the declared goals of TA to
practical outputs in the context of the country's
Wrong Assumptions Negatively AffectWrong Assumptions Negatively Affect
The transformation strategy currently at work in Ukraine
is based on certain assumptions about what key
focuses, actors and processes were required. These
assumptions were applied in three sectors: government,
business and civil society. The effects of this strategy
have produced concrete, observable results, not all of
Concerning government reformsConcerning government reforms , the, the
donor communitydonor community must havemust have assumed thatassumed that
once the pressure of totalitarianism wasonce the pressure of totalitarianism was
the government would accept good advice
would make good decisions for liberalization,
privatization and financial stabilization; and
◦ acquire the new role of public policy maker,
◦ stop interfering in businesses,
◦ begin providing quality public services,
◦ manage public finance in an effective, transparent
The result?The result?
• Because the Soviet-style government machinery was left intact,
Ukrainian power structures is not develop the capacity or skills to
deal with the new, legitimate forces in society finding their public
• Untrained in the process of public policy, which provides legitimate
ways and means to balance the conflicting voices that are a
necessary part of democracy, the government is not effectively
formulating and implementing policy, or providing services it had
never previously provided.
• A new, professional class of democratic government bureaucracy
is not being created.
ConcerningConcerning 1990s1990s business reformsbusiness reforms, the, the
reform consultantsreform consultants , led by the ideas of, led by the ideas of
western intellectual socialism, assumed:western intellectual socialism, assumed:
Private ownership should be introduced by “fair
redistribution” socialist methods;
De-facto owners will gladly give up their property and
humbly disappear, not interfering with the privatization
process created by donors;
Newly redistributed Soviet enterprises will behave in
ways consistent with western protocols and immediately
know the rules, when led by the invisible hand of the
The result?The result?
Already existing lease holders and cooperatives,
deemed illegitimate by this socialist privatization
concept, were destroyed.
The population's trust in democratic reform was
seriously injured by this double standard.
Denied access to legitimate business some of these
people who could adapt, strengthened Ukraine’s
In addition, neither legitimate competition systems nor
investment infrastructures were ever developed.
Concerning civil society reformsConcerning civil society reforms , the, the
donor community assumed:donor community assumed:
Once the pressure of totalitarianism was removed it would be only
a matter of personal will to commence: public participation in
policy processes; citizens rights movements; public monitoring of
government and its management of public finance.
Our citizens democratic skills are developing haphazardly, without
Ukraine has only ad hoc, one-off projects similar to those
supporting civil society in developed democracies, where the
system is already in place.
Ukraine's Lame DemocracyUkraine's Lame Democracy
In Ukraine, only one part of the democracy cycle was
The political institutions ensuring the transfer of power –
a constitution providing for human rights, elections, and
political parties – are essentially in place.
The other vital part of democracy, that ensures public
control over the elected power between elections, has
not been established. The democratic institutions
ensuring daily public / private interaction are missing.
Ukraine's Lame DemocracyUkraine's Lame Democracy
The Government of Ukraine has not developed:
◦ basic skills of policy analysis that would account for
differing societal interests and their implementation
◦ skills of policy consultations and public policy dialogue
The Citizens of Ukraine have not developed:
◦ "know how" to monitor the government
◦ institutions to provide feedback through civic
Missing the ObviousMissing the Obvious
Unfortunately, the public policy process, a cornerstone of
democracy, is not a focus of technical assistance programs in fSU
yet, public policy is ubiquitous in western democracies:
◦ university departments with specializations in public policy
◦ governments with policy analysts and policy managers
◦ procedures, standards of policy consultations and policy communication
◦ guidelines, policy document templates, green books, white books
◦ citizen participation procedures and institutions
this system enables the government / citizen partnership that
builds healthy, effective states.
There is only one explanation forThere is only one explanation for
this lack: western public policythis lack: western public policy
process is taken for grantedprocess is taken for granted
because it has thoroughlybecause it has thoroughly
penetrated social life; it ispenetrated social life; it is
therefore overlooked as atherefore overlooked as a
necessary and transferable body ofnecessary and transferable body of
knowledge and skills.knowledge and skills.
An Example of Successful TransformationAn Example of Successful Transformation
What has been lacking in Ukrainian TA was
provided to central European countries entering
Candidate countries were required to adopt EU
institutional standards and develop necessary
The EU imposed technical expectations on candidate
governments, businesses and societies, providing a
binding framework for the transformation process;
TA effectiveness is directly tied to accession
As a post-totalitarain transition country,
Ukraine has shown the world that:
Democratic institutions do not spring fully formed, like
Athena, from out of post-totalitarian environments;
Public policy processes that facilitate the accountability
and transparency of elected power, through sustained
government / citizen dialogue, have yet to be set up in
Democracy is a skill built into institutions with specific
structures, procedures and standards, in both
government and non-government spheres.
Unfortunately, the development of these democratic
institutions has not become the target of TA
programs in Ukraine.
• It is fundamentally good news that democracy is not a
mystery but a skill that can be taught and learned;
• Central European countries have been successful at
mastering this craft of democracy;
• Their experience could be repeated by donors in our
country and by ourselves, then the work of democratic
transformation could go forward in Ukraine.
• NB! PRAGUE 2001