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Informal Institutions in Hybrid Regimes: the Case of Ukraine


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Yuriy Matsiyevsky
Fulbright – Kennan Scholar,
March 8, 2012

Published in: News & Politics
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Informal Institutions in Hybrid Regimes: the Case of Ukraine

  1. 1. Informal Institutions in HybridRegimes: the Case of Ukraine Yuriy Matsiyevsky Fulbright – Kennan Scholar, March 8, 2012
  2. 2. Goals and objectives• First, to explain the impact of informal institutions (clientelism and informal deals) on the actors’ behaviour and, second, to account on how informal institutions interact with formal, and what keeps the informal institutions intact.• Objectives:• to reconstruct the cleintelistic networks under Kuchma, Yushechenko and Yanukovych and explain how the state was captured through the clientelistic networks, why Ukraine has fallen into an institutional trap, and to measure the stability of Ukraine’s regime in comparative context.
  3. 3. Theoretical foundation• Literature on hybrid regimes and clientelism;• Gerd Mayer’s structural approach to informal institutions (as based on ‘operational code of political culture’)• D.North, J. Wallis, B.Weingast’s approach to limited vs open access orders
  4. 4. Methodology and Basic Concept• Rational choice institutionalism (RCI)• System network Analysis (SNA)• Deductive approach – theoretical assumption precedes empirical test• Concepts: Hybrid regime (HR) –(competitive elections with pervasive clientelism)• Captured state (business have decisive influence on policy)• Institutional Trap (ineffective equilibrium that nobody wants to change )
  5. 5. Major thesis• Ukraine is a basic limited access order• The state capture began in the second half of the 90-ies.• Partial reform brings rents to elites and that is why they have never been finished• State capture through clientelism and informal deals (playing not by the rules, as was expected, but with the rules) have led to the institutional trap.• Ukraine’s regime has remained hybrid through the entire period of independence
  6. 6. Assumptions• State capture have been initiated from ‘above’ by building clientelistic networks• clientelism appeared to be more viable than formal procedures• Clientelism and informal deals have determined the path of the regime transformation - the strategies of elites from cartel pacts at the beginning of Ukraine’s independence to playing not by rules, as was expected, but with rules.• Regime is inherently unstable, but is able to reproduce itself through the changes within the dominant coalition
  7. 7. Measuring state capture• Ukraine has the third highest index of state capture (SC) for 2000, while having the highest index of SC through parliamentary legislation as well as the highest index of firms’ influence on the state among 21 transition countries.• 6 indices: the sale of Parliamentary votes on laws to private interests; the sale of Presidential decrees to private interests; Central Bank mishandling of funds; the sale of court decision in commercial cases; criminal cases; illicit contributions paid by private interests to political parties and election campaigns.• Indirect indices: corruption perception index (152 out of 183), economic freedom (163 out of 179) paying taxes index (181 out of 183) all as of 2011-2012• Since than the share of shadow economy has grown to 50+%,
  8. 8. Aspects of state capture• While in Russia it happened through the executive, in Ukraine it was through the Parliament.• Has taken place between 1998 and 2002 Parliamentary election.• Decrease of communist’s (from 121 seats in 1998 to 65 in 2002)and increase of oligarch’s representations in VR (For United Ukraine block-175 seats in 2002)• It is said that in the 6th and 7th Parliament (2006 and 2007 elections) there are more than 300 millionaires.
  9. 9. Model of Institutional Trap High uncertainty Blocked theWeak institutions Informal Devolution of Institutional possibility to “play deals constitutionalism trap by the rules” Shifting balance of resources
  10. 10. The traits of the informal pacts• While good pacts are based upon mutual acceptance of competition among elites, bad pacts are designed to avoid elite competition.• While good pacts provide institutional guarantees for participants that are enforced by formal institutions, bad pacts are based upon informal institutional arrangements or uncertain procedures• While "good pacts" are public contracts, "bad pacts", even if they become public, contain significant components of an informal nature, which rarely become known to the public. Therefore, these covenants I call informal pacts.• Finally, while "good pacts" promote the democratic political culture of elites that can be considered an added social value, "bad pacts" are reached exclusively for the survival of political players and bear no benefit to society.
  11. 11. Informal deals under Yushchenko• Dec.8, 2004 – Political agreement to change the Constitution, but violating the procedure. Resulted in unclear division of power, political rivalry and split within the “Orange team”• Sep. 22, 2005 – Memorandum of Understanding.• Aug. 3, 2006 – Universal of National Unity• May 7, 2007 – A deal between the Pres., Pr.Min., and the Speaker on pre-term elections• Tymoshenko-Yanukovych deal on new constitution (2008-2009)
  12. 12. Devolution of constitutionalism and its implications• The former discussion detailed the devolution of constitutionalism• Political expediency subverted procedural requirements• High uncertainty, caused by the disrespect for democratic decision-making procedures pushed all key players to resolve conflicts by negotiating informal pacts, which further intensified uncertainty and complicated the choice of "playing by the rules."
  13. 13. Institutional Trap in Ukraine’s politics• Devolution of constitutionalism brought Ukrainian elites to an "institutional trap" – they realized the malignancy of informal agreements but continued to use them in the hope of winning over the opponents.• Trying to beat one another in a game of two against one prevented the elites from initiating structural reforms in Ukraine and removed it further from democratic standards of policy making.
  14. 14. Sustaining the equilibrium: Patronal networks in Ukraine• Networks demonstrate how the state was controlled under different presidents;• How the regime was able to reproduce itself even after the people in power have changed.• The regime’s transformations went through several stages:• From semi-authoritarian regime under Kuchma to ‘defective democracy’ under Yushchenko to quasi-authoritarianism under Yanukovych.
  15. 15. P.Lazarenko’s government (1996-1997)
  16. 16. V.Pustovoytenko’s government (1997-1999)
  17. 17. V.Yanukovych’s government (2002-2005)
  18. 18. Yu.Tymoshenko’s first government 2005
  19. 19. Yu.Tymoshenko’s second government 2007-2010
  20. 20. M.Azarov’s government (2010- present)
  21. 21. Network Centralization Index L.Kuchma V.Yushchenko V.YanukovyhGovernment P. Lazarenko V.Pustovoytenko V.Yanukovych Yu.Tymoshenko Yu.Tymoshenko М.Azarov (1996 - 1997) (1997 - 1999) (2002 - 2004) (2005) (2007-2010)Centralization 38,28 44,97 22,38 68,31 58,83 76,47IndexIndex shows the extent to which the network could be controlled from one center. The value of the index liesin the interval form 0 to 100. If it goes beyond the 50, it means that network is highly centralized.
  22. 22. Is the regime stable?Will Yanukovych survive the next electoral cycle?• According to H.Linz, stability is a sum of legitimacy, efficacy, and effectiveness• Measuring stability:• Legitimacy is a public support• Efficacy reflects the public attitudes towards the current situation in the country• Effectiveness reflects the attitudes towards the policies being implemented• Vertical threats (effective opposition capable to mobilize public support)• Horizontal threats (disloyal allies)
  23. 23. Measuring the regime’s stability Indicators of stability in % for Value of RSIFebruary 2010 December 2011 02/2010 12/2011Legitimacy - 59,5 35,2Efficacy - 28,1 11,7Effectiveness - 45,4 30,8 0,72 0,70Vertical threats – the readinessto participate in protests) - 26,2 52Horizontal threats – loyalty of the 0,78 0,76milieu - 50 %
  24. 24. Stability of hybrid regimes Regime stability index for Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Georgia (2000-2011)0,81 0,80,790,78 RSI for Ukraine with0,77 Horisontal threats0,76 RSI for Russia with0,750,74 Horisontal threats0,73 RSI for Belarus with0,72 Horisontal threats0,71 0,7 RSI for Georgia with Horisontal threats 02 03 04 05 06 08 Ju 010 00 01 .02 1 Se 011 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 De 11 окт 01 2 20 c2 2 ne pt
  25. 25. RCI and WGI correlationsYears Ukraine Russia Belarus Georgia RSI WGI WGI r, RSI WGI WGI r, RSI WGI WGI r, RSI WGI WGI r, Estimate (0-1) R^2 Estimate (0-1) R^2 Estimate (0-1) R^2 Estimate (0-1) R^22002 0,479 0,76 -0,37 0,57 0,879 -0,24 0,272004 0,77 -0,65 0,63 0,23 0,77 -0,56 0,61 0,77 0,059 0,79 -0,146 0,53 0,0732005 0,78 -0,23 0,54 0,76 -0,7 0,64 0,796 -0,13 0,5252006 0,77 0,02 0,499 0,77 -1,77 0,85 0,795 -0,13 0,5252007 0,77 0,01 0,498 0,795 -0,32 0,562008 0,76 0,04 0,5 0,78 -0,9 0,68 0,78 -1,6 0,82 0,797 -0,34 0,5652009 0,76 -0,01 0,501 0,78 -0,97 0,7 0,79 -0,20 0,542010 0,78 -0,15 0,58 0,78 -0,94 0,69 0,77 -1,55 0,8 0,797 -0,17 0,537
  26. 26. Prospects for the future• Between 2012 and 2015 a dominant coalition will face a growing pressure both from within and outside the Ukraine.• It is then the low rates of legitimacy, effectiveness and efficacy may be intensified by the vertical and/ or horizontal threats, what, theoretically, should lead to power change, but not the fact that to the change of regime• Regime is not a people, but institutions. The change of people does not constitute the change of regime.
  27. 27. Conclusions• In the captured state a regime could be more or less authoritarian. In Ukraine it remained hybrid, though proportions between autocratic and democratic elements have changed over time.• Informal pacts have become an integral part of the "operational code"of political culture of the Ukrainian elites• Devolution of constitutionalism brought Ukrainian elites to "institutional trap" – they realised malignancy of informal agreements but continued to use them in the hope of winning over the opponents.• While Russia and Belarus have been caught into authoritarian trap, Ukraine has been in hybrid trap