Has it changed since the Yushchenko presidency? Whether it is a regime in transition, hybrid or the one that failed to democratize?
Л.Йохансен О. Норгаард
The term “Regime” here refers to the set of formal and informal institutions, determining horizontal and vertical limitations on the ways of exercising power, by power holders as they interact with one another and the rest of society.
Thus, instead of constructing a Russian style “managed democracy”, Yanukovych created hyper-centralized executive branch, without instrumental and social grounds. This is nothing more than inherently unstable quasi regime.
In such a system it is easy to get power, but it is hard to win public support. Ukraine has returned to the system of “patronal presidentialism” in terms of H.Hale, and very close to what S.Fish calls “superpresidency”
Legitimacy is a belief that existing government is least harmful of all possible. Efficacy is the ability to find solution to important problems Effectiveness is the ability to implement policies with desired ends
0- would mean complete stability 1- complete instability
Regime is unstable. The claim that stability was attained is false. Instability will increase as horizontal threats arise
Both of them are negative, and both will have negative implications to Ukraine. Theoretically, there could be alternative (positive) scenarios, in case the elections will be free a fair and government will act in the interests of the people, but this is less probable. Both scenarios were developed based on the logic of rational calculations of elites – maximum power for the maximum term.
The biggest challenge is the loss of legitimacy. Yanukovych has lost more than 50% of support during his 1,5 presidency (from 48% to less than 20% by march 2011) In order to win election the government will probably tries to “buy” people by rising up salaries and pensions, at it was done in 2004, before the presidential elections.
Both scenarios describe the collapse of the post communism in Ukraine. If my assumptions are correct Yanukovych has all chances to became the last president of post-communist Ukraine. Any way, the most dramatic events will played out in Ukraine between 2012 and 2015. Depending on the scenarios chosen it will be more clear weather Ukraine remain hybrid, regress to authoritarianism or get back to democratic track.
Quasi-Authoritarianismand Its Implications to Ukraine Yuriy Matsiyevsky Ostroh Academy National University 2011
Objective• To challenge the view that Ukraine’s regime has become authoritarian under Yanukovych
Primary questions• What type of regime is Ukraine?• Why did Yanukovych succeeded in concentrating power (more than had Kuchma?)• How long he could stay in power and• What implications his presidency would have for Ukraine?
Basic facts on Ukraine’s politics• December 8, 2004 – Verchovna Rada (VR) passed the law on constitutional changes. The procedure was violated. On Jan.1, 2006 Ukraine became parliamentary-presidential republic.• February 7, 2010 – Yanukovych elected president• March 3, 2010 – VR dismissed Tymoshenko• March 9, 2010 - VR allows to form coalition by single deputies, besides faction.• August 30, 2010 – VR, after changing the dates of local election, established it on October 30, 2010. The rules have been changed 3 months before the election on July 30, 2010• October 1, 2010 – Constitutional court cancelled the constitutional reform of 2004, and has returned the Constitution of 1996, allowing the president more power. (IPP has changed form 47.8 to 52.2 out of 60)• Executive branch dominates legislative and judicative branches that, many observers believe, opens the door to authoritarianism• 18 criminal cases against opposition leaders have been open since 2010• January 2011, Ukraine lost the status of free state in FH report
Major thesis• Regime is not a people, but institutions. Thus, the change of people does not necessarily leads to the change of regime.• Leadership style does not characterize the type of regime• Fully authoritarian regime is only possible when authoritarian leadership coincide with authoritarian “mentality”/attitudes of the masses. Exceptions are dictatorial regimes that are based on brutal force.
Comparing Ukraine’s regime to consolidated authoritarianismPresence/absenceYes Concentration and centralization of power in one political groupYes The absence of the rule of law and selective use of law (rule by law)Yes Weakening of the civil societyPartially Low massive, but hidden elitist political contestationPartially Manipulated electionPartially Non transparent decision making by unelected officialsPartially Constant attempts in limiting political rights and civil liberties and activity of oppositionNo Indefinite time in office of the ruler or the ruling partyNo The authority is self appointed or even elected but cannot be removed by the people in result of free and fair electionNo Political stability is secured by control and support of the military
Structural constrains• Absence of national unity• Fragmented elites (oligarchs)• Diverse ownership of the media• No instrumental base – professional bureaucracy and effective security service• No social base – only 15% of the citizen are ready to exchange their rights for provisional stability (62% support democracy, while 28% authoritarianism)• Weak legitimacy – 50% loss of support during the 1,5 year (from 48% to less than 20%)• International pressure- neither Russia nor EU and US would support the authoritarianism
Why did Yanukovych succeeded in concentrating power?• The causes are not that much in the people, but in institutions• Informal rules (clientelism, patronage, political expediency, besides corruption) overwhelmed formal, constitutional rules• Constitution has been constantly violated – the process I called “Involution of constitutionalism”• Ukraine is a captured state, where major players are not parties, but business groupings (clans)• Party of regions, like most of parliamentary parties, is a political machine comprised of several business groups.
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 public support• Efficacy reflects the public attitudes towards the current situation in the country• Effectiveness reflects the attitudes towards the policies being implemented
Political Stability IndexDeveloped on concentration index n PSI = 1 − ∑ p 2 i i −1
Strategies of survival• Two scenarios:• democracy in exchange for stability• Regression to dictatorship• Alternative scenarios:• Change of power in result of election,or in result of popular protest.
democracy in exchange for stability• This is a conservative scenario that aims to secure societal consent on remaining in power.• Necessary condition:• To win next (2012) parliamentary election• Positive effects of 21 reforms, proclaimed by the government• Tighten control over the courts and parliament, opposition, civil society• Contain dissent and mass protest• Risks:• The growth of instability as a result of low legitimacy, efficacy and effectiveness• Failure to contain dissent• Intervening variables (new sickle of economic crisis, collapse of national currency, external pressure)
Regression to dictatorship• This is a less probable scenario, because the risks and structural constrains are too high, but resources and external support are limited• The signs of choosing this scenario would be introducing martial law, abolishing elections, dissolution of opposition parties, manual steering of economy.• Risks:• Internal dissent• Popular protest• International isolation and the fate of Mubarak or Kaddafi
Implications• In case of developing events by the conservative scenario, Yanukovych will stay in power after 2015, and Ukraine will remain quasi- authoritarian state under the bigger control of Russia.• In case Yanukovych will choose to stay in power by all means, the radical (populist) opponents could try to mobilize people for the fight against a dictator.• This may bring unpredictable outcomes