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A liberationist constitution? Maidan’s revolutionary agenda and challenges for constitutional reform in Ukraine

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European View


The new wave of the ‘Euro Revolution’ in Ukraine has revealed yet another glaring gap in the country’s social and political order: a constitutional one. The violation of Ukrainian citizens’ basic constitutional rights and freedoms, against the backdrop of excessively wide and frequently abused presidential powers, called for the emergence of a constitutional agenda for the revolutionary movement. The re-transition to the parliamentary–presidential form of government, accomplished in mid-February 2014, represents only the first stage of the constitutional agenda set by ‘Maidan’. Further changes to the form of government are forthcoming, which will very likely see Ukraine become a parliamentary republic. The constitutional process has been suspended, however, due to various constraining factors, both internal (the upcoming presidential elections) and external (Russia’s aggression in Crimea). Given the inherent demand for a continued constitutional transition to a parliamentary republic, the process is likely to be accomplished by the end of 2014.

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  1. The article uses terminology coined and applied within Ukrainian political discourse as regards forms of government. Although labelled differently, it corresponds with the main forms of government as understood by scholars of comparative politics. Thus, ‘parliamentarianism’ and ‘presidentialism’ coincide with Ukrainian and international political science terminologies; however, the terms ‘semi-parliamentarianism’ or ‘parliamentary–presidential government’, commonly used in Ukraine, correspond with what is known internationally as a form of semi-presidentialism, namely ‘weak semi-presidentialism’. In Ukrainian, the terms ‘semi-presidentialism’ or ‘presidential–parliamentary government’ are used to conceptualise what is known in international political science as another form of semi-presidentialism, namely ‘strong semi-presidentialism’.


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Correspondence to Andriy Tyushka.

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Tyushka, A. A liberationist constitution? Maidan’s revolutionary agenda and challenges for constitutional reform in Ukraine. European View 13, 21–28 (2014).

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