This book is about the formation of political identity in Ukraine, about the ways in which elite groups organized during the late Soviet and early post-Soviet periods and how different sectors of the citizenry have responded to their efforts to mobilize support. It charts the development of political structure in a nascent state, tracing the social correlates of Ukrainian voting patterns between 1989 and 1998 — from the time of the liberalization of the Soviet electoral system through to independent Ukraine’s second parliamentary elections. The series of elections and referendums during this period held a mirror to the Ukrainian people, offering them a view of their collective political proclivities and contributing to the learning process through which popular opinion was transformed into public opinion. The successive ballots also provided elite actors with insights into the true shape of popular sentiment and taught them valuable lessons in strategy. After ten years of electoral liberalization we can begin to take stock of the long-term effects of holding competitive elections in Ukraine. How have they influenced democratization? How have they worked to structure society? It is these issues, among others, that this study will address.
KeywordsParty System Approval Vote Electoral Competition Electoral Politics Parliamentary Election
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