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Soviet legacies of economic development, oligarchic rule and electoral quality in Eastern Europe’s partial democracies: the case of Ukraine

Lankina, Tomila V. and Libman, Alexander (2019) Soviet legacies of economic development, oligarchic rule and electoral quality in Eastern Europe’s partial democracies: the case of Ukraine. Comparative Politics, 52 (1). pp. 127-176. ISSN 0010-4159

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Identification Number: 10.5129/001041519X15624348215945

Abstract

Can economic development retard democracy, defying expectations of classic modernization theorizing? If so, under what conditions? Our paper addresses the puzzle of poor democratic performance in highly urbanized and industrialized post-communist states. We assembled an original dataset with data from Ukraine’s local and national elections and constructed district- (rayon) and region- (oblast) level indices of electoral quality. Regions and districts that score higher on developmental indices also score lower on electoral quality, including in Ukraine’s Western regions conventionally considered more democratic than the predominantly Russian-speaking Eastern regions. We explain these outcomes with reference to the peculiarities of Soviet industrial development, which facilitated the emergence of “oligarchs” in territories housing Soviet-era mega-industries. Our research contributes to comparative debates about the links between economic development and democracy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://jcp.gc.cuny.edu/
Additional Information: © 2018 The Graduate Center, CUNY
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 11:28
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2020 23:01
Funders: The British Academy, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Academic Excellence Project '5-100'
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/88775

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