Considers the relationship between weak civil society and the failure of the democratic and market transition in Ukraine


Unbroken Ties examines the relationship between the state and economic interest groups representing labor, capital, and agriculture in Ukraine. The author argues that the absence of "civil society" helps to explain why, in Ukraine, the much-anticipated transition to democracy and the market has not yet been achieved.
Since the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, there has been a spate of books--optimistic at first--highlighting the transitions to democracy in these countries and the leading role of "civil society" in pushing forward political and economic reform. This study explains why this transition did not take place as anticipated. In essence, organized labor in Ukraine is weak and has been co-opted by the state; in the meantime, leading groups of industrialists and agricultural collectives have strong political influence and shape policies in accordance with their interests. This is very similar to the situation in Russia.
In contrast to works that implicitly assume a pluralist model of development for state-society relations, Unbroken Ties employs corporatism as the basic organizing structure for the study of state-interest group relations in post-Soviet Ukraine. Finding that much of the Soviet "residue" still functions in Ukraine, it argues that a form of state corporatism, which envisions a major role for the state in structuring and controlling interest associations, captures much of the post-Soviet Ukrainian reality. Old groups persist and prosper due to a variety of ties with state elites, whereas new and independent groups find themselves marginalized.
This book will appeal to political scientists, economists, and sociologists studying the transformation of post-communist societies, as well as those interested in the broader, more comparative aspects of democratization and economic reform.
Paul Kubicek is Kenneth Boulding Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Paul Kubicek is Kenneth Boulding Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Colorado, Boulder.