Apr 9, 2013

Sponsor: Forum

Ukraine: Democracy in Danger?

A panel discussion sponsored by the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy and the George Washington University’s Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

Left to Right: Serhiy Kudelia, Christopher Walker, Nadia Diuk, and Steven Pifer discussed troubling developments that threatened Ukrainian democracy.

Listen to an audio recording of the event. (1 hour, 22 minutes) 

featuring introductory remarks by

The Honorable Martin Frost
Chairman, National Endowment for Democracy

presentations by

Serhiy Kudelia
Baylor University

Steven Pifer
Brookings Institution

Nadia Diuk
National Endowment for Democracy

moderated by

Christopher Walker
International Forum for Democratic Studies

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
3:00–4:30 p.m.

About the event

Since its Orange Revolution in 2004, Ukraine has confronted difficult obstacles to developing durable democratic institutions. In the most recent period, the very institutions in Ukraine that had distinguished themselves in the non-Baltic post-Soviet context – news media, civil society, and elections – have come under increasing pressure by the authorities.

The troubling direction of Ukraine’s governance has implications for the country’s development of accountable and transparent institutions at home, as well as beyond its borders, including the nature of its fragile relationship with the European Union.

The experts on this panel examined the key issues facing Ukraine at a time when the country is moving in the direction of less democratic accountability. This event was held in conjunction with the release of the issue of Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization that is devoted to Ukraine.

About the speakers

Serhiy Kudelia is an assistant professor of political science at Baylor University, where his research interests include political regimes, revolutions, political institutions, and insurgency and counterinsurgency campaigns, with a geographical focus on the post-communist world. Prior to coming to Baylor, Kudelia held teaching and research positions at George Washington University, University of Toronto, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, University of Greifswald (Germany), and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine). He is also a member of the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS) – a global network of social scientists who conduct policy relevant research on the former Soviet Union.

His articles have appeared in Communist and Post-Communist Studies, the Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization as well as in several edited volumes. Kudelia’s co-authored book, The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2008.

Steven Pifer is director of the Brookings Arms Control Initiative and a senior fellow with the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and the Center on the United States and Europe in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. A former ambassador to Ukraine, Pifer’s career as a foreign service officer centered on Europe, the former Soviet Union, and arms control. At Brookings, he focuses on arms control, Russia, and Ukraine. He has offered commentary regarding these issues on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, BBC, National Public Radio, and Voice of America, and his articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

Nadia Diuk serves as vice president for programs for Europe and Eurasia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). For over twenty years prior to her appointment as vice president, she supervised NED programs in what was then known as Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Prior to her appointment at the NED she taught Soviet politics and Russian history at Oxford University; was a research associate at the Society for Central Asian Studies in the United Kingdom; and editor-in-chief of the London-based publication Soviet Nationality Survey. Her most recent book is The Next Generation in Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan: Youth, Politics, Identity, and Culture (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012), and her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Journal of Democracy, Orbis, The World and I, Azerbaijan International, and Russian Journal of Public Opinion.