The EU's two-track approach to democracy promotion: the case of Ukraine

Casier, Tom (2011) The EU's two-track approach to democracy promotion: the case of Ukraine. Democratization, 18 (4). pp. 956-977. ISSN 1351-0347. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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This article argues that the EU promotes two forms of democracy in its policy towards Ukraine: formal democracy (institutions and procedures at polity level guaranteeing a free and fair electoral process) and substantive democracy (principles and mechanisms that allow for an ongoing societal control over policy processes). While the first form of democracy is mainly promoted through intergovernmental channels, the latter is promoted both at a transgovernmental and more weakly at an intergovernmental level. The question raised is why more progress has been made in formal democratic reforms in Ukraine (between 2006 and 2009), than in the field of substantive democracy. Two explanations are put forward: the higher visibility of formal democratic reforms in the framework of Ukraine’s legitimacy seeking with the EU and the strategic behaviour of domestic actors. It is argued that institutional democratic reforms are regarded as the litmus test for Ukraine’s feasibility for future EU membership and act to a degree as a sort of ‘self-imposed’ conditionality. This, however, is counterbalanced by strategic behaviour of domestic actors, resisting deeper democratic change to compensate for the power they lose as a result of a more democratic electoral process. The EU’s one-sided emphasis on the promotion of formal democracy over substantive democracy facilitates this.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Tom Casier
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2011 15:53
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2011 11:17
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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