Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Baltic Journal of Law & Politics

A Journal of Vytautas Magnus University

2 Issues per year


CiteScore 2016: 0.13

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.102
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.276

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2029-0454
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Towards Presidential Rule in Ukraine: Hybrid Regime Dynamics Under Semi-Presidentialism

Thomas Sedelius / Sten Berglund
Published Online: 2012-06-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10076-012-0002-2

Towards Presidential Rule in Ukraine: Hybrid Regime Dynamics Under Semi-Presidentialism

This article sets out to analyse recent regime developments in Ukraine in relation to semi-presidentialism. The article asks: to what extent and in what ways theoretical arguments against semi-presidentialism (premier-presidential and president-parliamentary systems) are relevant for understanding the changing directions of the Ukrainian regime since the 1990s? The article also reviews the by now overwhelming evidence suggesting that President Yanukovych is turning Ukraine into a more authoritarian hybrid regime and raises the question to what extent the president-parliamentary system might serve this end.

The article argues that both kinds of semi-presidentialism have, in different ways, exacerbated rather than mitigated institutional conflict and political stalemate. The return to the president-parliamentary system in 2010 - the constitutional arrangement with the most dismal record of democratisation - was a step in the wrong direction. The premier-presidential regime was by no means ideal, but it had at least two advantages. It weakened the presidential dominance and it explicitly anchored the survival of the government in parliament. The return to the 1996 constitution ties in well with the notion that President Viktor Yanukovych has embarked on an outright authoritarian path.

Keywords: Ukraine; constitution; semi-presidentialism; premier-presidentialism; president-parliamentarism; hybrid regime

  • Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine. Adopted December 8, 2004, CDL 2005: 036. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 2005.Google Scholar

  • Berglund, Sten, Kjetil Duvold, Joakim Ekman, and Carsten Schymik. Where Does Europe End; Borders, Limits and Directions of the EU. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2009.Google Scholar

  • Birch, Sara. "Semi-Presidentialism in Ukraine": 219-238. In: Robert Elgie & Sophia Moestrup, eds. Semi-Presidentialism in Central and Eastern Europe. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008.Google Scholar

  • Cavatorta, Fransesco, and Robert Elgie. "The Impact of Semi-Presidentialism on Governance in the Palestinian Authority." Parliamentary Affairs Vol. 16, No. 1 (2010): 22-40.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Ciziunas, Pranas. "Russia and the Baltic States: Is Russian Imperialism Dead?" Comparative Strategy Vol. 27 (2008): 287-307.Google Scholar

  • Constitution of Georgia. Adopted on August 24, 1995, and Last Amended on December 27, 2006 // www.parliament.ge

  • Copsey, Nathaniel, and Natalia Shapovalova. "The Ukrainian Presidential Election of 2010." Representation Vol. 46, No. 2 (2010): 211-225.Google Scholar

  • D'Anieri, Paul. "Structural Constraints in Ukrainian Politics." East European Politics & Societies Vol. 25, No. 28 (2011): 28-46.Google Scholar

  • Diamond, Larry. "Elections without Democracy: Thinking about Hybrid Regimes." Journal of Democracy Vol. 13, No. 2 (2002): 21-35.Google Scholar

  • Duverger, Maurice. "A New Political System Model: Semi-presidential Government." European Journal of Political Research Vol. 8 (1980): 165-187.Google Scholar

  • Ekman, Joakim. "Political Participation and Regime Stability: A Framework of Analyzing Hybrid Regimes." International Political Science Review Vol. 30, No. 1 (2009): 7-31.Google Scholar

  • Elgie, Robert, and Sophia Moestrup, eds. Semi-Presidentialism in Central and Eastern Europe. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008.Google Scholar

  • Elgie, Robert, and Sophia Moestrup, eds. Semi-Presidentialism Outside Europe. London: Routledge Press, 2007.Google Scholar

  • Elgie, Robert. "Duverger, Semi-Presidentialism and the Supposed French Archetype." West European Politics Vol. 32, No. 2 (2009): 248-267.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Elgie, Robert. Semi-Presidentialism: Sub-Types and Democratic Performance. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.Google Scholar

  • Elgie, Robert, Sophia Moestrup, and Yu-Shan Wu, eds. Semi-Presidentialism and Democracy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.Google Scholar

  • Elgie, Robert. "The Classification of Democratic Regime Types: Conceptual Ambiguity and Contestable Assumptions." European Journal of Political Research Vol. 33, No. 2 (1998): 219-238.Google Scholar

  • Freedom House. Freedom in the World 2012 // www.freedomhouse.org

  • Hale, Henry. "The Uses of Divided Power." Journal of Democracy Vol. 21, No. 3 (2010): 84-98.Google Scholar

  • Huntington, Samuel P. The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.Google Scholar

  • Kalnysh, Valery. "Yulia Tymoshenko: Guilty or Persecuted?" EaPCommunity (2011) // www.easternpartnership.org

  • Karatnycky, Adrian. "Ukraine's Orange Revolution." Foreign Affairs Vol. 84, No. 2 (2005): 35-52.Google Scholar

  • Kitschelt, Herbert, Zdenka Mansfeldova, Radoslaw Markowski, and Gabor Toka. Post-Communist Party Systems: Competition, Representation and Inter-Party Cooperation. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.Google Scholar

  • Lange, Nico. "Local Elections in Ukraine: Yanukovych's Consolidation of Power." Country Report, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (2010) // www.kas.de/ukraine (accessed May 17, 2011). www.kas.de/ukraine

  • Lentine, Gina S. "Kyiv's Whodunnit: Leonid Kuchma's ‘Long-Delayed’ Murder Trial." Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington D.C. (2011) // www.csis.org (accessed June 2, 2011). www.csis.org

  • Levitsky, Steven, and Lucan A. Way. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes after the Cold War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.Google Scholar

  • Levitsky, Steven, and Lucan A Way. "The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism." Journal of Democracy Vol. 13, No. 2 (2002): 51-65.Google Scholar

  • Linz, Juan J. "The Perils of Presidentialism." Journal of Democracy Vol. 1 (1990): 51-69.Google Scholar

  • Linz, Juan J. "Presidential or Parliamentary Democracy: Does it Make a Difference": 3-87. In: Juan J. Linz and Arturo Valenzuela, eds. The Failure of Presidential Democracy: Comparative Perspectives. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.Google Scholar

  • Matsuzato, Kimitaka. "Disintegrated Semi-Presidentialism and Parliamentary Oligarchy in Post-Orange Ukraine": 192-209. In: Robert Elgie, Sophia Moestrup and Yu-Shan Wu, eds. Semi-Presidentialism and Democracy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.Google Scholar

  • O'Brien, Thomas. "Problems of Political Transition in Ukraine: Leadership Failure and Democratic Consolidation." Contemporary Politics Vol. 16, No. 4 (2010): 355-367.Google Scholar

  • Olearchyk, Roman. "Kuchma No longer Suspect in Murder Trial." Financial Times (May 27, 2011).Google Scholar

  • Parsons, Robert. "Ukraine: Yushchenko Accuses Former Prime Minister of Misuse of Power." RFE/RL Report (September 14, 2005) // www.rferl.org (accessed September 15, 2005). www.rferl.org

  • Protsyk, Oleh. "Semi-Presidentialism under Post-Communism": 98-116. In: Robert Elgie, Sophia Moestrup, and Yu-Shan Wu, eds. Semi-Presidentialism and Democracy. New York: Palgrave, 2011.Google Scholar

  • Protsyk, Oleh. "Politics of Intra-Executive Conflict in Semi-Presidential Regimes in Eastern Europe." East European Politics and Society Vol. 18, No. 2 (2005): 1-20.Google Scholar

  • Roper, Steven D. "Are All Semipresidential Regimes the Same: A Comparison of Premier-Presidential Regimes." Comparative Politics Vol. 34, No. 3 (2002): 253-272.Google Scholar

  • Samuels, David J., and Matthew S. Shugart. Presidents, Parties, and Prime Ministers: How Separation of Powers Affects Party Organization and Behavior. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.Google Scholar

  • Sedelius, Thomas. "Demokrati eller presidentdiktatur: Konstitutionella vägval i postkommunistiska länder." Nordisk Østforum Vol. 22, No. 8 (2008): 142-161.Google Scholar

  • Sedelius, Thomas, and Olga Mashtaler. "A Troubled Tandem? Character and Issues of Intra-Executive Conflict under Semi-Presidentialism." Paper presented at the International Political Science Association's (IPSA) World Congress in Madrid (July 8-12, 2012).Google Scholar

  • Sedelius, Thomas, and Joakim Ekman. "Intra-executive Conflict and Cabinet Instability: Effects of Semi-Presidentialism in Central and Eastern Europe." Government and Opposition Vol. 45, No. 4 (2010): 505-30.Google Scholar

  • Sedelius, Thomas. The Tug-of-War between Presidents and Prime Ministers: Semi-Presidentialism in Central and Eastern Europe. Örebro: Örebro Studies in Political Science, 2006.Google Scholar

  • Siaroff, Alan. "Comparative Presidencies: The Inadequacy of the Presidential, Semi-Presidential and Parliamentary Distinction." European Journal of Political Research Vol. 42, No. 3 (2003): 287-313.Google Scholar

  • Shugart, Matthew S. "Semi-presidential Systems: Dual Executive and Mixed Authority Patterns." French Politics Vol. 3, No. 3 (2005): 323-51.Google Scholar

  • Shugart, Matthew S., and John M. Carey. Presidents and Assemblies: Constitutional Design and Electoral Dynamics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.Google Scholar

  • Way, Lucan A. "Authoritarian State Building and the Sources of Regime Competitiveness in the Fourth Wave: The Case of Belarus, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine." World Politics Vol. 57 (2005): 231-61.Google Scholar

  • Wise, Charles R., and Volodomyr Pigenko. "The Separation of Powers Puzzle in Ukraine": 25-55. In: Taras Kuzio et al., eds. State and Institution Building in Ukraine. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.Google Scholar

  • Wolczuk, Kataryna. "Ukraine: Tormented Constitution-Making": 243-268. In: Jan Zielonka, ed. Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe: Volume 1. Institutional Engineering. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001Google Scholar

  • Wolczuk, Kataryna. The Moulding of Ukraine: The Constitutional Politics of State Formation. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2001.Google Scholar

  • Zaiotti, Ruben. "Of Friends and Fences: Europe's Neighbourhood Policy and the ‘Gated Community Syndrome’." European Integration Vol. 29, No. 2 (2007): 143-162.Google Scholar

About the article


Published Online: 2012-06-26

Published in Print: 2012-01-01


Citation Information: Baltic Journal of Law & Politics, ISSN (Online) 2029-0454, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10076-012-0002-2.

Export Citation

This content is open access.

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Thomas Sedelius and Olga Mashtaler
East European Politics, 2013, Volume 29, Number 2, Page 109

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in