The dynamics of democratization in post-communist countries: the cases of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan
Ovsiienko, Ievgeniia (2011) The dynamics of democratization in post-communist countries: the cases of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. [Thesis]
This study aims to contribute to the literature on democratization and economic liberalization in hybrid regimes, i.e. systems where democratic contestation is flawed. More specifically, it aims to see whether and how political liberalization can lead to economic liberalization in hybrid regimes. To address this question, a game-theoretic model is developed which identifies the actors and parameters that are crucial to the success of economic liberalization, demonstrates different scenarios of the interaction between these actors, specifies possible outcomes and conditions under which they are possible. The results suggest factors that facilitate economic liberalization after political liberalization, most importantly the consensus among different political parties about the need for market reforms and the presence of a parliamentary majority. Importantly, the possibility of repression can increase the likelihood of economic liberalization. Thus, in hybrid regimes economic liberalization may require curbing political liberalization. The model is illustrated by the cases of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, three post-communist hybrid regimes where political space was liberalized as a result of mass protests which, despite the attempts of incumbents to prolong their rule through electoral fraud, brought highly popular candidates to power.
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