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The Challenge of 'Stateness' in Post-Soviet Democratisation: Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

Olena Podolian

This research paper takes as its empirical starting point an apparent inconsistency within trajectories of development of stateness within post-Soviet states. Namely, by 2013, most of these states, with notable exceptions of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova, remain integral, stable, and, in most cases formally, democratic. This divergence is puzzling against the backdrop of the shared institutional design at the outset of regime change after the dissolution of the USSR. In the research paper, the theoretical and conceptual framework is presented to analyse and assess the varying ways in which the 'stateness' problem has been addressed within the post-Soviet European states, 1991-present day, in two representative cases: Estonia and Ukraine. It has been argued in the literature that democratisation research, in particular transitology, has been biased in favour of domestic factors neglecting international ones (Pridham 1999; Pravda 2001; Silander 2005). In this paper, an argument in favour of studying the impact of interaction of domestic and international factors on policy-making (Pravda 2001) is further developed. The focus of the paper is on the analysis of impact of external link - pan-European organisations and the Russian Federation - on the interaction of internal factors in citizenship, national minorities, and language policies.

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