Who Were the Protestors and What Did They Want?: Contentious Politics of Local Maidans across Ukraine, 2013–2014
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 23, Number 4, Fall 2015
- pp. 379-400
- Additional Information
Whereas most studies of the events that took place in Ukraine from October 2013 to February 2014 have focused on the Kyiv Maidan, I analyzed the local maidans in 57 cities and towns across Ukraine and the claims they made addressing local, national and international governments. I use a contentious politics perspective in asking three main questions: (1) How do the claimants identify themselves and their actions? (2) How do they justify their actions? and (3) What do the claimants want? Protesters’ primary identity emphasized their right to direct democracy, including influence over national and local policies. National-level factors played a key role: Human rights violations, deepening political crisis, total corruption and other institutional failures were, to the protestors, the key triggers of contention. The overall tone of local claimant’s demands suggests they were concerned about stopping the incessant political crises that have characterized Ukraine at the local and national levels.