Explaining Variation in the Effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Activism in Ukraine’s Regions: The Role of Local Context, Political Will, Institutional Factors, and Structural Factors
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 28, Number 2, Spring 2020
- pp. 201-227
- Additional Information
The 2013–2014 Revolution has spurred a boom in civic anti-corruption initiatives across Ukraine. There is as yet little understanding of how effective these initiatives are and what explains variation in their effectiveness. Through a comprehensive study of anti-corruption activism in the regions of Ukraine, this paper analyzes contextual factors that shape local anti-corruption initiatives. We conducted 242 semi-structured interviews with representatives of anti-corruption civic initiatives in 57 cities and towns, representing all the regions of Ukraine that are under the control of the Ukrainian government. We find that political will is an important factor supporting the effectiveness of anti-corruption activism, as it creates more opportunities for impact. However, we identify a substantial number of cases of anti-corruption initiatives that were effective even though local authorities had low political will to counteract corruption.