The Moulding of Ukraine

The Constitutional Politics of State Formation
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Publication date: 
340 pages

With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a number of new states were created that had little or no claim to any previous existence. Ukraine is one of the countries that faced not only political, social and economic transformation, but also state formation and the redefinition of national identity. This book uses Ukraine as a case study in trying to trace the key moments of decision making in the course of creating a new state while shedding the legacies of "Soviet-type" statehood.

The Moulding of Ukraine offers a systematic examination of competing ideological visions of statehood and discusses them against the backdrop of historical traditions in Ukraine. This well-documented and lucidly written book is the only coherent account available in English of the process of constitutional reform, offering an insight into post-Soviet Ukrainian politics. A useful addition to university course reading lists in Ukrainian studies, post-Soviet studies, post-communist democratization, comparative constitutionalism, state-building and institutional design.


I. Constitutions and statehood: A conceptual framework

II. The tradition of statehood in Ukraine

III. Independence without a vision, constitution making 1990-91

IV. Simulated reforms: Ukraine under Kravchuk's presidency

V. How to organize the State: constitutional debates after the 1994 elections

VI. The passage of the constitution: process, actors and strategies

VII. Ukraine as a nation-state: the conceptions of statehood in the 1996 constitutions

VIII. Ukraine under the new constitution: the anatomy of crisis 

"By focusing on the statebuilding dimensions, this work helps to explain various aspects of the Ukrainian constitutional process that otherwise might be difficult to understand. The wealth of primary data, the use of Ukrainian language sources and the careful piecing together of the story combine to make this the most thorougly researched study of post-independence Ukrainian politics. It will undoubtedly become a standard reference source for other authors."
"Wolczuk makes two highly convincing points on the national question and on state building that should be reflected in literature on the postcommunist transition. First, the national question was the most important obstacle in adopting the constitution. Second, the process of adopting the constitution in a new state such as Ukraine was very different from the process in established postcommunist and western states. Constitutionalism was a central element of state building in post-Soviet Ukraine."