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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Deliberative capacity in post-Soviet transition : effects of colour revolutions, institutional design and international discourses on inter-cultural relations in Ukraine and Georgia Salnykova, Anastasiya


This dissertation explores the issue of deliberative capacity in the context of inter-cultural relations in the democratizing post-Soviet states of Ukraine and Georgia. Specifically, it enquires about (1) the effect of deliberative capacity on inter-cultural relations, (2) the factors that affect deliberative capacity itself, and (3) the extent to which implementing deliberative democratic models is feasible in the context of post-Soviet Ukraine. It is argued that both ethnic studies and democratic transition studies significantly benefit from the application of the deliberative democracy approach. Based on the application of this approach, this work suggests three further arguments. First, deliberative capacity is the underlying feature of a multitude of ethnic mobilization theories. It suggests that instead of treating the different factors of ethnic conflict as competing, they can be looked at as each illuminating a different form or aspect of the deliberative capacity in a specific case. This dissertation suggests that such an overarching explanation simultaneously provides a more comprehensive and parsimonious story of ethnic radicalization while, usually, nuanced complexity and parsimony are at odds in theory building. Second, this study argues that a variety of factors that influence deliberative capacity affect its various components in different ways. It follows that factors of deliberative capacity are not necessarily entirely positive or negative. Instead, certain factors may create mixed effects on deliberative capacity by facilitating some of its features while jeopardizing the others. This is illustrated with the examples of such factors as colour revolutions, institutional design and the international national minority regime. Third, this dissertation draws attention to the existence of different kinds of deliberative systems that create very different contexts for politics and policies. This dissertation also explored the difficulties of applying the deliberative model in Ukraine and found that it is as difficult as it is necessary. These difficulties are nevertheless counterbalanced by a number of opportunities, and several deliberation precedents. Finally, the work formulates practical recommendations for national ethnic policy-makers, institutional designers, deliberation experiments developers, and international actors, that are expected to increase the level of deliberative capacity and thereby the level of inter-cultural peace.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada