NATO models, Ukrainian realities: The Politics of Reforming Civil-Military Relations

Sat9  Apr04:01pm(10 mins)
Where:
Umney Theatre
Presenter:

Authors

Sarah Whitmore

Discussion

The annexation of Crimea and the start of the war in Donbas in 2014 presaged a notable shift in Ukrainian popular preferences towards NATO membership accompanied by a now consistent official espousal of the goal of adopting NATO standards and principles not only as a step closer to membership, but as normatively desirable as a guide to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the armed forces. In turn, it is hoped that such reforms will address enduring problems of state weakness and state capture that have dogged not only the defence sector in Ukraine, and left it vulnerable to external attack. This paper will focus on the politics of establishing democratic civil-military relations in Ukraine according to NATO principles as a means to explore some of the more intractable problems of Ukrainian state building, including unclear lines of subordination and accountability, institutional parallelism, personalised presidentialism and parliamentary weakness.

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