Assignment title: Call for policy paper ‘Ideological Backgrounds of Ukrainian Political Parties’ (tentative title)
Reporting language: English and Ukrainian
Expected duration: Two months
The Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD) is a democracy assistance organization that promotes the deepening of democracy through interparty dialogue and capacity strengthening of political parties. Based in Georgia and Ukraine, EECMD is affiliated with the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), the organisation which works with over 200 political parties in more than 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and South Caucasus. Together with the political parties and the local implementing partners, EECMD contributes to inclusive and stable political systems in these countries. Furthermore, EECMD assists political parties to become more responsive and policy-focused. Special attention is paid to empowering members of marginalized groups. To foster the democratic culture in a country, EECMD also provides political education programs that focus on democratic values, knowledge and skills.
About the project
EECMD invites Ukrainian think-tanks, academics, policy analysts and practitioners with an expertise in modern political party studies to contribute policy paper for the upcoming EECMD publication on ideological backgrounds of Ukrainian political parties. Based on the general scope of the paper, the pre-selected authors/organizations shall submit a draft paper proposal for further consultations with and final approval by EECMD. The authors of the published papers will be invited to speak at a presentation discussion organized in the framework of the project.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, ideology is a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic and political theory or policy. Despite the fact that in Ukraine there are over 300 registered parties, the political parties still find it difficult to develop stable ideological platforms. The situation of ideological vacuum reflects a lack of communication on political party programmes and a low interest of the society towards ideologies. To compensate this vacuum, political parties adopt other strategies: they form their ideological principles with regard to a context to win an election race or increase their approval ratings. The Ukrainian political parties are also often established as election projects around one leader, projects to get access to the power for one’s own interests.
The lack of clear ideological platforms among the Ukrainian political parties results in a gradual erosion of a traditional classification of the parties according to left-wing, centre or right-wing ideologies. In Ukraine, the political spectrum of the parties is mainly characterized as “pro-governmental” or “oppositional”, “Western” or “Pro-Russian”, or with other regional dimensions which does not project any social or economic ideology.
Political parties without clear ideologies and long-term programmes slow down process of modernization of political structures, and, thus, lower people’s trust to the government. Finally, many of them lack any long-term vision and commitments to bring changes to the country. To reverse the trend, the importance of political programming should be stressed. Moreover, the programmes of political parties ought to be better communicated to citizens in order to further foster democratic development. The problem needs to be addressed since political parties play a major role in shaping political culture of society and steering the country.
Objective of the paper
Taking into consideration the upcoming elections in Ukraine, it is necessary to analyze ideological platforms of the political parties and their political rhetoric. The efforts should be applied to gather and disseminate information on the ideologies of the political parties to the Ukrainian electorate and to enhance the capacities of political parties to develop and communicate distinct political ideologies and policy programs. The objective of this paper is to examine the political programmes of the parties, which are active participants in Ukraine’s political life, and identify their ideological components, dwell upon the reasons which resulted in ideological vacuum in Ukraine, explore the prospects for development of ideological platforms of the parties and to provide with recommendations to facilitate the process of developing ideological platforms. Additional attention shall be drawn to the work of the political parties with the electorate to communicate their ideologies.
Scope of the paper
The paper shall assess three perspectives which are relevant for the analysis of ideological convictions of the Ukrainian political parties: intra-party, international and societal.
From the intra-party perspective, the paper shall assess the ideological affiliations of the parties based on the studies of their political programmes, examine internal governance of a party as its ideology indicator, analyse intra-party dynamics which can either facilitate or hinder the development of political programmes. In addition, the paper shall evaluate the adherence of the parties to their own declared vision in everyday political work.
From the international perspective, the paper shall assess to what extent the political programmes of the parties are aligned with ideologies of their international political families (where applicable).
From the societal perspective, the paper shall explore interactions of the political parties with the electorate with a purpose of communicating their ideological platforms.
The paper shall proceed with:
- Identifying the political parties which are active participants in Ukraine’s political life
- Determining possible ideological affiliations of the Ukrainian parties by studying their political programmes
- Examining different structural components of the political programmes of the Ukrainian parties: national security and foreign policy, economic development and citizens’ welfare, freedom, human rights and constitutional order
- Identifying similarities and/or divergences in the political programmes and positions of the Ukrainian political parties with regard to international affiliations with different political groupings/families.
- Analysing the work of the political parties with the Ukrainian electorate on communication of their political manifestos; examining the applied communication strategies/tools
- Where applicable, elaborating interesting and relevant proposals with regards to communication and creating political programmes
- Finally, based on research and the discussions undertaken in the framework of the development of this paper, providing the analysis of the best available, realistic intervention strategies that democracy assistance organizations can adopt in support of development of political programmes by the Ukrainian political parties.
The policy paper proposal must include research methods (where applicable), an outline and the timetable of suggested activities in the course of its development, a tentative outline of the paper, a working bibliography and the timetable for producing a paper (deadline for the 1st draft and the approximate time required to complete the paper after comments from EECMD). Early drafts will be peer-reviewed and the authors requested to consider the comments and suggestions before submitting the final versions.
The applicants shall also provide a breakdown of fees/costs related to the development of this paper.
The final paper shall be provided in both Ukrainian and English languages and shall not exceed the length of 6,500 words in English with the inclusion of references.
A policy paper proposal of maximum 500 words and the author’s CV/organization’s profile must be submitted by 26 March, 2018 in English. Please, e-mail both documents to Kyrylo Tretiak at firstname.lastname@example.org. The submissions will be reviewed by EECMD and successful applicants will be notified.
The organization/authors of the approved proposals will be offered a fixed honorarium/fee as well as the coverage of related institutional and organizational costs.