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September 25, 2006



Good Luck in your Blogging and Travels!

It will be interesting to see how the Russophiles behave as "economic" incentives from the Kremlin are certain to disappear.

Oil has dropped 20% in the past few weeks and this means a drop of 60% in profits for Russia's cash cow.

Maynard Handley

"democracy won"

Why do you find it necessary to repeat GWB's talking points? Political scientists will tell you that, while democracy is a slippery concept with different meanings to different people, the single most useless meaning is "one round of elections in the very recent past".
Of course this is the preferred meaning for a twit like any modern Republican, but can't academics and academic hanger's-on be a little more careful with their language?


Democracy didn't win; one group of gangsters won against another, as usual.

John Quiggin

As you say, Maria, civil war avoided isn't that newsworthy. Maybe over-optimistically, I see the emergence of 'co-habitation' as a step towards politics as normal (in deference to maynard h, I'll avoid the term "democracy").


Maynard, I think it's pretty clear ("In TV land") that I'm paraphrasing when I say 'democracy won'. Readers of academic hangers on should exercise a little care and attention too...

First time I've been accused of repeating GWB talking points!

Nick L

Actually, for better or worse, I think 'competitively fought elections' is pretty much the definition of democracy political scientists use (google for 'interview Przeworski', the link is too long). This is often critiscised as being a definition of plurarchy, not democracy (which neccessarily involves public participation etc etc). In fact the domination of the notion of plurarchy over democracy is held to reflect the withered state of democracy in the US, where two sets of elites slug it out for the spoils.


Great to read a good article about the Ukraine. I think you miss one media outlet that does report from there- the Economist. I think one of the good things about the Ukraine is as other commentators have said that in a way this period of cohabitation has happened- that the differences between East and West are being worked out over the cabinet table whether democratic or not.


I was in Ukraine in late 2004 as an election observer. It was pretty inspiring to be in the Maidan, about 20 feet from Yuschenko up on stage delivering his victory speech in front of 1/4 million people, and the positive vibe in Kiev was electric. But one of my team members presciently pointed out: "what if this guy shits the bed too?". Well, it looks like he has.

PS. As far as democracy goes, the millions spent by the CIA during that election got their chosen man elected.

Daragh McDowell

Hey Maria, I know this is slightly off topic, but had no idea you were heading to Kiev. I'm just a couple of miles up the road (in Russian/FSU terms) in Voronezh, in the black earth region of Russia. Should have sent me an e-mail before hand! I could have eagerly informed you of the delights of Salo, Ukrainian bread, and eating absolutely everything with Smetano. Hope its a good trip, and drop me a line when you get home. There's plenty of Ukrainian's on my course who do nothing but natter on about Orange Politics, and I'd like to have an idea what they're talking about someday...


Hi Daragh,

sorry! should have known you'd be interested. Keep reading here over the next week or two, and we should have plenty of pieces up to give an imperfect but very up to date snapshot of Ukraine.


Amjad torrent

Awesome, this is the reason i visit your site almost daily. Your info are always up to date and interesting. Thanks again.

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