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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.44

How the Social Movement Actors Assess Social Change: An Exploration of the Dynamics and Consequences of Ukraine’s Local Maidan Protests

Speakers

  • Olha ZELINSKA

Primary authors

  • Olha ZELINSKA (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences)

Description

Social movements aim at social change, and scholars of sociology, political science and anthropology have long considered the question of how to assess their outcomes. In this paper, I contribute to arguments that, to better assess the potential change created by social movements, we need qualitative studies of the social movement actors who attempted to change their society. I explore the outcomes of the Maidan social movement in Ukraine, 2013-2014, and it’s relatively understudied regional aspect - the dozens of local Maidans in Ukraine’s cities, towns and villages, that issued own demands to local and national authorities. I present the results of a pilot study which covered 24 face-to-face interviews with 33 Maidan activists, representatives of local authorities and observers in four Ukrainian communities, held during September-November 2018. I compare four case study communities on local Maidan’s dynamics and impact. I found that the key outcomes of local Maidans concerned changes in the local political elites, and the broader consequences included a move towards greater transparency and accountability in policy-making, which highlights the entanglement of local and national in Ukrainian politics. My research also suggests how local-level political opportunity structures (POS) and social movements organizations (SMO) conditioned protest dynamics and outcomes: acting within their specific political and resource environments, local Maidan organizations served as platforms that got people together, nurtured identities (“We, the Maidaners” vs “Them”), developed social bonds and promoted further engagement into volunteer movement or entrance into politics.