Ukraine after tomorrow. Research results

Research Results

The project consisted of:
- A survey taken directly on the Maidan in Kyiv: personal interviews, n=1350, data collected from February 4 to 10, 2014;
- Online survey of social network users: survey through, n=3194, data collected from February 4 to 10, 2014

Questions were divided into two parts: the first concerned the level of agreement with statements that interpret 12 European values ​​(taken from the European Constitution) and some aspects of paternalism; the second part measured the readiness to act according to European values ​​and the willingness to move away from paternalism.

Research Results 

The Maidan was seen as a sociocultural environment, where participants are in direct interaction and probably represent the most active protesting part of the Ukrainian society from different regions. Survey participants were generally viewed as indicative of the society, passionarians ready to change society. Given these assumptions, the study aimed to measure their level of paternalism and the level of agreement with European values ​​and readiness to act accordingly.

In both cases, the survey is based on non-probability samples and therefore are not representative, so the results should be treated only as a trend. However, the researchers tried to interview various categories (age, sex, region of residence) of Maidan participants (see details at the end of the document), and held interviews at different times of day, weekdays, and on weekends. The organizers shared a link to the study on the social networks Facebook and Vkontakte.

Summary of findings:

  • - Respondents generally agree with most European principles; however, with those relating to “Rule of Law / Justice,” respondents agreed the least and were least willing to adhere to them.
  • -In general, the level of declarative approval of European principles is higher compared to their willingness to comply with them through their own actions.
  • -Respondents show a tendency toward paternalism. A higher level of paternalism is seen in matters concerning the public welfare of citizens (care by the state), and lower in matters relating to preparedness for unpopular reforms and supporting one strong leader

Indicators of paternalism

Paternalism is a component of post-Soviet culture, which can be a barrier to the expansion of personal responsibility, and thus impede one from gaining the European understanding of the role of the citizen. Paternalism “holds” people in the Soviet logic, which is easier to understand and seems safer.

Willingness to form the agenda of the country, not just expect it from politicians, willingness to take responsibility not only for ones actions but also for society as a whole is an inherent part and the first step in the development of a citizen’s subjectivity. However, this willingness will not be enough without developing the capacity to act, and this is a question of education, critical thinking, the ability to formulate and argue one’s position. Otherwise society may sway from sustainable development toward a domination of irresponsibility.

Indicators of European values

The study formed indicators that measured the perception of 12 European values ​​(according to the European Constitution) among Maidan participants and Internet users: the rule of law, justice, respect for human rights, respect for human dignity, democracy, liberty, pluralism, solidarity, equality, non-discrimination, equality between women and men, tolerance.

The values were ​​explained in the principles, which in turn in the questionnaire were explained in the questions (see table below).