THE VOICE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY IN UKRAINE

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Published: Sep 30, 2022

  Denys Yakovlev

  Liudmyla Borovyk

  Olha Diachenko

Abstract

The purpose of the article is to determine the role of the middle class in political democracy and economic democracy in Ukraine. The role of the Ukrainian middle class in the revolutionary events of 2004 and 2013-2014 – the Ukrainian Maidans, the influence of the middle class on the results of the parliamentary elections in Ukraine and its presentation in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are noted. The pendulum-like oscillation of self-identification of the middle class between "service to the oligarchs" and "resistance to democracy," the basis of civil society, is noted. The emphasis is placed on the fact that democracy is the rule of the middle class, and the principle of equal freedom is at the core of economic democracy. The compromise between capitalism and democracy is the need to distribute the public good under the supervision of political democracy in the interests of the middle class. Methodology. The theory of economic democracy was used to study the essence and characteristics of the middle class in Ukraine. By means of sociological methods of empirical research middle class identification by indicators of income, education, labor (employment), consumer behavior is given. Differences of "European" middle class from Ukrainian middle class are marked. In connection with the fact that the level of income of the Ukrainian middle class does not correspond to the indicators of EU countries, the necessity of application of subjective indicators to determine self-identification of middle class representatives in Ukraine is substantiated. The definition of the middle class from the opposite, i.e., what the middle class is not (not the oligarchs, not the authorities, not the working class, etc.) is also applied. Results. The trajectories of the middle class in Ukraine have been defined – from active participation in the Ukrainian revolutions to the role of a servant of the oligarchic regime. The middle class is well positioned to establish a regime of political democracy and to oppose the oligarchic-lumpen alliance. What hinders this is the insufficient activity of the middle class during election campaigns and especially after them. The oligarchs' established monopoly in the economy and media space allows for effective election campaigns in the mass media and the financing of political parties. This nullifies attempts of the middle class to establish political democracy in Ukraine. The growing role of the new middle class – intellectuals and representatives of the creative industries – has been noted. The self-identification factors of the middle class include a sense of justice, responsibility for the future and the practice of democratic values. According to sociological research, representatives of the Ukrainian middle class strive for democratic changes, overcoming corruption, deconstruction of the oligarchic regime, and implementation of market reforms. They have higher education, are interested in art, go to restaurants, and can sometimes afford vacations abroad. The political parties that declared support for the middle class and defined it as a target group in the elections included the "Team of Winter Generation," "Veche," "Self Reliance", and "Voice". The first two were perceived as oligarchic projects, while the last two parties made it to parliament, respectively, in the eighth and ninth convocations. Separately, the 2019 elections, in which the voice of the middle class became truly powerful, are examined separately. The "old faces," representatives of the post-Soviet oligarchy, and bureaucrats lost in the majoritarian districts. The middle class refused to support those politicians and parties that had become "servants of the oligarchs" in parliament, taking an important step in building not only a political democracy, but also an economic democracy. Practical implications. The results of the study can be used in the process of European integration of Ukraine, the implementation of reforms to develop political democracy as the rule of the middle class and economic democracy as a democratic system of redistribution of public resources. Value/originality. This study of the middle class and economic democracy allows us to understand the economic factors that influence politics, the role of the middle class and its characteristics in the process of establishing political democracy and economic democracy in Ukraine.

How to Cite

Yakovlev, D., Borovyk, L., & Diachenko, O. (2022). THE VOICE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY IN UKRAINE. Baltic Journal of Economic Studies, 8(3), 220-227. https://doi.org/10.30525/2256-0742/2022-8-3-220-227
Article views: 559 | PDF Downloads: 292

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Keywords

middle class, economic democracy, political democracy, oligarchy, political revolution, principle of equal freedom, elections

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