Ivan Titar

Junior Volkswagen NewDem Fellow
Kharkiv V. N. Karazin National University, Ukraine
Project Title: 
Political Response to the Economic Crisis: Elites and Masses of Central-Eastern and Eastern Europe in 2008-2011
Project Abstract: 

Economic distresses often lead to political complications, but a lot depends on how society reacts to these distresses. The study proposes to take a look at what was the political reaction of the elites and the masses of the Central-Eastern and Eastern Europe on the world economic crisis of 2008, which patterns of reactions were typical and how they interacted.

My research will be descriptive and comparative in its nature. I will try to trace how the economic crisis that began in 2008, changed the political behavior and political attitudes of elites and the masses of the Central and East Europe. Analyzing the position of the masses, I want to understand whether the dissatisfaction with economic and social situation transformed in their political attitudes or actions. If yes – then how. Analyzing the position of elites, it is important to find out whether they stayed within the frameworks of existing political institutions or whether they were trying to change them or even go beyond them. For example, in Russia and Belarus during the crisis the attempts to imitate democratic behavior and in Hungary – to imitate autocratic one were observed. In Ukraine and Moldova political regimes are likely to change in general - though in different directions.

The study will cover Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Moldova in the period 2008-2011. The empirical basis of research is historical, political and economic researches, mass media reports, public opinion polls and election results.