Political culture in Ukraine and Russia comparative analysis
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Political culture in Ukraine and Russia comparative analysis
Political culture in Ukraine and Russia: comparative analysis
Being based on two researches1
, political culture of Ukrainian and Russian population
comparison was made and its typology was built. Each question in the set consists of two
contradicting statements from which interviewee had to choose the one that they feel close to.
Those statements confirm or object the following principles:
Attitude to laws
Orientation on consensus/conflict
Attitude to state symbols
Democratic/authoritarian political tradition support
Attitude to ideals
Autonomy/expecting help from government
In general, Ukrainians are similar to Russians in many statements; however, there are
differences both in positions and their expression strength. Thus, the common qualities for
these nations are political passivity, respect of state symbols, openness and perception of other
nations’ culture and experience, autonomy and aspiration to rely on their own forces, despair in
high ideals and principles, unwillingness to obey the laws, conservatism, aspiration to agreement
and compromise search. Representatives of these two countries are different in the following.
Ukrainians tend to individualism, while Russians have stronger inclination to uniting; Ukrainians
support democratic principles in politics unlike Russians that tend to authoritative tradition.
Also, Ukrainians demonstrated relatively mixed and unclear position: tendency to answers
distribution uniformity, small difference between opinion groups, big amounts of those who
hesitated to answer. Russian society has higher consistency of convictions: bigger distance
between homogeneous groups, fewer people who couldn’t decide what to answer.
Detailed data of Ukrainian and Russian populations’ features are presented further.
Collectivism. 44,4% of Ukrainians think they are closer to rejection of collaboration; 35.9%
choose collectivism and aspiration to solving problems in cooperation; 19.7% couldn’t choose
their position. Unlike Ukrainians, people Russia inhabitants support collectivism more – 51%,
37% chose opposite and 12% hesitated to answer.
Attitude to laws. Thoughts of Ukrainians and Russians are common in this case, but Russians
have a stronger expression of it: 48.4% in Ukraine and 56% in Russia tend to ignore laws or do
not want to follow them. With the law obedience principle agree 38.4% of Ukrainians and 35% of
Russians; 13.2 of Ukrainians and 9% of Russians didn’t choose the position.
Conservatism/modernism. Equal share of people – 40% - in both countries have an
aspiration to novelty. Although, in Russia relative majority (45%) approve conservative values,
among Ukrainians it was supported less – 38.1%. There is a comparatively big part of people in
Ukraine that chose the ‘Hesitate to answer’ variant – 21.7% versus 15% in Russia.
1 Researches, conducted by Research & Branding Group Company on June 9-21, 2012
with sample size of 2000 respondents and by Russian Public Opinion Research Center
(WCIOM) with sample size of 1600 respondents
Political activity/passivity. Ukrainians demonstrate political passivity and indifference –
56.1%. Russians’ thoughts are the same, but are stronger expressed – 68% of population.
Politically active part of Ukrainians is 27.9%, of Russians – 24%. In this case citizens of these two
countries have relatively clear position: in Ukraine 16% have not decided, in Russia – 8%.
Orientation on consensus/conflict. Majority in both countries think aspiration to
cooperation and compromise search is right: in Ukraine – 39%, in Russia – 45%. Also, 36.4% of
Ukrainians and 38% of Russians support conflict as a problem solver and inclination to
competition. Position was not determined by 24.6% of Ukrainians and 17% of Russians. It is
necessary to mention that in this variable answers of people from Ukraine are evenly distributed
between values. Russians have shown higher difference in percentages.
Respect for state symbols. In these two countries tendency is the same, but in Russia it is
shown more brightly. Thus, respect for state symbols is felt by 48.9% of Ukrainians and 54% of
Russians. At the same time, objection of this principle is supported by 28.4% of Ukrainians and
35% of Russians. Also there are 22.7% from Ukraine that hesitated to answer, from Russia – 11%.
At this point, there is big part of Ukrainians that haven’t decided which position to stick to.
Democratic/authoritarian political tradition support. In this question there is nearly
uniform distribution by the answers. The value of democratic political tradition is supported by
37.1% of Ukrainians and 37% of Russians. Also, there are 32.3% of Ukrainians and 44% of
Russians that approve authoritarian state. So, positions difference can be seen: Ukrainians
distributed almost equally, but chose democratic values, neither did Russians who prefer
authoritarian political tradition.
Xenophobia/openness. Representatives of both these countries support openness and
acceptance of the new experience of other countries: 48.5% in Ukraine, 53% in Russia.
Xenophobia is approved by 26.9% of Ukrainians and 33% of Russians. ‘Hesitate to answer’ variant
was chosen by 24.6% of Ukrainians and 14% of Russians.
Belief in high ideals and its absence. In this case neighboring nations have similar positions:
47.9% of Ukrainians and 52% of Russians do not believe in high ideals and principles. 32.2% of
Ukrainians and 37% of Russians do believe in high ideals, while 19.9% from Ukraine and 11%
from Russia couldn’t determine their position.
Autonomy/expecting help from government. Population of Ukraine in this question chose
individual independence and autonomy from the help of state – 64.7% vs. 21% that selected
orientation on state support. In Russian, vice versa, position is not very clear: 46% are for
independence and 43% choose state support.
By the distribution uniformity and amount of ‘Hesitated’ answers criterion Ukrainians have
the most unclear position in the following questions: conservatism, orientation on cooperation,
respect for state symbols, support of democratic tradition, xenophobia/openness and belief in high
Types of political culture of Ukrainians and Russians
Hetmanchuk in his textbook2
defines political culture as set of psychological orientations of
people directed to political objects. Also, provides with typologies of political cultures there that
were built by different criterion. Typologies by which Ukrainian and Russian political cultures can
be classified (grounding on the variables above) are taken.
Estimate criteria Political culture types
Level of political participation
Population’s values orientations
Mechanism of social regulation
Level of openness-closeness
Type of behavior in conflicts
According to those typologies, political culture of population of Ukraine can be attributed to the
By the level of political participation – patriarchal, which includes political passivity an
2 Chapter 6.2 Political Culture//Textbook of Politology – Hetmanchuk M. P., Vinnytsa,
By the population’s values orientations coincidence level – mixed, there is heterogeneity
By the mechanism of social regulation – market , orientation on an individual interests in
By the level of openness/closeness – extroversive, which consists of openness to foreign
experience and low level of xenophobia
By the type of behavior in conflicts – confrontational, which means orientation on conflict
in problem solving, cooperation rejecting.
Russia has the following types of political culture:
By the level of political participation – patriarchal
By the population’s values orientations coincidence level – mixed, close to homogeneous
By the mechanism of social regulation – statist, oriented on state and social groups in
decision making, less priority is given to individual interests
By the level of openness/closeness – extroversive
By the type of behavior in conflicts – consensual, where people tend to cooperate,
communicate, have a consensus.
According to the data, presented above, Ukraine and Russia have many features of political
culture in common, but with different levels of expression. Also there are some significant
discrepancies that cannot be seen from outside, but they, at same time, form differences of
inner structure of political life of these two countries. These researches, giving a big piece of
information about such a phenomena as political culture, also open perspectives for new
research: starting from dynamics, finishing with discovering the new criteria of political culture
defining and new views on political culture itself.