Beyond the Conflict and Weak Civil Society; Stories from Ukraine: Cases of Grassroots Initiatives for Sustainable Development

Oksana Udovyk


This study explores the diversity of grassroots initiatives (GIs) for sustainable development that are emerging in post-EuroMaidan Ukraine. It first focuses on an overview of different theories on civil society and trends in Ukrainian civil society development. Eight cases of GIs are selected to represent different pillars of sustainability work done by the initiatives (economic, social, environmental, and political-institutional). These cases question the arguments behind the weak and pseudo-plenipotentiary vision of civil society in Ukraine, and demonstrate mechanisms of sustainable development suggested by analyzed GIs. In general, this study challenges the myth of a weak civil society in Ukraine, opens up a broader discussion on the meaning and role of civil society, and provides new ideas for building a sustainable society.

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© 2014 East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies. Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ISSN 2292-7956