Date of Award

Summer 8-2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Mona J. E. Danner

Committee Member

Glen Sussman

Committee Member

Regina C. Karp

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45 W55


This research identifies and examines two distinct political cultures in post-communist Ukraine, characterized by the presence of Soviet and non-Soviet influences. Soviet political culture is associated with East Ukrainian regions where Soviet policies of Russification, collectivization and urbanization were deeply entrenched. The non-Soviet political culture is present in Western Ukraine where said policies were least successful and the Ukrainian culture is more established.

The question posed in this thesis is: To what extent, if any, do regional political cultures influence women's political activity in Ukraine? This study focuses on the Soviet practice of appointing hundreds of women to the Supreme Soviet, officially designated as the highest decision making body in the USSR. Studies show a tradition of female political representation can influence women's future representation in politics and can break down stereotypical images. Candidate data from Ukraine's 1994 parliamentary elections and regional measures of Soviet influence are used to resolve this question.

This research shows that Western Ukraine consistently ranks lowest in levels of Soviet influence and Eastern and Southern Ukraine rank the highest. In two chi-square tests, the independent variable - female candidates - was tested for independence against the dependent variable - Ukrainian region. Test outcomes and significance varied according to regional groupings. Candidate data from Ukraine's 1994 parliamentary election serves as the dependent variable, while indicators measuring Soviet influences, like ethnic Russian population, ethnic Ukrainians claiming Russian as their mother tongue, pupils in Russian schools and urbanization, serve as the independent variables.


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