The New Ukranian Constitution: In Pursuit of a Compromise
This paper analyses the new 1996 Ukrainian constitution as a product of far-reaching compromise; in particular it looks at the resolution of the ‘national question’, the form of government and the issue of socio-economic guarantees. Constitutions are most often perceived as an instrument of restraining governments and providing a bill of civil rights and freedoms. In new states, however, constitutions purport not only to redefine but often to set up the political and socio-economic structures as well as define the ‘ownership’ of the state. In Ukraine, last amongst the post-Soviet states to adopt a constitution, the drawn out constitution making process revealed a fundamental disagreement on the conception of Ukrainian statehood and nationhood and the cohort of rules and institutions deemed as best suited to Ukrainian society.
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