International assistance and the reform of public administration in Ukraine: fiscal decentralisation and regional policy 2000-2012

Leitch, Duncan (2015). International assistance and the reform of public administration in Ukraine: fiscal decentralisation and regional policy 2000-2012. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The thesis examines the influence of external advice on domestic reform in a post-communist state following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. As an example of this, the research analyses the role of international assistance in the reform of public administration in Ukraine in the period 2000 to 2012, with particular reference to the relationship between the national and sub-national tiers of government. Two empirical case studies, on fiscal decentralisation and regional policy, are employed to provide an in-depth analysis of reform programmes introduced by the Government of Ukraine and an examination of the contribution of external advice to each. The thesis draws on concepts from Institutional Theory, Comparative Politics and Development Studies to explain the interaction between external donors and the domestic recipients of their advice. It is argued that international assistance to public administrative reform in Ukraine is a form of normative institutional isomorphism involving the deliberate transfer of models of state institutions from donor countries where they are regarded as good practice. The findings of the case studies indicate the narrow circumstances in which this transaction may lead to short-term progress with reform, through the establishment of a policy transfer network linking domestic and external actors. However the case studies also demonstrate that in the longer term both these attempts at reform, and the international advice which contributed to them, failed to achieve a sustained outcome. Employing the political economy analysis of development aid the thesis argues that the international community bears a large share of the responsibility for this owing to the technocratic nature of assistance programmes and their limited engagement with the political realities of reform processes.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)


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