Political Elites Renewal and Continuity in Ukraine: Comparison of Pre- and Post-Maidan Power Networks

Ms. Tetiana Kostiuchenko
Dr. Inna Melnykovska

Within last decade, continuity of political elites in the Ukrainian parliament had led to the formation of informal networks of long-term MPs who remain in power in spite of political turmoil since 2014 protests and the change of presidential power after two rounds of elections in March-April 2019. However, discontent with the political establishment opened the window of opportunity for “new faces” to enter the politics through the pre-term electoral vote in July 2019. The question is how the new comers transformed the relational structures within the parliament, and how this affected the legislative process in terms of draft laws co-authorship network structures.
The paper is based on biographical and co-authorship relational data and employs social network analysis (SNA) as research approach. We analyze the connections between ‘long-term’ political groups since 2007-2012 and ‘new-comers’ after Euromaidan mass protests in 2014-2019 as well as ‘new faces’ who has become MPs in 2019.
The following comparative aspects are covered:
1) How the newcomers integrate into existing networks or/and establish the new ones?
2) Whether there is a network of the members of the old guard assisting them to survive in 2014 and 2019?
3) How the relational structure of parliamentary elites correlates with the legislative process in 2017-2012, 2014-2019 and after the pre-term elections of 2019?
The data of MPs covers the period of 2007-2019 with more than 800 MPs overall. We compare political, business, non-profit affiliations as common-past ties, and co-authorship in draft laws. We apply network basic measures (density, centralization, homogeneity) to compare the subsets of three timeframes, and compare the centrality and brokerage indices for individual actors. In addition, we check the correlation between domains to model the performance of the current parliament and to assess the importance of the common past for the re-elected and newly elected MPs.