Selected Conference Papers
Katchanovski, Ivan. “Political Regionalism in “Orange” Ukraine.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Boston, August 28-31, 2008.
Abstract: This paper analyzes changes in regional electoral behavior and political attitudes in Ukraine as a result of the “Orange Revolution” in 2004. The question is to what extent the “Orange Revolution” has affected public support for main political parties and presidential candidates and attitudes towards principal foreign policy issues in regions of Ukraine. This question is important not only as a test of regional political culture hypothesis but also because of potential implications of the Kosovo precedent and the Russian-Georgian war over separatist region of South Ossetia for a unity of Ukraine. Previous studies have shown existence of strong regional political divisions in post-Soviet Ukraine. In presidential and parliamentary elections held since Ukraine became independent in 1991, Western regions backed nationalist and pro-Western parties and politicians, while historically Eastern regions have tended to vote for pro-Russian and pro-Communist parties and politicians. Surveys of public opinion conducted since 1991 demonstrated a divide between Western and Eastern regions on many political issues, such as Ukraine’s membership in NATO and its relations with Russia. Some scholars predicted that the "Orange Revolution" would reduce regional differences in support for political parties and attitudes concerning foreign orientation of Ukraine. They argued that a non-democratic political system and non-free mass media were used by the Kuchma-led government and his supporters to artificially create regional divides. The democratization of the political system and increased media freedom were expected to prompt a decline in popular support for parties that promoted a polarized agenda and were regionally based. This study uses voting data to examine changes in regional support for major parties in the 2006 parliamentary elections and the 2007 snap parliamentary elections, compared to the 2002 parliamentary elections. It also employs a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in 2007 to analyze the role of regional factors in support for major presidential candidates. Multivariate regression analysis is used to compare effects of regionalism on support for pro-nationalist/pro-Western and pro-Russian/pro-Communist parties in the 2002, 2006, and 2007 parliamentary elections in 26 regions of Ukraine. This study also employs surveys conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and the Razumkov Center to examine changes in regional attitudes towards NATO, the European Union, and a union with Russia in 2002-2008. This paper shows that Ukraine after the “Orange Revolution” remained divided along regional lines in terms of support for main political parties and presidential candidates and attitudes concerning major foreign policy issues.
Katchanovski, Ivan. “Politically Correct Incorrectness: Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine in Hollywood Films.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, August 30-September, 2, 2007.
Abstract: This study examines images of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine in American movies. The question is whether political factors affect cinematic representation of these ethnically, politically, culturally, religiously, linguistically, and economically different post-Soviet countries. A related question is how the portrayal of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine in Hollywood films affects Americans’ perceptions of these countries. This paper analyzes more than 100 movies and TV films from the Internet Movie Database and conducts a content analysis of principal motion pictures, such as Air Force One (1997), Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), GoldenEye (1995), Everything is Illuminated (2004), The Peacemaker (1997), The Saint (1997), The Sum of All Fears (2002), and Lord of War (2004), to identify main Kazakh, Russian, and Ukrainian-related themes and heroes. Analysis of the movies shows that they often overlook significant political, ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic differences among these countries. Their comparison with academic studies shows that most of the movies, incorrectly present Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine as economically and technologically backward, extremely anti-American and anti-Semitic countries, which have pervasive “Russian mafia” and widespread female prostitution. In spite of such incorrectness, most of these movies are regarded as politically correct by American filmmakers, movie-goers, and film critics. This study attributes the politically correct incorrectness in Hollywood portrayals of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine to such factors as US internal politics, which confines political and cultural sensitivity to racial and religious minorities, relatively small and politically non-influential Kazakh, Russian, and Ukrainian communities in the United States, and the fact that these countries are not regarded as major US allies. In conclusion, the study discusses a negative effect that distorted portrayals of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine in Hollywood movies, which are one of principal sources of information about these countries for Americans, have on their perceptions of the post-Soviet states.
Ivan Katchanovski and Valentyna Kushnarenko, ““Russians” and Poles in the American Mind.”Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, August 30-September 2007.
Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of political factors, such as the level of democracy and relations with the US, compared to other factors, such as religious, racial, and economic differences, as determinants of attitudes towards “Russians” and Poles in the United States. This is one of the first studies which use survey data to examine attitudes towards “Russians” and Poles in the United States after the end of the Cold War. The paper employs statistical and comparative analysis of the 2001 Parrillo/Donoghue survey of 2,916 students in 22 colleges and universities in the US. This survey determines perceptions of the social distance towards 30 major nationalities and selected racial and religious groups. The social distance is measured by the Bogardus scale, which ranges from willingness to marry representatives of a group to unwillingness to allow members of the group into the United States. The paper also uses analysis of major dissertation databases, such as Proquest, and search of the Internet to determine proportions of Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian recipients of Ph.D.s from American universities in tenure track positions in the US, compared to their counterparts from Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Such an analysis provides a way to determine effects of relative social distance towards people from these two groups of countries. The sample includes more than 200 Ph.D.s, who received their doctorates in the fields of economics, education, international relations, political science, and sociology from 1992 to 2007 and whose dissertations dealt with post-communist countries. The comparative analysis reveals that Americans, especially female respondents, perceive “Russians” as much more distant than Poles, other European nations, Africans, and many Latin American and Asian nations. The level of democracy and relations of Poland and the Soviet Union with the US cannot account for similar social distances towards Poles and “Russians” in the 1926 Bogardus survey and the 1946 Bogardus survey and the divergence in the relative distance towards Poles and “Russians” in similar surveys conducted in 1956 and 1977. Cross-national regression analysis predicts similar levels of social distance towards Poles and “Russians.” The analysis shows that male recipients of US Ph.D.s in economics, education, international relations, political science, and sociology from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine are significantly less likely to obtain tenure-track positions in the US compared to their female counterparts from these post-Soviet countries and their male counterparts from Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. The paper discusses implications of these findings and need for further research on determinants of American attitudes towards Russians, Poles, and other nations from post-Communist countries.
Ivan Katchanovski and Todd La Porte. “Openness of Cabinet-Level Websites in Developing Countries.” Presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association, York University, Toronto, Canada, June 1-3, 2006.
Abstract: This paper examines the effects of political, cultural, economic, and technical factors on openness of cabinet-level websites in developing countries. The question is whether these factors affect openness of electronic governments. This paper uses regression analysis of a comparative database of national level public agency websites that is produced by the
Cyberspace Policy Research Group (CyPRG). The openness index, the dependent variable, is based on transparency and interactivity scores and availability of cabinet-level websites in more than 100 developing countries. The independent variables include the level of democracy, colonial legacy, religious tradition, government performance index, the GDP
per capita, and number of Internet users per 1,000 people. Regression analysis shows that the level of democracy, colonial legacy, religious tradition, and the level of economic development affect openness of cabinet-level websites in the developing countries.
Ivan Katchanovski. “The Orange Evolution? The Political Realignment and Regional Divisions in Ukraine.” Presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association, York University, Toronto, Canada, June 1-3, 2006.
Abstract: This paper analyzes changes in political parties, political leaders, and regional political orientations in Ukraine in 2002-2006. The question is whether these changes are revolutionary or evolutionary. Most previous studies describe the culmination moment of these changes during the 2004 presidential elections as a revolution (the Orange Revolution). My hypothesis is that not a revolution but a major electoral realignment occurred in the Ukrainian politics since 2002. A realignment theory refers to elections that produce significant and relatively long-term changes in dominant parties, leaders, issues and preferences of voters. This study employs comparative analysis of regional support for pro-Yushchenko parties in the 2002 and 2006 parliamentary elections and support for Viktor Yushchenko in the 2004 presidential elections. The paper uses surveys conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology and the Razumkov Center in 2002-2006 to compare changes in political orientations in regions of Ukraine. This paper concludes that the changes in political leadership, regional political orientation, and political parties are best described as an evolutionary electoral realignment and not as a revolution.
Ivan Katchanovski. “Regional Political Cleavages and Electoral Behavior in Ukraine in 1991-2004.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, September 1-4, 2005.
Abstract: This paper examines determinants of persistent regional political cleavages in post-communist Ukraine. The question is as to how significant the role of culture is compared to ethnic, economic and religious factors in the regional divisions. This study employs regression analysis of regional support for the Communist/pro-Russian parties and presidential candidates and nationalist/pro-independence parties and candidates in all national elections held since 1991, the vote for the preservation of the Soviet Union in the March 1991 referendum and the vote for the independence of Ukraine in the December 1991 referendum. This study shows that the historical experience has major effect on regional electoral behavior in post-communist Ukraine. The legacy of Austro-Hungarian, Polish, Romanian and Czechoslovak rule is positively associated with the pro-nationalist and pro-independence vote, and this historical legacy has a negative effect on support of pro-Communist and pro-Russian parties and presidential candidates and preservation of the Soviet Union.
Ivan Katchanovski. “Classic Prisoner’s Dilemma: A Quasi-Experimental Test during the Great Terror.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, August 28-31, 2003.
Abstract: This study provides an empirical assessment of the prisoner’s dilemma model. It examines political prosecution and behavior of intellectuals during the Great Terror in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. This paper analyzes whether political prisoners confessed voluntarily as the prisoner’s dilemma model predicts. It focuses on the prosecution of Mykhailo Krawtchouk, an internationally renowned Ukrainian mathematician, and more than 100 other political prisoners, who were connected to his case. Krawtchouk’s case is selected because of its unintended effects on the invention of the electronic computer in the United States and the development of rocket technology in the Soviet Union. This study shows that only a small fraction of political prisoners confessed voluntarily. However, rational choice theory, on which the prisoner’s dilemma model is based, is helpful in solving a puzzle pertaining to the electronic computer invention and patent.
Ivan Katchanovski. “Social Capital and Privatization in Regions of Ukraine.” Presented at the Annual World Convention of the Association for the Study of the Nationalities, Columbia University, New York, April 5-7, 2001.
Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of different forms of social capital in privatization in regions of Ukraine. Several recent studies linked regional government performance and economic development in Italy, Germany, Poland, and other countries to social capital, which is associated with different historical experiences. In post-communist Ukraine, regional political cleavages are also often traced to historical divisions. This paper examines whether different historical experiences in two groups of regions, those which were under Russian and then Soviet rule, and those which were under Austro-Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, and Czechoslovak rule until World War II, contributed to variations in the rate and quality of privatization. This study distinguishes between quantitative and qualitative aspects of social capital and privatization in industry and agriculture in Ukrainian regions. Statistical analysis of the 1995 World Values Survey data and aggregate data are used to analyze effects of historical experience and other direct and indirect measures of social capital, such as membership in voluntary organizations, interpersonal trust, importance of family and friends, and crime and divorce rates, on privatization in Ukraine. The role of social capital in privatization is compared to the role of other factors including economic policy, industrial structure, human capital, and ethnic cleavages.