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NWO grant for project Civil Society against Corruption in Ukraine: Political Roles, Advocacy Strategies and Impact

Max Bader has been awarded a € 300,000 grant by the WOTRO Science for Global Development of NWO for a project about the role of civil society in fighting corruption in Ukraine. The project will be implemented jointly with the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kyiv.

Corruption is an enemy of human development. It, on average, reduces economic growth while increasing inequality. It also consolidates power assymetries and denies the poor a voice in governance by favoring the economically privileged and politically powerful. Hardly anywhere is the debilitating impact of corruption felt more than in Ukraine, which has suffered from economic underdevelopment and political turmoil since becoming an independent state in 1991. The conditions for effective anti-corruption efforts have much improved since the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution. The civic activism has sustained since the Revolution and is aimed at maintaining the momentum of political reform. The fight against corruption attracts great interest among Ukraine’s international partners, who view its success as vital to the country’s stability, democratization, and economic development in the years ahead. Civil society involvement is crucial for turning the fight against corruption in Ukraine into a success.

The research aims to explain the success and failure of anti-corruption activism in Ukraine. The study will look at the entire spectrum of anti-corruption activism, including both professional and informal types of activism, nationwide and local activism, and activism by both small and large organizations. In order to contribute to evidence-based knowledge about the impact of anti-corruption activism, the study will focus on three factors related to the political role of civil society organizations: 1) the type(s) of political role that civil society organizations perform; 2) the advocacy strategies that they choose; 3) their organizational form. The project also aims to generate insights that will help international actors and donor agencies make better-informed decisions about support to civil society.

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