Civic education as an approach to democracy in Russia and Ukraine

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Orr, Matthew Rutland

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This thesis uses historical and qualitative content analysis to understand the role that civic education has played in the development of democracy in Russia and Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union. It draws on global and regional discourses of democratization to argue that civic education has been an underappreciated factor by politicians, policymakers, and scholars seeking to shape or explain the political past, present, and future of Russia and Ukraine. Specifically, it argues that civics curriculum in both countries has been plagued by fundamental flaws stimming from their common Soviet history, the reaction to which has shaped each country’s modern political trajectory. While Ukraine has made great strides in recent years to reform civics, Russia’s civic education regime remains startlingly underdeveloped over the past 30 years, a fundamental obstacle that those interested in Russia’s democratization have failed to draw sufficient attention to


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