Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Fellowship Programme 2016 announces fellows

August 11, 2016
Ilko Kucheriv

Ilko Kucheriv

Four professionals active in human rights and democratization efforts in Ukraine have been named recipients of an Ilko Kucheriv Democracy Partnership Programme fellowship for 2016.

PASOS is partnering with network members the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF), the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO), and the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) to offer the fellowships. The program, made possible with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), seeks to assist the advancement of democratic practices in Ukraine.

Fellows work with the hosting institute for a six-month period or project co-operation and mentoring, and spend up to five weeks in the office of the hosting think-tank.

The fellowships also provide one-on-one, hands-on training with the host institute’s experts as mentors. The goal is to provide a mentoring opportunity for an in-depth, on-site, and interactive experience in democratic transformation and protection of human rights.

The fellows for the 2016 edition of the program are:

Ruslan Kermach, Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation
Host institute: Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (IDIS) ‘’Viitorul”, Moldova
Research topic: Unrecognized de facto states in the post-Soviet era: the case of Transnistria. The issue of unrecognized de facto states goes far beyond the unresolved internal ethnic conflicts of the late 80s/90s in the context of the collapse of the USSR. Recent Russian aggression in Ukraine and the creation of pro-Russian proxy-republics in the occupied territories of Donbas confirms Russian willingness to instrumentalize separatist tendencies in neighbouring countries, creating long-term destabilization threats, pressures on domestic politics, as well as posing a threat to an international legal order based on principles of territorial integrity and inviolability of state borders. Research will focus on an illumination of the Transnistria case, in order to better inform policy debates in the Ukraine vis-a-vis the Donbas. Research will focus on how self – sufficient and sustainable Transnistria is, and what are the sources of its reluctance to integrate with Moldova, and on the strategies pursued by Moldova regarding the reintegration of Transnistria.

Olexia Basarab, Centre for Global Studies „Strategy XXI”/Strategic and Security Studies Group
Host institute: Slovak Security Policy Institute
Research topic: Russian propaganda and disinformation in Slovakia. The research will identify methods of Russian disinformation and propaganda in Slovakia, analyze similarities and differences with Russian disinformation and propaganda in Ukraine, and examine strategies for countering them, applicable in both countries. Focus of the research will include civil society responses.

Alla Dmytrivna Kovalova, Independent Researcher
Host institute: International Anti Corruption Academy (Austria)
Research topic: The project will examine anti-corruption experiences in a range of countries, and strive to shape an effective strategy for eradicating a culture of corruption in the Ukrainian social setting. Expected focuses are the strategies and practices used by civil society and educational efforts to create a culture of integrity.

Svitlana Kononchuk, Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research
Host institute: Research Centre for East European Studies, University of Bremen
Research topic: Party regulation and election law in Ukraine after the Revolution of Dignity: obstacles and perspectives for the development of the party system. Policy research will focus on the institutional conditions for development of political parties from 2015 to present day.

The program is named after Ilko Kucheriv, a prominent activist in the Ukrainian civil-society movement who succumbed to cancer in 2010.

Kucheriv was the founder of the DIF and personally contributed a great deal to the advancement of democratic ideas in Ukraine. In the early 1990s, he understood the importance of public opinion for the development of a civic society, and DIF was the first organization to make available the results of social research to the broader public and to train journalists in understanding public opinion polling.

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