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Shouldn’t, Wouldn’t, Couldn’t?: Analysing the Involvement of Domestic Wealthy Elites’ Giving Organizations in the Ukrainian Protests 2013-14
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
(English)In: VOLUNTAS - International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, ISSN 0957-8765, E-ISSN 1573-7888Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This is a study of the agency of elite giving organizations during rapid social change. The case studied is the Ukrainian Euromaidan protests of 2013–14. Those who protested against the government and president Viktor Yanukovych strived for values of social change and democratization that were similar to what was being purported by the majority of the domestic elites’ giving organizations during the years leading up to the protests. However, since the protesters also specified one particular aim as “de-oligarchization”, the involvement of the giving organizations of the wealthy elite was not at all self-evident. What did the giving organizations do at this critical point in social development? To what extent can actions or inactions be explained by institutional and framework constraints, the motivation of the individual actors, and the legitimacy of these giving organizations in the eyes of the grassroots movement? Findings show that while the oligarchs could not be invisible, they stayed in a position in which they could deny the responsibility of specific action. Due to a wish to stay apolitical, the degree of involvement with Euromaidan is more closely connected to the personal values of the employees, than to any official statement of the organizations. Nevertheless, the actions of the foundations as organizational entities were largely directed by their respective founders. This indicates the dependence of the giving organization on the political affiliation of the founder, rather than the framed ambition of the foundation, rendering it also hard to see these foundations as a force for social change. The findings suggest that just like giving organizations in other institutional contexts, their impact on social change is marginal.

Keywords [en]
elite giving, oligarchs, foundations, social movements
National Category
Economic History Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355059OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-355059DiVA, id: diva2:1223721
Funder
Swedish Institute, 21687/2017Stiftelsen Olle Engkvist Byggmästare, 2015/162Available from: 2018-06-25 Created: 2018-06-25 Last updated: 2018-06-28
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