James Hughes of the LSE and I have a new piece on the Monkey Cage blog. Here is a excerpt.
The idea of a remaking of Ukraine’s constitutional order along federal lines is beginning to gain traction. On March 18, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk reached out to Russophones in the eastern and southern regions, announcing that “new measures linked to decentralization of power will be reflected in a new constitution.” Senior U.S. administration officials have encouraged the Ukrainian leadership to consider constitutional reform along federal lines.
On March 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry proposed the establishment of an international “support group” to manage the crisis. The list of items that Russia wants to be the basis for negotiation in Ukraine includes a new federal structure for Ukraine and the recognition of Russian as a second language.
Until recently the federal idea was an anathema among the greater part of Ukraine’s political elite. As a constitutional form it was largely rejected in the 1990s, partly as a negative reaction to the experience of Soviet federalism, and partly from fear of its centrifugal potential for splitting the country along ethnolinguistic fault lines.
Go to The Monkey Cage to continue reading.