The transition from a “weak state” to a “powerful state”: Ukrainian case




Ukraine, war, Russian aggression, powerful state, transit, political transit, political leader, identity


In the authors' previous studies of the state phenomenon with the status of "weak state" and signs of this type of political system, Ukraine was considered a vivid example of a state of this type. However, since the beginning of Russian military intervention in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, we have witnessed the rapid transition of the Ukrainian state and political system from weak state status to a powerful one. In this study, the authors consider differences in the definitions of "powerful" and "strong" states and prove that Ukraine, having left the ranks of weak states, has not yet acquired the status of a strong state, but has the signs of a powerful one. It is also noted that the conditions and terms of such a transit of the state and political system are unique. In the authors' opinion, three main requisites of the fast transit of Ukraine to the status of a powerful state have been substantiated: the presence of a strong political leader and a particular mentality of the Ukrainian people. The research by Guillermo O'Donneland Philip Schmitter with their idea of the resocialization of citizens, i.e., adoption and assimilation of new democratic values, norms, and behavior models by the population of the state as an essential factor in obtaining durability and democracy by the state, served as the methodological basis for choosing these categorical characteristics. Furthermore, therole of the "aggressive neighbor" factor in acquiring a new status by a political agent has also been substantiated.


Buzan, Barry. (1991). People, States & Fear. London, Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Collier, D., & Levitsky, S. (1997). Democracy with Adjectives: Conceptual Innovation in Comparative Research. World Politics, 49(3), 430–451.

Demchenko, O. (2022, April 5). Nashcho Rosiyi myrni perehovory. Choho khoche Putin vid Ukrayiny.

Fukuyama, Francis (2004). State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century. Cornell University Press.

Fukuyama, Francis (2022, April 25). Why Ukraine Will Win. American purpose.

Gruegel, J. (2002). Democratization. A Critical Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan.

Harasymiw, B., Diamond, L., Plattner, M. F. (2003). Democracy after Communism. International journal (Toronto, Ont.) 59(1): 228.

Karatnycky, Adrian & Motyl, Alexander J. (2009). The Key to Kiev. Foreign Affairs, May / June. P. 106-120.

Kassab, Hanna Samir (2015). Weak States in International Relations Theory. The Cases of Armenia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Lebanon, and Cambodia. Palgrave Macmillan New York.

O’Donnell, Guillermo, Schmitter, Philippe C., Whitehead, Laurence (1986). Transitions from Authoritarian Rule. Baltimore/London.

Oleksii Reznikov: Europe must arm Ukraine faster (2022, June 18). The Ecnomist.

Pavliuk S.(2003). Dramatychnist protsesu samoidentyfikatsiyi ukrayintsiv u suchasnykh umovakh: vlada i suspilstvo (p. 6-11). In: Ukrayina - problema identychnosti: lyudyna, ekonomika, suspilʹstvo. Conferens Papers. Lviv, Ukraine.

Rotberg, R. (2004). When States Fail. Causes and Consequences. Princeton University Press.

Schedler, Andreas (April 1998). What is Democratic Consolidation? Journal of Democracy 9:2, 91-107.

Shcherbak, Yu. (2009). Ukraina kak failed state: mify i realnost.

Shlyakhtun, P.P. (2005). Politolohiya (teoriya ta istoriya politychnoyi nauky). Kyiv, Lybid.

The Fund for Peace (FFP) (2019).

The Fund for Peace (FFP), 2022.

The President of Ukraine received the Winston Churchill Leadership Award (2022, July 26). The Presidential Office of Ukraine.

Yereskova, T., Mazuryk, O., Aleksandrova, O., Tymofieieva, H., Zavadskii, V. (2020). Uncertainty as a regular feature of modern ukrainian society. Teorija in Praksa. 19. 928-946.

Yermolenko, Alice. (2022, May 21). Vidrodzhennya Ukrayiny: yak rozvyvatymetʹsya ukrayinsʹka kulʹtura pislya viyny. ELLE.

Zelinska, M., Chechel, A. (2019). A Country With a "Weak State”. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

Zelensky is playing a role that almost no one expected from him - world media (2022, Febrier 25). BBC News Ukraine. (In Ukrainian)

Zelinska, M. (2017). Instytut prezydentstva v mezhakh kontseptsiyi "failed state”. In: Problemy ta perspektyvy rozvytku derzhavnoho upravlinnya v umovakh reformuvannya. Belsko-Byala, Vyshcha shkola ekonomiky ta humanitarystyky. (In Ukrainian)




How to Cite

Zelinska , M., Chechel, A., & Tanchyk , O. (2022). The transition from a “weak state” to a “powerful state”: Ukrainian case. Skhid, 3(2), 33–39.