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BA (Hons), MSocSc, PhD (Birmingham), PGCTHE
Department of Social Sciences
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483747
Sarah Whitmore is Senior Lecturer in Politics, who joined Oxford Brookes in 2003. She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham.
Module Leader for:
Sarah is currently supervising three PhD students: Huw Houssemayne du Boulay (as Director of Studies), Jasmin D'allagnola (co-Director of Studies) and Sofya Omarova (as second supervisor). She interested in supervising PhD research on aspects of post-Soviet politics, particularly with regard to state-building, the development of institutions and governance.
This book examines the development of the Ukrainian parliament - the Verkhovna Rada - from before Ukraine's independence in 1991 to the present. It shows how the parliament transformed itself from a provincial republican Soviet to the national legislature of a sovereign state and from a nominal, symbolic body to a genuine legislative and representative institution. It discusses the key role of parliament in the wider state-building process and examines the evolution of political factions and the committee system in the parliament.--Provided by publisher.
This research departs from conventional studies of citizen’s attitudes to parliament by utilising focus groups to interrogate the incredibly low levels of trust in Ukraine’s parliament during the Yanukovych and Poroshenko presidencies and explores how far they are related to the exceptionally high levels of disruptive protest in the chamber. Low trust is shaped primarily by citizens’ concerns about corruption, particularly the role of FIGs and of deputies’ rapacious and lawless behaviour (bezpredel). Disruptive protests were largely seen as inauthentic. Low trust was accompanied by support for democracy.
Conceptualising Russia as a neopatrimonial state directs attention to the patrimonial relations that pervaded formal institutions to reveal increasing tensions within the state during Putin's presidency. A case study of parliamentary oversight practices points to the emergence of legitimation as their key purpose, but also to the growing contradictions between the controlling and legitimating impulses of Putin's regime. At the same time deputies responded to the changes in their status and influence by moving their resources towards the patrimonial sphere, most notably utilising oversight institutions for direct and indirect private interests-”activities tolerated by the regime in exchange for political loyalty.
This study focuses on the impact of parliamentary parties on committees' structure and activity in the post-Soviet context. Through a case study of committees in Ukraine's Rada, the paper demonstrates that weak, fluid parties can act as a barrier to committees' efficacy by shaping their structure, leadership and by blocking ameliorating reforms. Although Ukraine's committees were formally allocated a significant role in the law-making process, in practice the realisation of this function was constrained by parties and also by context of the wider institutional uncertainty.
The institutionalization of factions in Ukraine’s parliament has proceeded in a patchy, uneven manner as a consequence of cross-cutting incentives created by the Constitution, lower order rules and the actions of the president. Although factions became more organizationally complex and disciplined, membership instability significantly undermined these developments so that factions remained weakly institutionalized. Despite this, factions came to exercise greater influence over the parliamentary leadership and the legislative process, largely thanks to the formation of Ukraine’s first parliamentary majority in 2000. However, as this majority was orchestrated by President Kuchma, Ukraine’s parliament remained vulnerable to external pressure.
Research report commissioned by GSDRC Applied Knowledge Services at the request of DFID.
Whitmore, S. State-Building in Ukraine: The Ukrainian Parliament, 1990-2003, RoutledgeCurzon, 2004, IBSN 978-0-415-33195-1 (hbk), ISBN 978-0415-65192-9 (pbk)
Whitmore, S. GSDRC Applied Knowledge Services Helpdesk Report No.1146, ‘Political Party development in Ukraine’, 2015, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4409.1360
Whitmore, S. 'Авторитарная консолидация и народное сопротивление: размышляя о причинах «евромайдана»', ('Authoritarian consolidation and popular resistance: Analysis of the Causes of 'Euromaidan'), Neprikosnovennyi Zapas, 2014, 93(1)
Whitmore, S. 'Shou prodolzhaetsya: vybory, "Edinaya Rossiya" i rezhim Vladimira Putina' ('The Show Must Go On: Elections, United Russia and the Putin Regime'), Neprikosnovennyi Zapas, 2013, 65(1), pp.22-32
Whitmore, S. ‘Ukraine's European Integration and the Role of Parliament' in Nathaniel Copsey and Alan Mayhew (eds) European Neighbourhood Policy: The Case of Ukraine, Seminar Series in Contemporary European Studies, University of Sussex: Sussex European Institute, 2007, pp. 45-57
Whitmore, S. ‘Man spielt den Regeln und nicht nach den Regeln: Politische Ungewissheit in der Ukraine' (‘Playing with the Rules, Not by the Rules: Political Uncertainty in Ukraine'), Ukraine-Analysen, 2007, no. 19, pp. 2-6
Whitmore, S. ‘Challenges and Constraints for Post-Soviet Comittee Systems: Exploring the Impact of Parties on Committees in Ukraine', Journal of Legislative Studies, 2006, vol. 12, no. 1, pp.32-45
Whitmore, S. ‘"Damit mussen wir leben": Das neue Parlament und das neue Regierungssystem der Ukraine' ('We have what we have' The New Parliament and the New Political System in Ukraine) in Heiko Pleines (ed.) Die Ukraine unter Prasident Jushtschenko Auf der Suche nach politischer Stabilitat, 2006, No.75 ed., Forschungsstelle Osteuropa Bremen Arbeitspapiere und Materialien pp. 35-39
Whitmore, S. ‘Does Institutional Design Matter? Evidence from Ukraine's Parliament, 1990-2000', in I. Bredies (ed.), Zur Anatomie der Orangen Revolution in der Ukraine: Wechsel des Elitenregimes oder Triumph des Parliamentarismus?, Stuttgart: Ibidem, 2005, pp.85-113
Whitmore, S. 'Faction Institutionalisation and Parliamentary Development in Ukraine', The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 2003, vol.19, no.4, pp.41-6
Whitmore, S. 'Fragmentation or Consolidation? Parties in Ukraine's Parliament', Research Papers in Russian and East European Studies, ResPREES 02/02, University of Birmingham: 2002, ISBN 07044 23626. Downloadable PDF available from: http://www.crees.bham.ac.uk/research/ResPREES/index.htm
Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society series, Ibidem-Verlag, Stuttgart
Sarah has considerable media experience, give live interviews on TV and radio as well as to newspapers on Ukrainian politics. These include BBC 2's Newsnight, BBC World, BBC News, BBC 5Live, BBC World Service, LBC, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Oxford, Newstalk 106 (Dublin), the European Voice, Den'(Ukrainian daily newspaper), Radio Ukraine International, Radio France International and The Dallas Morning Post.
Education and work