ARCHIVES Danyliw Seminar 2017
Brown University, US
Tony Levitas is a senior research fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Besides teaching at Brown, MIT, and the Central European University, Levitas has worked for many bilateral and multilateral institutions concerned with government reform and served as the Research Director of the Polish Ministry of Education's Local Government School-Management Unit.
The state of the (subnational) State after Russian Occupation
Since Russia’s occupation of Crimea and the Donbass in 2014, the Ukrainian government has been reorganizing the country’s public sector. Under the banner of “decentralization”, power and money are being shifted across Ukraine’s subnational governments, governments that already control 40% of public spending. Regions (oblasts) and districts (rayons) are shrinking in importance, while power and money are being pushed towards big cities and the newly-consolidating gromada (small towns/villages). Meanwhile, other reforms will recentralize health care finance as Ukraine tries to move towards an insurance-based, single-payer system. In this talk, Tony Levitas will trace the origins of these reforms and discuss how they are strengthening and streamlining the Ukrainian state at both the national and subnational levels. He will outline their importance for the struggle against corruption, their implications for the Minsk Agreements, and will argue that these reforms need to be rebranded in order to be effectively implemented.