All the authors in this collection of essays on Ukrainian politics stress the lack of improvement in the political situation in recent years. The authors identify a range of reasons including pre-Soviet history, the Soviet legacy, national identity, and political gridlock. While the authors disagree slightly on the extent to which change is impossible or merely difficulty, none is hopeful. The challenge for scholars is to avoid moving from objective analysis to assigning political blame. Some authors identify specific political actors on whom they fix blame, while others focus on less personal structural factors. The relative weight of structure-based and agent-based explanations is important in assessing the prospects for change in the future, and the possible paths to it.

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