Transformation of Media in ‘In-Between’ Post-communist Societies: An Interdisciplinary Approach

  • Natalya Ryabinska


The problems associated with media democratization in the post-communist societies which, like Ukraine, find themselves between democracy and authoritarianism, are often presented in media studies as rooted in their past. It is believed that what hampers media reform in these countries is an (undemocratic) political culture inherited from the communist, and even pre-communist, past. However, as some findings in political science studies of post-communist transformations demonstrate, during the period of transformation, some new obstacles to democratization may arise. These obstacles often lie not in the cultural domain, but in the realm of structures and institutions. Some scholars (Ekiert et al. 2007, pp. 14–15; Ganev 2007; Kudelia 2012), for example, speak about the institutional environment which has been shaped in transformational societies in the process of regime change and which can be more constraining than enabling for the finalization of democratic reforms or for ensuring viability of new democratic regimes. In this chapter, I propose to concentrate not on inherited obstacles to media democratization, but on the environment for media independence, which had already been shaped in ‘in-between’ societies like Ukraine after the fall of previous undemocratic regimes. I pay particular attention to media-related structures and institutions, such as media laws and their associated institutional structures, as well as the structure of media ownership.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalya Ryabinska
    • 1
  1. 1.Collegium CivitasWarsawPoland

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