Economic trends over the past decades have recently raucously burst upon the political stage. The existing economic model, which resulted in the bottom half of the world’s population owning the same as the richest 80 people in the world, is unsustainable. In developed countries, workers have not seen a relative improvement in their standard of living for decades, and this led to the rise of nationalist forces in the USA and Europe that take pride in trampling upon liberal democratic values, which were hardly the inspiration for the economic model that led to the crisis. Russia, an international leader in the concentration of wealth by elites, has a regime that began as revanchist nationalism and now aims to critically damage the underpinnings of open societies in Europe. There is an emerging global pathology, “Paranoid Government Disorder,” characterized by a pervasive mistrust of civil society. Against this tide, certain emerging forces in civil society are harbingers of a better world. Ukrainian society, which has experienced excruciating shocks over the past decade, has strengths to offer in this endeavour.
Educated at Bishop’s (Quebec), Toronto, Glasgow, and Oxford universities, Bohdan Krawchenko’s intellectual interests lie in examining factors that lead to viable, equitable, and pluralistic societies, the capacity of government institutions, and the role of education. These issues have framed his professional and civic engagement. Dr. Krawchenko currently works at the University of Central Asia, a bold educational initiative focused on the mountain communities of Central Asia and Afghanistan. While working in Ukraine, he directed the first institution to train civil servants and headed the Soros Foundation’s regional program on local governance. Bohdan Krawchenko is a former director of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies.