The main cause of Euromaidan and the subsequent social revolution that took place in Ukraine in 2013-2014 has been the subject of vigorous debate and inquiry. Why was the former peaceful and short-lived, while the latter was violent and enduring? More importantly, what motivated Ukrainian citizens to protest?
This dissertation posits that although the Orange revolution does not fall within the definition of a classical social revolution, it started a process of transformation of the political culture of Ukraine. Utilizing the classical approaches to the study of the political culture combined with the literature on political identities in the post-communist countries, this thesis submits that some components of the political culture of Ukrainians transformed during the studied period. The biggest changes occurred regarding citizens' orientations towards others and towards oneself in the political process. Although a low level of confidence in the political institutions and the political regime as the whole, Ukrainians increased their support for such democratic values as protection of human rights, fair and consistent enforcement of the law as well as intolerance towards the presence of corruption. Younger and more educated Ukrainians increased their trust and tolerance towards "others"- people that you meet for the first time, people of another nationality and religion.
The most important findings were about political competence and political actions. The presence of free media during the initial years after the Orange revolution combined with an increase in alternative forms of social interaction and activity such as online discussion groups and blogging, allowed citizens to freely communicate and express their opinions without fear of being punished. This and an increase in interpersonal trust, created favorable conditions for a new form of political socialization, interaction, and collaboration. It also was correlated with an increased in alternative forms of political actions, including political protests.
However, other aspects of political culture have not changed - low confidence in the main political institutions; low membership in political and non political organizations, low political efficacy. Hence, Ukrainians participation in alternative political activities increased in the absence of confidence in traditional forms of political activities such as elections.