I am pleased to introduce the second issue in Studies in Symbolic Interaction's “Blue Ribbon Paper” series. In contrast to the chapters in the first issue that focused…
I am pleased to introduce the second issue in Studies in Symbolic Interaction's “Blue Ribbon Paper” series. In contrast to the chapters in the first issue that focused exclusively on theoretical matters, the chapters in this one are focused on empirical problems. In John Johnson's and Andrew Melnikov's provocative article, “The Wisdom of Distrust: Reflections on Ukrainian Society and Sociology,” they examine the results of a nation-wide poll that shows among other things that Ukrainian citizenry paradoxically displays little faith in any of the branches of their democratically elected government. On the one hand, this finding is paradoxical because democracy is a relatively new experience for present day Ukrainians. Since their country had been for years a puppet state of the former Soviet Union, one would think that they now would be elated by the opportunity to elect their leaders. On the other hand, the founding fathers of our nation also displayed considerable distrust in government, including democratically elected ones, such as our own. In fact, their distrust was so great that it led them to build into our constitution an intricate system of checks and balances of power among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our government. Although conventional psychological wisdom is that distrust of others is a sign of paranoia, Johnson and Melinkov conclude that being wary of governmental institutions and politicians may be a healthy state of affairs for a country's citizens.
Ukraine regained its independence in 1991, following over 7 decades of soviet domination, and about 300 years of Russian domination. Democracy and stable institutional…
Ukraine regained its independence in 1991, following over 7 decades of soviet domination, and about 300 years of Russian domination. Democracy and stable institutional development have proven problematic for Ukraine since 1991, arguably more so than any of the other Eastern European countries. Unlike the increasing economic development in the other countries, for example, per capita GNP in Ukraine has decreased by approximately 50% in the last decade. President Viktor Yushchenko's “Orange Revolution” has promised certain westernized economic reforms, but political opposition has forced a new election scheduled for September 30, 2007.
Francisco J. Alatorre earned his law degree in Mexico, where he also practiced law before emigrating to the United States in 1991. He completed his Ph.D. degree in Justice Studies in 2011, and he is now Assistant Professor of Criminology at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico. His dissertation research involved a study of undocumented immigrants in Arizona.