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The notion of “strategic communications” had entered our vocabulary in the recent decades signifying the importance of communication imbued with a strong agenda and planning to realize the objectives of an organization, institution or even a country in the globalized world. While the business component of strategic communications seemed to be the primary aspect of their development, we could also ascertain the global security component of this concept in context of strategies pursued by an independent state or a country.

Looking specifically to Ukrainian context we could identify a dire need for Ukrainian political establishment and its institutions to broadcast its positions in a strategic manner. Lately, Ukraine has been sending mixed set of signals to the world, proclaiming its adherence to the ideals of freedom, independence and democracy, yet continuing close economic cooperation with its enemies, while being mired in corruption and dysfunctional oligarchy.

It needs to be emphasized that in current global climate it is essential for continuing security of Ukrainian state to eradicate the corruption and send a consistent, strategic signal indicating that this is indeed the path this country is undertaking.

Corruption, in its most simplistic form involves the existence of monopoly and discretion without sufficient accountability (Klitgaard, 1988:75). Current situation in Ukraine certainly reflects this definition. Present political elite and members of the ruling institutions need to start concerning themselves with elimination of the root causes of corruption, such as poverty, low lever of economic development, lack of the rule of law, lack of monitoring as well as lack of sanctioning the illegal corrupt behaviors, especially by those who are part of the society’s elite. Given the detrimental effects of corrupt dominance, such as short run orientation for business and government, lack of security in property rights domain, decrease of foreign direct investment, decrease of competition and continuing reallocation of talent, this status quo cannot continue without negatively affecting the viability of the state. Ukraine has entered a vicious cycle, where the widespread non-compliance and lack of governmental credibility create self-reinforcing patterns of behavior, even while the population expresses great distaste for the present situation (Rose-Ackerman, 2001: 559). The path away from this vicious circle involves combination of preventative, educational as well as law enforcing initiatives. This goal requires a significant increase in resources allocated to detection and punishment of corrupt behavior as well as concrete steps in the direction of creation of state based in the rule and clarity of law. This implementation requires political will and openness, independence of the judiciary from politicians, and regular independent audit.

If the political elite is willing to put forth the above mentioned efforts it is critically important that each step of such endeavor is documented and broadcast strategically, including new methods of outreach, professional selection of the audience targets as well as high degree of consistency and coordination in delivery of the messages. Modern world allows the use of information as a tool for achievement many goals, including the goals of national security and defense. Current fragile condition of Ukrainian statehood increases the importance of all strategic communications, especially those which are capable increasing the legitimacy of the state for the country’s population as well the legitimacy of the state’s efforts in development of democracy and openness in the eyes of potential international donors.

References: 1. Klitgaard, Robert E. 1988. Controlling Corruption. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press/ 2. Rose-Ackerman, Susan 2001. “Trust, Honesty and Corruption: reflection on the state-building process”, Archives of European Sociology, XLII, 3: 526-570.



Associate Professor of Sociology

The Ohio State University, Marion