The third session of the XV-XVI program of the USPS.

On October 21-24, the Ukrainian School of Political Studies held the Third Session of the XV-XVI Program in Lviv!

The third session is the last, where the whole group gathered, and then we will see the participants outside the training in USPS. However, we are convinced that we will have fruitful cooperation and many joint activities and projects with this year’s program participants.

The struggle of the German occupiers against the Ukrainian liberation movement in 1943-1944

Visiting the National Museum-Memorial of the Victims of Occupation Regimes “Loncky Street Prison” has already become a tradition of the Lviv session of the USPS.

This year, in addition to the tour, participants will listen to a lecture on the struggle of the German occupiers against the Ukrainian liberation movement in 1943-1944.

The tour fell on a special date – 74 years ago, on October 21, 1947, the most massive deportation of the population of Western Ukraine to Siberia took place. It was a punitive operation of the USSR government code-named “West” against the national liberation movement members. More than 75,000 people were deported in one day. It is crucial for Ukrainians to remember their history. And it’s not just about victories and achievements, we have to remember the black pages of our history. We must remember the people who gave their lives for Ukraine. We must not forget the victims of the occupying power, whether Polish, Soviet, or Nazi.

Thank you for the opportunity to experience history with Viktor Senytsky, the custodian of the funds of the National Museum-Memorial of the Victims of Occupation Regimes “Prison on Lontsky” in Lviv, and the entire staff of the museum.

Ukraine’s political parties – a special case?

There are more than 350 political parties in Ukraine, and the process of their creation continues. However, are political parties in Ukraine an institution of a liberal-democratic society? In the current system – no.

The Ukrainian voter is not yet ready to build a liberal-democratic project and take responsibility. Populism still works for the “average voter.” In addition, there is no intra-party democracy in Ukraine. Almost all existing parties are not membership, but leadership, with a very centralized structure, which also slows down the development of parties as a political liberal-democratic institution.

What to do with it – the participants of the USPS program discussed in Lviv with Anatoliy Romaniuk, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor of Political Science, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

Risk and human nature. Ethical dimension

Why do people constantly look for non-existent patterns? Can we control our own lives, or is it just an illusion? Who should pay taxes – the employer or the citizen? And what about pensions? How to regulate the market, and is it necessary at all?

Many questions, especially those affecting the economic sphere, raise ethical dilemmas to which there is no clear answer. These issues concern restrictions on human rights and freedoms and require both public debate and academic research.

Tetiana Bilous, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Methodology of Science, Faculty of Philosophy, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, discussed behavioral economics, the model of limited rationality, and libertarian paternalism with USPS participants.

Conversation with the mayor of Lviv

Another tradition of the Lviv session is a visit to Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi.

Participants of the XV-XVI program had the opportunity to ask questions to the mayor of Lviv, talk about the development strategy of Lviv, and solving urgent problems of the local community.

To talk openly about achievements and defeats, right and wrong decisions with politicians is very valuable for us. However, openness and a willingness to admit mistakes are still rare for Ukrainian politicians.

We are convinced that systemic development and moving forward is possible only with analyzing their experience, reflecting, and realizing responsibility.

The rule of law (a measure of the rule of law) through the eyes of lawyers vs. the rule of law in the imagination of other people

Lately, we have been hearing everywhere about the rule of law. We hear so often that we attribute a certain level of awareness to this topic. But is it so? How does the rule of law differ through the eyes of lawyers from the rule of law in the imagination of other people?

Many people believe that the rule of law is a kind of legal remedy to meet the needs of the population, which can be used if these needs are not met by law. This is partly a valid judgment, but in reality, the question is much broader and more complex.

How and when did the idea of the rule of law arise? What is the concept of the Rechtsstaat? And are the concepts of “the rule of law” and “rule according to higher law” identical? The participants talked about this with Dmytro Hudyma, a judge of the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court and a USPS 2012 program alumni.

Artificial intelligence for future presidents

Artificial intelligence is no longer a narrow technology that only scientists and engineers are interested in. The spread of AI in various spheres of human life is impressive: from business management, finance, marketing to education, medicine, space, and military technology. But how does it work? What threats and opportunities does it pose to humanity? Should we be afraid of it?

Participants of the USPS program had the opportunity to discuss these crucial issues with Oleksiy Molchanovsky, Deputy Dean for Innovation of the Faculty of Applied Sciences of the Ukrainian Catholic University, and 2018 USPS program alumni.

The religious component of Ukrainian socio-political life

We live in a modern country with 30,000 new IT professionals every year, so why do politicians often try to play the religious card? Does religion really play such an essential role in our state?

Christianity has ruled in Ukraine for more than a thousand years and therefore has significantly influenced the formation of the Ukrainian state. The religious component is almost the main one for many Ukrainians, and therefore religious issues affect the values, principles, and daily behavior of the citizens of our state. And Russia is trying to use this component in a hybrid war.

It is difficult to speak about religion in simple words and even more challenging to show the pragmatic side of religion and how faith can be turned into a weapon. However, Andriy Andrushkiv, executive director of the Center of United Actions and 2016 USPS program alumni, was able to immerse the participants of the USPS program in a meaningful discussion. The aftertaste of the lecture is thought-provoking.

What is justice?

The third session ended with a conversation about justice. It is crucial for a modern democracy to understand the dependence of justice on social institutions.

We are the same only in the ability to be human. However, people are unequal. So is justice possible as a social construct? Is it “profitable” to be a fair person? What views on social justice are common in Ukraine? And what does the principle of “equal treatment of equals and unequal treatment of unequals” mean?

Andriy Bogachov, Professor of Theoretical and Practical Philosophy at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, discussed with the School participants the topic of justice, the essence of public life, and the primary needs of modern man.

This concludes this year’s School program. It was a busy year, during which we became very close to the band. But we are convinced that this is not our last meeting!