“Ways to (Re)thinking the Social Contract for Ukraine”: Aspen Institute Kyiv organized an event as part of the Book Arsenal

A nation that doesn’t read has no future.

Aspen Institute Kyiv encourages reflections on the future of Ukraine. For this purpose, Aspen Institute Kyiv has compiled a collection of essays on the social contract and its various aspects, titled “(Re)thinking the Social Contract for Ukraine.”

During the Book Arsenal, Aspen Institute Kyiv organized a panel discussion titled “Ways to (Re)think the Social Contract for Ukraine,” based on the abovementioned collection. The event brought together intellectuals, artists, book enthusiasts, and publishers who contemplated significant questions about the future and present.

The discussion took part:

Galyna Grygorenko, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

“The amazement of the global community regarding Ukraine is turning into interest. During the full-scale invasion, the world was impressed by Ukraine’s resilience, which generated a desire to understand what Ukraine is. We are getting rid of inferiority at all levels. However, this shouldn’t turn into a policy of ‘everyone owes us for this.'”

Vakhtang Kebuladze, philosopher, publicist, translator, and professor at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

“It’s perilous if the state goes beyond the bounds of the social contract. Then , totalitarianism can prevail. I consider the state a counterpart of the social contract, and in such a case, a liberal democracy will be possible where the state is accountable to us the citizens. Ukraine holds a unique experience that we should share with Europe.”

Oleh Khoma, Doctor of Philosophy, professor, head of the Department of Philosophy and Humanities at Vinnytsia National Technical University.

“The notion of a social agreement is intuitively understandable. We all know the meanings of ‘agreement’ and ‘contract.’ At the same time, a social agreement is not just an invented concept; it’s a profound philosophical concept. The only way to use the concept of a ‘social contract’ is to use it as a metaphor. After all, a social agreement is based not on legal postulates, but on the consent among members of society to live with each other.”

Moderator: Nataliia Kryvda, professor at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and Academic Director of the MBA programs at Edinburgh Business School in Ukraine.

We thank Book Arsenal’s participants and visitors for this engaging event!

The “Social Contract for Ukraine” project is implemented with the support of NED (National Endowment for Democracy).