Ukraine: Contested Nationhood in a European Context: Contested Nationhood in a European Context

1st Edition

Ulrich Schmid

November 19, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 144 Pages
ISBN 9780367199807 - CAT# K418310
Series: Europa Country Perspectives

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Prior to the dramatic events of 2014 that prompted an increase in international attention, Ukraine was often considered to be a Russian backwater with unrealistic aspirations of independence or full sovereignty. This book challenges the common view that Ukraine is a country split between a pro-European West and a pro-Russian East. The volume navigates the complicated cultural history of Ukraine and highlights the importance of regional traditions which underpin the current political situation. A key feature of these regional identities is the varying politics of memory that prevail in each (such as the Soviet past being presented as either a foreign occupation or a benign socialist project).

The pluralistic culture of Ukraine (in terms of its languages, national legacies and religions) forms a nation that faces both internal and external challenges. For greater clarity, rather than follow these events chronologically, this book addresses the different conceptualisations of the Ukranian nation and historical interpretations that have been especially influential (e.g. the Russian tradition, the Habsburg past and the Polish connections).

Finally, the book analyses Ukraine’s political and economic options for the future. Whether the desired integration into EU structures can overcome the challenge of concentrated investment power in the hands of a small number of oligarchs and a contining widespread culture of corruption. Or whether the plan to join NATO, which garnered robust support in the aftermath of the Russian aggression in 2014, can materialise under the current circumstances.

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