The Idea of Slavic Brotherhood in Ukrainian Political Thought

Wednesday, April 12, 2006
12:00pm
Room 1219, International Affairs Building, Columbia University, 420 W. 118th St.

The Ukrainian Studies Program at Columbia University will host a lecture by, Dr. Prof. Anatoliy Kruglashov, Head of the Department of Political Science at Chernivtsi Jury Fedkovych National University, as well as a Shklar Research Fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, titled:

“THE IDEA OF SLAVIC BROTHERHOOD IN UKRAINIAN POLITICAL THOUGHT:

CAPTIVITIES OF THE MYTH?"”

Dr. Kruglashov writes that the Slavic Idea played a pivotal role in the process of shaping the national consciousness of many Slavic Nations. In the early stages of the National Renaissance in Eastern Europe, it served as a basic pattern in the making of nations’ ideologiesAs for the History of Ukraine, the Slavic Idea is of great importance as well. From members of the Brotherhood of St. Cyril and Methodius to the national activists’ circles at the very end of the XIX century, Ukrainian thinkers prefered expressing their political stance within the framework of this Idea. Political realization of the Slavic Idea was seen in some kind of Slavic Union. Among the most noteworthy of such projects, M. Kostomarov and M. Drahomanov’s must be mentioned.

At the same time, the Ukrainian vision of Slavic Brotherhood gradually and obviously differentiated from the main Russian discourse of it. These visions were, finally, becoming more and more confronted. Hot debates occurred as the leaders of both Nations revolted around the concept of their Nation's future.

The political importance and attractiveness of the Slavic Idea in the theoretical constructions of Ukrainian leaders, however, faded away at the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century. Representatives of Ukrainian Poltical Thought mostly renounced any importance of this Idea. And, only now, might the Idea of the (Eastern) Slavs Brotherhood be reemerging in Independent Ukraine.

In his lecture, Dr. Kruglashov will outline the main stages of the Slavic Idea's evolution in Ukrainian Political Thought as well as current debates around the Project of Slavic Unity.