Examined by War: New Bonds and Old Cleavages in Post-Maidan Ukrainian Society

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University for a presentation by Mykola Riabchuk (Fulbright Scholar, George Washington University).

The undeclared Russo-Ukrainian war has substantially changed the political views and geopolitical orientations of many Ukrainians. Even more crucially, it caused some shift in identities and value systems. The ethnically Russian and Russophone part of the Ukrainian population was challenged in particular by the events and was targeted by the Russian propaganda. Most of them, except for the Russia-occupied Crimea and Donbas, stood up for the Ukrainian cause and surprised many foreign observers, let alone the Kremlin, with their newly discovered Ukrainian patriotism and civic loyalty. This article examines available sociological data and argues that a new, future-oriented type of Ukrainian identity is in the making. It may well supersede all the ethnic, linguistic and other divides in Ukrainian society if the new social trust, that emerged between various groups during the war against the common enemy, if properly institutionalized and effectively supported by both the functional state and nascent civil society.

Mykola Riabchuk is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Political and Nationalities’ Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and a member of the editorial boards of Krytyka, Porownania, and Journal of South Eastern Europe. Since 2014, he presides at the Ukrainian PEN Center and heads the jury of the Angelus international literary award and the national Yuri Shevelov award for the best essays. His books on civil society, state/nation building, nationalism, national identity, and post-communist transition include “De la petit Russie a l’Ukraine” (L’Harmattan, 2003), “Die reale und die imaginierte Ukraine” (Suhrkamp 2006), “Gleichschaltung. Authoritarian Consolidation in Ukraine, 2010-2012” (KIS 2012), and “Ukraina: syndrom postkolonialny” (KEW 2015).

His work was distinguished with many fellowships and awards, including the Reagan-Fascell fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy andBene merito medal of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs. Currently, he is a visiting Fulbright researcher at the George Washington University.


This event is free and open to the public.

For more information please contact Dr. Mark Andryczyk at 212-854-4697 or at ma2634@columbia.edu