Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




The Original Maidan: Revisiting the Revolution on the Granite in Comparative Perspective

This event was held virtually as a Zoom webinar and streamed via YouTube Live.

Please join the Ukrainian Studies Program at the Harriman Institute for a presentation by Olga Onuch (University of Manchester), with a discussion moderated by Mark Andryczyk (Harriman Institute).

The “Revolution on The Granite” (RoG) is the often overlooked and relatively understudied foundational protest event in contemporary independent Ukraine. Employing evidence from more than 200 interviews with activists and 16 focus groups with both activists and ordinary citizens who participated in Ukrainian protests, Onuch will present her past and present research on the history of mass mobilization since perestroika with an in-depth look at the RoG. She will explain how the RoG was not only the original Maidan but also how it set the scene for future protest repertoires, mobilization networks, and ideologies, claims and grievances. Finally she will examine the import of cross-cleavage coalitions that first formed in 1990 and have continue to drive mobilization success and outcomes to today.

Olga Onuch is an Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Politics at the University of Manchester, and has previously held posts at the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford. She is an Associate Fellow of Nuffield College Oxford and the Harvard Ukrainian Institute. Onuch is a leading expert in inter-regional comparative analysis of civic protest, particularly in Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is Principal Investigator of the IBIF and MOBILISE projects. Her first book, Mapping Mass Mobilization, is the first contentious politics account of mass protest in Ukraine and the first comparative analysis of both elite, activist, and citizen-level mobilization processes. Her research regularly appears in leading media outlets such as The Washington Post, The Times, The Guardian, BBC, ITV, Al Jazeera, and AFP. She has advised policy makers in Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and the EU. She has also previously worked with/for the OECD, OSCE, UNDP, World Bank, OSI Think Tank Fund, and British Council.

Event Video