Ukraine: Contested Nationhood in a European Context: Contested Nationhood in a European Context, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ukraine: Contested Nationhood in a European Context

Contested Nationhood in a European Context, 1st Edition

By Ulrich Schmid


144 pages

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Hardback: 9780367199807
pub: 2019-11-19
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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.

Table of Contents

1. Where Is Ukraine Situated?

2. How Many Ukraines Are There? Seeing the East-West Opposition in Context

3. The Russian Perspective: ‘Little Russia’ in the ‘Russian World’

4. The Cultivation of the Habsburg Myth in Galicia and Bukovina

5. Poland as Friend and Foe: From the Volhynia Massacre to the Polish Initiatives for Ukraine in the EU

6. National Independence and Regional Differences

7. History Wars over the Tragedies of the Soviet Era

8. The Ukraine Crisis: Civil War or Russian Hybrid War?

9. The Ukrainian Economy

10. The European Union as Unwilling Protector of Ukraine

11. The Complicated Relationship with the USA and NATO

12. Quo vadis, Ukraine?

13. List of Historical City Names

14. Bibliography

About the Author

Ulrich Schmid (born in 1965) is professor of Russian Studies at the University of St. Gallen. His research interests include nationalism, popular culture, and media in Eastern Europe. He studied German and Slavic literature at the Universities of Zürich, Heidelberg, and Leningrad. He held academic positions in Basel, Bern, Bochum, and was a visiting researcher at Harvard University, in Warsaw, and in Oslo. His publications include Regionalism without Regions. Reconceptualizing Ukraine’s Heterogeneity (ed. 2019). De profundis. On the failure of the Russian Revolution (ed. 2017). Technologies of the Soul. The Production of Truth in Contemporary Russian Culture (2015), Sword, Eagle and Cross. The Aesthetics of the Nationalist Discourse in Interwar Poland (ed. 2013), Tolstoi as a Theological Thinker and Critic of the Church (ed. 2013), Lev Tolstoi (2010), Literary Theories of the 20th Century (ed. 2010), Russian Media Theories (ed. 2005), Russian Religious Philosophers of the 20th Century (ed. 2003), The Designed Self. Russian Autobiographies between Avvakum and Herzen (2000).

About the Series

Europa Country Perspectives

The new Europa Country Perspectives series, from Routledge, examines a wide range of contemporary political, economic, developmental and social issues from areas around the world. Complementing the Europa Regional Surveys of the World series, Europa Country Perspectives will be a valuable resource for academics, students, researchers, policy-makers, business people and anyone with an interest in current world affairs.

While the Europa World Year Book and its associated Regional Surveys inform on and analyse contemporary economic, political and social developments at the national and regional level, Country Perspectives provide in-depth, country-specific volumes written or edited by specialists in their field, delving into a country’s particular situation. Volumes in the series are not constrained by any particular template, but may explore a country’s recent political, economic, international relations, social, defence, or other issues in order to increase understanding.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Advocacy
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Commentary & Opinion