Independent Identity: Influencers and Content of Ukrainian Identity during National Independence Movements and Related Events

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Date
2021-01-01
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Cornell, Jodi
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Scott Feinstein
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Political Science
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Political Science
Abstract

Even though much has been written about Ukrainian national identity, research on Ukrainian national identity does not tend to address the evolution of identity or the moments and conditions of identity change. The focus of this paper is to review what scholars have written regarding Ukrainian national identity from approximately 1880 to 2017, during moments of widely recognized state instability and national upheaval, which include Ukraine’s national awakening during the turn of the century, the chaos of World War I and Ukraine’s first brief experience of independence, World War II and its aftermath, perestroika and independence, the Orange Revolution, and the Euromaidan and the Revolution of Dignity. During these periods in its history, Ukraine was divided by two empires, experienced brief independence, became part of the USSR, and is now once again independent and still in the process of building a cohesive national identity. This review attempts to identify the categories that shape and provide content for identity during these different time periods, and to reveal how Ukrainian national identity has changed and evolved over time. The identified categories include: foreign aggression or repression, nation-building and nationalism, social movements, war and violence, language policies, Ukrainian national symbols, territorial issues, and independence.

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