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History, politics and national identity in Southern and Eastern Ukraine

Pirie, Paul Stepan; (1998) History, politics and national identity in Southern and Eastern Ukraine. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the interconnection between history, national identity and politics in Eastern and Southern Ukraine (with special reference to the Donbass, Odessa oblast and the Republic of Crimea). The study comprises three distinct parts: the first section (three chapters) explores the history of the region from the beginning of significant settlement in the 18th. century to the onset of the Perestroika reforms. The second part of the study (Chapter Four) considers how intermarriage as well as other demographic forces have informed the regional identity. Currently, much of the population of the region identifies as both Ukrainian and Russian; this identification is generally weak and unstable. This informs popular attitudes towards such key questions as Ukraine's statehood and its relations with Russia. Studies of national identity have tended to assume an individual belongs to only one or another ethnic group, while the process by which an individual determines his or her ethnic identity has been largely ignored. Sociological surveys carried out in Ukraine demonstrate that mixed identification is a fairly common phenomenon. It appears that high levels of intermarriage have been a leading factor contributing to this type of identification. Political life in this region mirrors the ambivalent nature of national identity; support for the Ukrainian 'national idea' has been fairly unstable and unreliable. Furthermore, the intense competition of regional economic, political and criminal elites in the sub-regions of the East and South have limited its political influence on the central government. There is a tendency for one influential group in each region to look to Kiev for allies and sponsors against a local opponent. This phenomenon - most clearly illustrated by the case of Crimea - has tended to neutralise latent pro-Russian movements in the region.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: History, politics and national identity in Southern and Eastern Ukraine
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10100166
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