UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

‘Where’s Your Mannerheim Line?’ On the ‘History Front’ in Ukraine: Interventions in Civic Discourses of Public History (2012-2021) Tackling Russia’s Revanchist ‘Dominion of Meaning’

Woolley, Ursula; (2024) ‘Where’s Your Mannerheim Line?’ On the ‘History Front’ in Ukraine: Interventions in Civic Discourses of Public History (2012-2021) Tackling Russia’s Revanchist ‘Dominion of Meaning’. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

[thumbnail of Woolley__thesis.pdf] Text
Woolley__thesis.pdf
Access restricted to UCL open access staff until 1 February 2027.

Download (6MB)

Abstract

The thesis examines public discursive responses in Ukraine to Russian propaganda about Ukrainian history in order to show how revanchist Russia’s discursive Großraum was operating in Ukraine before 2022 and how it was being tackled in Ukraine, politically and intellectually. To do this, it analyses interventions in discourses of public history in four cities in Ukraine, approximately during 2012-2021. It analyses how these interventions interact with narratives about those cities being generated simultaneously by ‘national content providers’ in Kyiv. It also analyses how these national and regional interventions in Ukraine act in concert to modify tropes and narratives concerning Ukraine in Russian history propaganda. Discourse analysis and political analysis of texts and representations of public history, in and about the regional capitals of Dnipro, Poltava, Odesa and Kharkiv, show how mostly non-elite and civic actors in Ukraine respond individually and associationally to ‘securitised’ Russian discourses of historical and mnemonic identity. The exercise of discursive, ideational and interpretive influence, the ‘dominion of meaning’ (‘smyslokratiya’) in, and about, what Russia deems should be its (human and geographical) sphere of influence in the world, is central to the success of Russian revanchism and the official Russian worldview. In this thesis, the ‘area-led’, ‘case-led’ investigation of the ‘small-state’, decentralised and largely civic response by Ukraine to Russian government history propaganda demonstrates the nature of the engagement between two different forms of politics. This thesis shows that relatively dispersed political power in Ukraine, and patterns of individual and non-elite public discursive agency (‘loosely associational agency’ and ‘loosely associational agentic activism’), model an under-investigated and under-conceptualised response to revanchist informational autocracy. It shows that the assertion of agency over imposed narratives of identity ‘security’ is intrinsic to the functioning of the Ukrainian political project. In terms of wider applicability, conceptually and normatively, the actors and interventions analysed here model an approach to the dispersed, non-elite construction of a dynamic, civic national identity which offers a radical alternative to the traditional model of a national identity composed and narrated by elites.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: ‘Where’s Your Mannerheim Line?’ On the ‘History Front’ in Ukraine: Interventions in Civic Discourses of Public History (2012-2021) Tackling Russia’s Revanchist ‘Dominion of Meaning’
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2024. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186230
Downloads since deposit
2Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item