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Modern Ukrainian nationalism: Nationalist political parties in Ukraine, 1988-1992.

Wilson, Andrew (1994) Modern Ukrainian nationalism: Nationalist political parties in Ukraine, 1988-1992. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This work studies the nature of nationalism in a country whose stability is of vital concern to Western Europe. Apart from Russia herself, Ukraine is the largest country to emerge from the break-up of the USSR, and its size, population, economic potential and military power mean that the stability, or even survival, of most other states in the region is dependent on what happens in Ukraine. Moreover, relations between Ukraine and Russia are the key to the politics of the whole region. Ukraine's attitude to Russia is complicated, however. On the one hand, many Ukrainian nationalists are deeply hostile to Russia as their traditional imperial enemy, but on the other hand they are in a minority within their own country. Many ethnic Russians or Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Eastern and Southern Ukraine would prefer to see the maintenance of close links with Russia. The Ukrainian nationalist movement has therefore historically been weak, unable to command a natural majority in its own country. In response to this weakness, some Ukrainian nationalists have in the past sought to build bridges with Eastern and Southern Ukraine by constructing a broad-based civic nationalism, whilst others have reacted in frustration and embraced an authoritarian ethnic nationalism of the type which has caused so much trouble elsewhere in Europe after the collapse of communism. This work therefore examines the nature of the modern Ukrainian nationalist movement since its emergence in 1988. It demonstrates that the movement was unable to fully overcome its historical weaknesses, and that Ukrainian independence was only achieved in August 1991 with the help of the former imperial elite in Ukraine, that is with those 'national communists' who embraced the national cause in 1990-1. After independence, in 1991-2, the nationalists were able to push their agenda on the national communists, but were unable to expand their overall appeal. The nationalists were therefore not in a strong position to prevent the national communists backsliding on their agenda, as leftist and regional lobbies began to grow in Eastern and Southern Ukraine from the summer of 1992 onwards. The work also demonstrates that, although most Ukrainian nationalists emphasised civic nationalism in 1988-90, most had moved to the right by the end of 1992. Ethnic nationalism, only a minority concern in 1988, was growing strongly in popularity by the end of the period. The work is based on original sources collected in Ukraine during a series of visits in 1991-2, including party press and publications, party archives, interviews with leading figures, and the Ukrainian press, both central and local. The limited range of secondary literature available was also consulted. Chapter 1 uses the ideal-type distinction between ethnic and civic nationalism to examine the development of the Ukrainian nationalist movement in the twentieth century. Chapter 2 surveys the development of political parties in Ukraine, and then Chapters 3-7 look at the main nationalist parties individually. Chapter 8 then looks at the key split in the nationalist movement in early 1992, and at various attempts to bind the nationalist camp back together. Transliteration is based on the Library of Congress system. However, in a common modification of the system, words beginning with 'iu' or 'ia' begin with a 'y' (therefore 'Yurii' instead of 'Iurii'). A soft sign is transliterated as an apostrophe (Nezalezhnist'), and a Ukrainian apostrophe as a speech mark (Luk"ianenko). Ukrainian and Russian words are in italics, except those which have passed into common usage such as perestroika and glasnost (no apostrophe), as excessive italicisation is ugly. Ukrainian place names are used throughout. therefore 'Odesa' is used instead of 'Odessa', the 'Donbas' instead of the 'Donbass', and so on. 'Kiev', rather than 'Kyiv' is retained as a common Anglicism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, History, Russian and Soviet, Slavic Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1242

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