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Identity and Borders in Flux: the Case of Ukraine

This project examines ethnonational identity in Ukraine after the 2019 election

Recent elections have heightened fears that populist discourse is driving ethnonationalism across Europe. One recent European election (in Ukraine) has bucked this trend. Although incumbent Poroshenko followed an ethnonationalist playbook (emphasising ethnic, linguistic and patriotic tropes), he lost dramatically to a Russian-speaking comedian (Zelensky) who de-emphasised identity. This project revisits the question of whether ethnonational identity is essentially immutable once formed (Horowitz 1985) or whether it remains highly situational and politically plastic even in countries polarised along identity lines (Brubaker 2004; Hale 2004). The project proposes innovative methods to better untangle the complex relationship between identities, actors interested in shaping them, and political outcomes.

Principal Investigator: Dr Olga Onuch, University of Manchester

Project part of

Tackling the UK's International Challenges

The projects funded under this programme aim to bring new research ideas and methods to bear on understanding the UK’s international challenges – past, current and future.

International

We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.