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Recent Publications in Ukrainian Studies

Recent Publications


The AAUS maintains a list of peer-reviewed journal articles published in English that focus on different aspects of Ukrainian studies (politics, economics, history, society, culture, language and literature). This list is updated periodically. If you have a recommendation for a recent peer-reviewed English-language academic article on Ukraine for our list, please email full article citation to journals@ukrainianstudies.org. Please note that while publications included in this list focus on Ukraine, they come from many different types of journals not devoted exclusively to Ukrainian studies. In addition to the list below, we invite you to visit websites of two English-language journals exclusively devoted to the Ukrainian studies: Harvard Ukrainian Studies, published by Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute (HURI), and East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, published by Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.

Politics and Economics

Kristian Ȧtland (2020) “Destined For Deadlock? Russia, Ukraine, and the Unfulfilled Minsk Agreements,” Post-Soviet Affairs, DOI:10.1080/1060586X.2020.1720443

Abstract: Bringing peace, security, and stability to the war-torn region of Donbas has proven to be a challenging – some would say near-impossible – task. The “Minsk II” agreement, signed in February 2015, was supposed to put an end to the armed hostilities, resolve the underlying political issues, and gradually restore Ukrainian government control of the country’s eastern border. None of this has happened. Despite continuous Western support and pressure, progress in the implementation of the peace plan signed in Minsk has been slow, also after the much-anticipated Paris summit of the “Normandy Four” (Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France) in December 2019. This article discusses the underlying causes of the current stalemate, emphasizing factors such as the inherently complex nature of the conflict, the process through which “Minsk II” came into being, the vague and ambiguous language of this and other agreements, practical challenges related to the timing and sequencing of agreed-upon measures, and Russia’s persistent non-acknowledgement of its role in the conflict.

Alexander Duleba (2021) "Differentiated European Integration of Ukraine in Comparative Perspective," East European Politics and Societies, DOI: 10.1177%2F08883254211005179

Abstract: This article offers a comparative analysis of Ukraine’s Association Agreement against the backdrop of other agreements of the EU with third countries that facilitate their partial integration into the EU’s common space of four freedoms, albeit without institutional membership (EEA Agreement of Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein; EU–Swiss Bilaterals, and Turkey’s Customs Union). In addition, this analysis includes the Stabilisation and Association Agreements of the Western Balkan countries and the former Europe Agreements of the Central European countries. The research draws on concepts of differentiated integration and external governance of the EU. The analysis is built along two dimensions: identification of the regulatory boundary (policy-taking: scope of transposition of the EU acquis, legal quality of transposition, and the type of supervision mechanism) and organizational boundary (policy-shaping: inclusion in the EU institutions). The analysis concludes that Ukraine’s Association Agreement compared with other EU integration agreements with third countries includes the largest structural asymmetry, that is, the biggest gap between the largest volume of acquis, which Ukraine has to incorporate into its national legislation on one hand, and the lowest level of institutional involvement of Ukraine in policy-shaping within the EU on the other.

Marnie Howlett (2020) “Playing Near the Edge: An Analysis of Ukrainian Border Youths’ Engagement with the Euromaidan,” Problems of Post-Communism, DOI: 10.1080/10758216.2020.1845212

Abstract: While citizenries' responses to sociopolitical events are often studied, how youth engage with such happenings remains unclear. This article therefore analyzes 45 texts written by individuals under the age of eighteen in three of Ukraine’s regions—Zakarpattia, Volyn, and Chernihiv—following the Euromaidan of 2013-14. The study reveals the ways young Ukrainians absorbed, upheld, and (re)inscribed national narratives and discourses in light of the demonstrations and subsequent war. Though it remains uncertain whether their feelings will be sustained into the future, the paper emphasizes the wide-reaching effects of sociopolitical happenings on a country’s entire population.

Ihor Hurak & Paul D’Anieri (2020) “The Evolution of Russian Political Tactics in Ukraine,” Problems of Post-Communism, DOI: 10.1080/10758216.2020.1819162

Abstract: The conflict in Donbas has distracted attention from broader patterns of interaction between Russia and Ukraine. Russia continues to use a variety of tactics, apart from military force, to influence Ukraine. Among the key tactics are coercion in the gas sector, naval blockade, “passport colonialism,” attempts to sway Ukrainian elections, support for the pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, and promotion of religious influence through the Russian Orthodox Church. None of these tactics is novel, but each is evolving along with circumstances. Regardless of what happens in Donbas, Ukraine will continue to feel multifaceted pressure from Russia.

Deema Kaneff (2021) “‘The Market is Far Away’. Global Connections and Economic Remoteness in Rural Ukraine,” Europe-Asia Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2020.1843602

Abstract: This article examines the role of the ‘global market’ in the exacerbation of economic remoteness in rural Ukraine. Based on a case study of a UK-sponsored project that set up a sewing centre in a rural community in Odessa province, I explore how unequal access to the global economy is determined by the type of market sought and the type of product designated for production. The approach looks critically at ‘the market’—as both a Western-oriented ideological construct and set of practices—that serves to distance the community from centres of global economic importance, both in a temporal and spatial sense.

Nataliia Kasianenko (2020) “Presidential Rhetoric and Nationalism: Evidence from Russia and Ukraine,” Nationalities Papers, DOI:10.1017/nps.2019.130

Abstract: This article leverages saliency theory to explore how regimes may use state-controlled media to intensify nationalism and gain legitimacy.
I explore mainstream news coverage in Russia and Ukraine with a particular emphasis on how political leadership frames nationalist rhetoric in the two countries to emphasize certain issues over others. I focus on relevant media content that contains nationalist rhetoric before and after the invasion of Russia into Ukraine’s territory in the spring of 2014. Content analysis suggests that political leaders in both countries have focused on political issues, while largely ignoring economic issues in their nationalist rhetoric. The analysis also shows that state leaders can successfully promote nationalism by emphasizing cultural issues and concerns.

Christopher Lander & Brian Kuns (2021) “The Sinking of the Armada: Problems for the Three ‘Flagship’ Foreign Investment Agroholdings in Russia and Ukraine,” Europe-Asia Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2020.1842330

Abstract: This article examines the factors that have contributed to the recent divestment of three ‘flagship’ Nordic investors from the Russian agricultural sector. These factors include corruption, pressure from regional administrations and the economic downswing arising from geopolitical tensions related to the Russian annexation of Crimea. The companies all sought to project calm as geopolitical tensions rose. This calm, however, belied a concern for the impact of the crisis on corporate operations. While the companies were affected by the geopolitical crisis, they had all been experiencing prior difficulties, and it is argued here that the Crimean crisis was only one factor, among others, leading to the divestments.

Anna Oliinky & Taras Kuzio (2021) "The Euromaidan Revolution, Reforms and Decommunisation in Ukraine", Europe-Asia Studies, 73:5, 807-836, DOI: 10.1080/09668136.2020.1862060

Abstract: This article provides a comprehensive analysis of Ukraine’s adoption of four decommunisation laws in April 2015, their implementation and the controversy they generated. The first section analyses changes in Ukrainian memory politics prior to 2014. In 2006, the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (Ukrainskyi Instytut Natsionalnoi Pamiat—UINP) was established but given meagre resources by President Viktor Yushchenko; pro-Russian political forces were opposed to both the Holodomor recognised as a genocide and official recognition of the Ukrainian resistance movement. The second section provides an analysis of Ukraine’s decommunisation process which was made possible by: the Euromaidan Revolution; collapse of pro-Russian political forces; election of a large pro-European parliamentary coalition; and the impact of Russian military aggression on Ukrainian attitudes to Russia and Ukrainian national identity. Together these four factors reduced opposition and energised those who supported decommunisation. In the third section we argue that six criticisms of Ukraine’s decommunisation raised by Western and Ukrainian scholars were exaggerated and misplaced.

Society and Culture

Nadiia Bureiko, Teodor Lucian Moga, Alexandra Gheorghiu & Bogdan–Constantin Ibănescu (2021) “Between the Home and Kin-State: Self-Identification and Attachment of Ukrainians and Romanians in the Ukrainian-Romanian Borderland of Bukovina,” Problems of Post-Communism, 68:1, 53-65, DOI: 10.1080/10758216.2020.1734470

Abstract: This paper explores the two most relevant minority groups living on the two sides of the Ukrainian–Romanian borderland of Bukovina. This research inquires from a comparative perspective how Romanians in Ukraine and Ukrainians in Romania (confined to the region of Bukovina) position themselves in relation to the state of their ethnic origin and to the current state of their residency. The paper argues that the self-identification of each ethnic minority with the present home state hinges more on the economic and political conditions existing in the respective state rather than on cultural bonding or loyalties to their kin-state.

Anna Glew (2021) "Path Dependent: Positioning Ukrainian War Memorials in a Post-Soviet Landscape," Canadian Slavonic Papers, 63:1-2, 229-247, DOI: 10.1080/00085006.2021.1915525

Abstract: This article analyzes the impact of Soviet memorials to the Great Patriotic War in the Poltava oblast (central Ukraine) on the positioning of new war memorials in the post-Soviet urban landscape. Focusing on two key factors (availability of sites and their symbolic potency), the article shows that the Soviet memorials to the Great Patriotic War played an important role in how the memorials to the Soviet–Afghan war were positioned in the urban landscape of independent Ukraine, and that this prepared the ground for present-day discussions about the most appropriate way to position the memorials to the Russia–Ukraine conflict. The article contributes to discussions of the importance of the urban landscape in monument-building and elucidates the path-dependent nature of commemorations.

Jean-Claude Marcadé (2019) "Kyiv: The Capital of Modernity at the Turn Of the Twentieth Century," Harvard Ukrainian Studies, 36:3-4, 275-306, https://www.jstor.org/stable/48585319

Abstract: Despite its status of a provincial capital in the Russian Empire, Kyiv emerges as a major center of artistic experimentation and innovation at the turn of the twentieth century. This article surveys artistic and intellectual life in the city focusing on key events in the history of Ukrainian modernism and avant-garde, such as the Zveno exhibition, which exploded onto the artistic scene of the Ukrainian capital, the Izdebski Salon, the Kol´tso exhibition, the development of Ukrainian futurism under the aegis of Mykhail´ Semenko, as well as the legacy of the Kultur-Lige—proponents of Yiddish language, literature, and culture. A special role in this development of the new art was played by the artistic circles of Oleksandr Bohomazov, Alexandra Exter, Abram Manevich, Alexander Archipenko, and Volodymyr Burliuk, who all took classes at or were influenced by the Kyiv Art School. As the author shows in this article, the defining feature of this new art is deep attention for and fascination with forms, colors, and archetypes of traditional Ukrainian art.

Oleksandra Seliverstova (2018) “‘Consuming’ National Identity in Western Ukraine,” Nationalities Papers, 45:1, 61-79, DOI:10.1080/00905992.2016.1220363

Abstract: This paper represents an attempt to study national identity in the post-Soviet context through the lens of everyday life practices. Building on ideas of banal nationalism and consumer citizenship, and with support of empirical evidence collected in l'viv, Ukraine, this paper demonstrates how national identity becomes materialized in everyday life through consumption practices and objects of consumption. While exploring objects and practices that are not originally national in scope but infused with national meanings by ordinary people, it will be shown how consumption becomes an arena for the expression and renegotiation of national self-portraits. Differences in national meanings among residents of l'viv belonging to two different language groups will highlight the diversity of ways and means by which people express their national sensibilities. By exploring national meanings in everyday consumption practices of Ukrainian citizens, this study aims to provide an alternative perspective on post-Soviet nation-building and contribute to the current debate on the position and identity of the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine.

Alexander Tymczuk (2021) "Bringing the Virus Back Home: Media Representation of Labour Migrants in a Time of Pandemic" East Europe Politics and Societies, DOI: 10.1177/08883254211018770

Abstract: In a globalized world where mobility and movement is at its essence, the movement of viruses paradoxically causes a preoccupation with boundaries, containment, and control over borders, and thus keeping the “dangerous” outside separated from the “safe” inside. Through a qualitative thematic and frame analysis of news articles published on 12 Ukrainian news sites, I found that Ukrainian labour migrants conceptually constitute a challenge to such a clear-cut spatial organization in a time of a pandemic. Labour migrants are part of the national “we,” but their presence in the dangerous outside excludes them from the “imagined immunity.” This ambiguity is evident in the way labour migrants were portrayed during the first months of the outbreak in Ukraine. Initially, Ukrainian labour migrants were depicted as a potential danger, and then blamed for bringing the virus back home. However, the framing of the labour migrants as a danger is only part of the story, and the image of a scapegoat was eventually replaced with images of an economic resource and a victim. Thus, Ukrainian labour migrants have been the object of vilification, heroization, as well as empathy during the various phases of the outbreak. I would argue that these shifting frames are connected to the ambiguous conceptualization of Ukrainian labour migrants in general.

Andrew Wilson (2021) "Imagining Crimean Tatar History since 2014: Indigenous Rights, Russian Recolonisation and the New Ukrainian Narrative of Cooperation" Europe-Asia Studies, 73:5, 837-868 DOI: 10.1080/09668136

Abstract: This article examines competing Crimean Tatar, Russian and Ukrainian views of Crimean Tatar history as they have developed since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, via an examination of popular history and publistika. Crimean Tatar writing insists on the core principle of indigenous rights. In order to marginalise this discourse, Russian historiography adopts a neocolonial settler framing and a mythology of ‘ancient Russian’ Crimea, much of it derived from earlier Tsarist (late nineteenth century) and Soviet (1950s) historiography. Ukraine generally rather neglected the Crimean Tatar issue before 2014, but a new historiography of Crimean Tatar–Cossack cooperation and parallel state-building has emerged.


Viktoriia Gorbunova & Vitalii Klymchuk (2020) “The Psychological Consequences of the Holodomor in Ukraine,” East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, 7:2, 33-68, DOI:10.21226

Abstract: The Holodomor (derived from the Ukrainian words “to kill by starvation”) (1932-33) was the largest famine in Ukrainian history. This article presents the results of a psychological study of personal attitudes to Holodomor events and of worldviews and behavioural strategies connected to famine exposure in the family histories of the survey participants. The results of a survey of 721 respondents showed (1) close connections between a respondent’s pattern of keeping silent about traumatic events that occurred during the Holodomor and the extent of suffering that the respondent’s family experienced during the Holodomor, and (2) close connections between the avoidance of Holodomor-related storytelling and a denial and devaluation of Holodomor events within families. The most common family behavioural strategies of descendants of Holodomor victims showed proper feeding, substantial food storage, and regular health check-in. The most common respondent attitudes comprised a distrust of authority, disappointment with the government, and a priority of family needs over community needs.

Valentyna Krarkhun (2021) "Reconstructing the Past: Narratives of Soviet Occupation In Ukrainian Museums," Canadian Slavonic Papers, 63:1-2, 148-167, DOI:10.1080/00085006.2021.1915519

Abstract: This article examines narratives of occupation in portrayals of the Soviet past in Ukrainian museums. The paper analyzes the juridical, historical, and ideological usage of the term “Soviet occupation” in the Ukrainian context to illuminate the political and cultural circumstances that favoured the creation of Ukrainian museums of occupation. A separate section is devoted to the narrative of occupation found in the museums of other post-Soviet countries, in order to distinguish Ukrainian peculiarities. The article focuses on the Museum of Soviet Occupation and the Kyiv Occupation Museum to discuss the institutionalization of the occupation narrative within Ukraine, examining the main memory actors, dominant narratives, and visitors’ experiences in the establishment and further development of such institutions. This research reveals the essentially anti-Soviet and anti-Russian pathos of narratives of occupation in Ukrainian museums, emphasizing the ways in which they reproduce the Soviet style of history telling.

Martin Rohde (2020) “Ukrainian Popular Science in Habsburg Galicia, 1900-14,” East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, 7:2, 139-171, DOI:10.21226

Abstract: This paper historicizes the idea of “popular science” in the Ukrainian academic discourse in relation to contemporary approaches to “national science” (as “science proper”) and places special emphasis on the introduction of regular scientific lectures to public audiences in early twentieth century Habsburg Galicia. The Shevchenko Scientific Society was the central Ukrainian association of scholars and scientists at the time. Male-dominated, and increasingly dedicated to “Ukrainoznavstvo” (“Ukrainian studies”), the Shevchenko Scientific Society paid little attention to the popularization of scientific research. The Petro Mohyla Society for Ukrainian Scientific Lectures emerged in reaction to the Shevchenko Society. Its goal was to expand public awareness of the scientific work, and its members proceeded to organize regular public lectures all over Galicia between 1909 and 1914. This paper analyzes such popularization of science, propagated by the Petro Mohyla Society, and examines the lecture audiences with regard to their location, gender, and respective interests.

Literature and Language

Roy Finnian (2019) "A Bridge Between Us”: Literature in the Ukrainian-Crimean Tatar Encounter," Comparative Literature Studies, 56:2, 289-316, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/729462 

Abstract: At a time of geopolitical instability in the Black Sea region, the question of the solidarity between two ethnically, religiously, and linguistically divergent peoples—Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars—will influence the extent to which Crimea remains a global flashpoint for the foreseeable future. Despite its significance, however, this solidary relationship has been either overlooked as a discrete object of inquiry or dismissed as a mere political “marriage of convenience” in research literature. This article seeks to delve more deeply into the dynamics of Ukrainian–Crimean Tatar relations and to direct special attention to its cultural drivers, particularly in the realm of literature.

Representing the first comparative study of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar literatures in the English language, this article posits that works by such prominent figures as Lesia Ukraïnka and Şamil Alâdin have actively engaged in intricate, mutual processes of “nominal metaphorization” since the late nineteenth century. These processes, which center on representations of experiences of victimization, help account not only for the practical and political nature of the Ukrainian–Crimean Tatar alliance, but also for its affective and empathic power.


George Grabowicz (2019) “Creating and Concealing Modernism: The Poetry of Pavlo Tychyna Reconsidered,” Harvard Ukrainian Studies, 36:3-4, 447–493, https://www.jstor.org/stable/48585324

Abstract: There is a general consensus that Pavlo Tychyna (1891–1967) is the outstanding Ukrainian poet of the twentieth century. His reception remains fraught, however, and an ongoing aporia (indeed, scandal) in the literary canon. Already in his lifetime, there emerged the notion that he is basically two poets, the “early” and the “late,” the former inspired and in fact a national poet, and the latter simply bad, a shill for the Soviet system. That judgement, as this article argues, is not only ideologically simplistic (and grossly selective in its application) but biased against Tychyna’s stylistic complexity and his constant formal experimentation. As his various modernist techniques demonstrate, especially his use of intertextuality and parody, collage and montage, Tychyna extends his poetic mastery well into the late 1930s and into the war years, eclipsing most of his contemporaries and remaining a constant challenge for critics and scholars.

Valeria Sobol (2019) "’Tis Eighty Years Since: Panteleimon Kulish's Gothic Ukraine," Slavic Review, 78:2, 390-409, DOI:10.1017

Abstract: This article explores the ideological implications of the Gothic mode in Panteleimon Kulish's first novel Mikhailo Charnyshenko, or Little Russia Eighty Years Ago (1843). I show that the multiple Gothic tropes employed in the novel—from Walter Scottian ruins and towers to exotic demonic villains, uncanny ethnic Others, and supernatural phantoms—produce an intricate play of temporalities, identities, and allegiances that ultimately create a highly ambivalent vision of the Ukrainian heroic past as both an object of Romantic nostalgia and a dark period of chaos overcome by the country's incorporation into the Russian empire. Rather than dismissing Kulish's engagement with the Gothic as a tribute to the fashionable western trend, I argue that this mode serves as a conduit to some of the work's most pressing ideological and historical concerns and ultimately yields a more nuanced insight into the author's complex position as a Ukrainian writer in the Russian empire.