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European identity discourses in the contested neighborhood of Europe and Russia: The case of Ukraine


  • Minesashvili, Salome


Since the 1990s, the notion of belonging to Europe has been embedded in a number of the former Soviet states' domestic discourses. These European identity discourses are highly contested, both domestically and internationally, and operate beyond the European Union community, giving the European identity concept its peculiar character. At the same time, these states have been through turbulent times and numerous crises since the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, due to a lack of comparative and longitudinal studies on these discourses, not much is known whether and how these reconstructed images of the European Self have been changing. This paper examines the development of European identity discourse based on the case of Ukraine. The posed question is empirically explored by a study of Ukrainian mass media discourse on European identity for the period of 2004-2017. Changes in the discourse are examined in the context of domestic and foreign political developments in order to uncover the conditions that instigate change in identity notions and contesation around them. The paper finds that while the contestation persists over time, it can fluctuate depending on the event. During the given time period, the Orange Revolution and the war with Russia have resulted in the most significant changes when the contestation changes in favor of the pro-European discourse, which becomes dominant at the expense of the anti-European one.

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  • Minesashvili, Salome, 2020. "European identity discourses in the contested neighborhood of Europe and Russia: The case of Ukraine," Discussion Papers 2/20, Europa-Kolleg Hamburg, Institute for European Integration.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ekhdps:220

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen White & Ian McAllister & Margot Light & John Löwenhardt, 2002. "A European or a Slavic Choice? Foreign Policy and Public Attitudes in Post-Soviet Europe," Europe-Asia Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(2), pages 181-202.
    2. Kornely Kakachia & Salome Minesashvili & Levan Kakhishvili, 2018. "Change and Continuity in the Foreign Policies of Small States: Elite Perceptions and Georgia’s Foreign Policy Towards Russia," Europe-Asia Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 70(5), pages 814-831, May.
    3. Hall, Peter A. & Taylor, Rosemary C. R., 1996. "Political science and the three new institutionalisms," MPIfG Discussion Paper 96/6, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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    European identity; Ukraine; color revolution; Russo-Ukrainian war;
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