Regionalism without Regions
Reconceptualizing Ukraine's Heterogeneity
The authors—historians, sociologists, anthropologists, economists, literary critics and linguists from Ukraine, Poland, Switzerland, Germany and the USA—explicitly go beyond the perspective of an entity defined by traditional political borders and cultural, economic, historical or religious stereotypes. The research project that led to the composition of the book combined quantitative (statistical surveys conducted across Ukraine) and qualitative (in-depth interviews and focus-group discussion) methods. The authors came to the conclusion that regionalism as a defining phenomenon of Ukraine is more prominent than the regions themselves. This approach regards Ukraine as a construct in flux where different discourses intersect, concur and eventually merge through the lenses of various disciplines and methodologies.
About the Authors
"The book is far more than a collection of thematic contributions; it is united by a single research design and based on the results of the international collaborative project Region, Nation and Beyond, hosted by the University of St. Gallen. The main findings of the research project (probably one of the last ones that include Crimea and Donbas) sheds light on Ukrainian society on the eve of the Euromaidan and thus helps to relativize the deterministic discourse of Ukraine as a regionally-divided country deemed to be disintegrating. The picture of Ukrainian society thus appears as much more complex, with regional patterns being complemented by generational, socio-economic, and gender differences. Last but not least, the book is generously illustrated with highly instructive tables, diagrams, and maps."—Tatiana Zhurzhenko, Slavic Review
"The authors have woven a very interesting stand-alone narrative that demonstrates the complexities of Ukraine's historical development. Readers will need to decide for themselves whether cross-regional differences (and nuances) actually tell us something that we really need to know in order to better understand the challenges to Ukraine's nation-building project—the importance of which cannot be underestimated and is not in dispute—and whether these sub-macroregional differences are in fact more important than the broader regional divide that separates the 'Two Ukraines', each with their easily discernible and contrasting ideological visions for Ukraine's future."
https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2021.1977042—Roman Solchanyk, Europe-Asia Studies
"The desire to affirm Ukraine's national unity might be highly commendable but the recurrent attempts to dismiss the significance of multiple cleavages and contradictions can hardly be analytically productive. It leads ultimately to the conclusion that 'regionalism as a defining phenomenon of Ukraine is more prominent than the regions themselves'—a compelling formula for the book's title but not a very comprehensive explanation of what 'regions' and 'regionalism' in Ukraine are all about."
https://muse.jhu.edu/article/840710—Mykola Riabchuk, Region
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