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210127 SE M9: East European Studies (2018W)

Politics and society in post-Maidan Ukraine

9.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

A registration via u:space during the registration phase is required. Late registrations are NOT possible.
Students who miss the first lesson without prior notification will lose their seat in the course.

Follow the principles of good scientific practice.

The course instructor may invite students to an oral exam about the student’s written contributions in the course. Plagiarized contributions have the consequence that the course won’t be graded (instead the course will be marked with an ‘X’ in the transcript of records).


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 45 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 11.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 18.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 25.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 08.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 15.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 22.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 29.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 06.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 13.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 10.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 17.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 24.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock
Thursday 31.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

The year 2014 marks a watershed moment in the post-Soviet history of Ukraine. Never have the risks, but also the chances, for a successful state and nation building been so high. Ground-breaking reforms are underway and civil society remains mobilized while the nature of Ukraine’s oligarchic politics has hardly changed. What impact do the Maidan and the military conflict in the East have on the Ukrainian state and society? Can the country remain democratic and modernize itself under foreign aggression? What is the future of the Ukrainian-EU and Ukrainian-Russian relations? This course focuses on the newest political and social developments in Ukraine exploring a wide range of topics, from state building to nationalism, politics of memory and the language issue. It takes into account the regional diversity of the country and its political divisions. The following topics will be discussed:
- Understanding the Maidan and the war in Ukraine. The Ukraine crisis and its challenges for academic scholarship.
- Re-building the post-Soviet state. The fight against corruption and political reform. De-oligarchisation.
- Freedom of media and censorship. Information war, propaganda and the role of independent journalism.
- The language issue and the education reform. National minorities and their rights.
- Politics of memory. Contested decommunisation and the role of the Institute of National Remembrance.
- Ukrainian nationalism, populism and the far right. The issue of violence in politics and public space.
- Is Ukraine still divided? Ukrainian regions and big cities after 2014.
- State and civil society after the Maidan. New forms of civic activism; Ukrainian churches, religion and secularism.
- Crimea after the annexation. Russian politics on the peninsula and the response of Ukraine; the problem of Crimean Tatars.
- The challenge of Donbas: the problem of de-occupation and re-integration; the problem of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their perception in Ukrainian society.
- Ukraine in a changing Europe. The future of Ukraine’s relations with Russia.

Assessment and permitted materials

Weekly readings, class presentations and discussions, seminar paper

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Each session will include a short introduction to the topic but build primarily on discussions of the assigned readings. Students are required to have completed the readings before class and to actively participate in class discussions.
Grades will be assigned according to the following breakdown:
- class attendance and contribution to class discussion 15%
- class presentation 15%. Each student will present a text from the reading list for a class discussion (10 min presentation plus one page handout)
- final seminar paper (10-12 pages) on the topic chosen by student 70 %
To pass the course, the assignments should be successfully completed. Not more than two sessions can be missed.

Examination topics

Readings and seminar discussions.

Reading list

Selected readings (full list will be put on Moodle):
The Ukrainian Crisis and the Post-Post-Cold War Europe, special issue of Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 68, no. 4, June 2016, p. 588608.
Serhiy Yekelchyk, The Conflict in Ukraine What Everyone Needs to Know, Oxford University Press 2015.
Henry E. Hale and Robert W. Orttung (eds.), Beyond Euromaidan. Comparative Perspectives on Advancing Reform in Ukraine, Stanford University Press 2016.
Catherine Wanner, Orthodoxy and the Future of Secularism After the Maidan, Euxeinos 17/2015.
Rosaria Puglisi, A People’s Army: Civil Society as a Security Actor in Post-Maidan Ukraine, IAI Working papers 15, 2015.
Timothy Ash e.a., The Struggle for Ukraine, Chatham House Report, Russia and Eurasia Programme, October 2017.
A. Osipian,Historical Myths, Enemy Images, and Regional Identity in the Donbas Insurgency, Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, no.1 (2015), p. 109-140.
The Maidan and Beyond, special issue of the Journal of Democracy. July 2014, vol. 25, no. 3.
Ukraine in the Poroshenko Era: The Politics of Power, Reform, and War, PONARS Eurasia Policy Perspectives, September 2017,
The Future of Ukraine’s past,

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:38