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Regionalism in Ukraine: Historic Evolution, Regional Claim-Making, and Centre–Periphery Conflict Resolution

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Part of the Federalism and Internal Conflicts book series (FEINCO)

Abstract

This chapter examines the historical constitution of the present territory of Ukraine and its administrative-territorial system, identity and regional cleavages and the evolution and dynamics of claim-making and center-periphery contention related to them in different regions, namely Transcarpathia, Crimea and Donbas, since the late 1980s. It examines different forms of accommodation of claims such as an asymmetric state structure in the case of Crimean autonomy, power devolution, free economic zones, subsidies and budget disbursements, power-sharing at the national level, and local and regional legislation on historical memory and languages. Beyond the widely acknowledged role of external intervention in the escalation of conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014, the chapter focuses on the long-term nonviolent contention related to regional cleavages prior to the escalation of the conflict and political exclusion. The chapter shows that while there has been an increasing identification with Ukrainian citizenship and support for decentralization since 2014, important regional differences in terms of historical memories, attitudes to the Euromaidan, and the nature of the ongoing conflict remain and may be loci of vulnerability to future regional mobilizations. The effect of the ongoing reforms in decentralization and democratic governance on the resolution of center–periphery conflicts and the accommodation of regional claims remains to be seen.

Keywords

Regionalism Administrative-territorial system Accommodation of regional diversity Power-sharing-Non-violent and violent conflict  

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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BernBernSwitzerland

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