Regional Diversity and Education for ‘National’ Citizenship in Ukraine: The Construction of Citizenship Identities by Borderland Youth

  • Antonina Tereshchenko
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)


The emergence of Ukraine from the break-up of the Soviet Union as a new nation state in 1991 has been referred to by scholars as a ‘historical novelty’, giving birth to an ‘unexpected’ or ‘nowhere nation’ on account of the fact that Ukraine as an independent political entity in modern history had never existed within its present borders (see von Hagen, 1995; Matlock, 2000; Wilson, 2000). Its geographic position has proved historically attractive to invaders; a history of repeated colonizations links Ukraine to its neighbouring countries in Central and Eastern Europe to the west, Russia to the east and the Black Sea region to the south. The various regions that make up modern Ukraine have moved in and out of Ukrainian history at different times as their territories have fallen within the boundaries of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the Crimean Tatar Khanate; the Habsburg, Russian and Ottoman empires; and the USSR, but they have never previously cohered as an independent state. Consequently, Ukraine continues to struggle with the formation of a common national identity for its citizens, this process being complicated by the regional polarization within the country usually ascribed to the existence of several distinct ethnolinguistic, cultural, political and economic profiles.


Young People National Identity Regional Identity Citizenship Education Ethnic Nation 
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© Antonina Tereshchenko 2013

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