Constructing the Narratives of Identity and Power: Self-Imagination in a Young Ukrainian Nation

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Karina Korostelina
Karina Korostelina
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Constructing the Narratives of Identity and Power: Self-Imagination in a Young Ukrainian Nation
Published Date:
Publisher: Lexington Books
No. of Pages: 266
Language: English
ISBN: 9780739183946
Place: Lanham, MD

Twenty years ago Ukraine gained its independence and started on a path towards a free market economy and democratic governance. After four successive presidents and the Orange Revolution, there is a vast body of literature on the process of development and the current political, economic, and socio-cultural situation in Ukraine. Constructing the Narratives of Identity and Power provides a comprehensive outlook on Ukraine as it is presented through the views of intellectual and political elites. Based on extensive field work in Ukraine, Karina V. Korostelina describes the complex process of nation building. Despite the prevailing belief in a divide between two parts of Ukraine and an overwhelming variety of incompatible visions, Korostelina reveals seven prevailing conceptual models of Ukraine and five dominant narratives of national identity.

Constructing the Narratives of Identity and Power analyzes the practice of national self-imagination. Karina V. Korostelina puts forward a structural-functional model of national narratives that describes three major components—dualistic order, mythic narratives, and normative order—and two main functions of national narratives—the development of the meaning of national identity and the legitimization of power. Korostelina describes the differences and conflicting elements of the national narratives that constitute the contested arena of nation-building in Ukraine. 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Structure and Functions of National Narrative
Chapter 2. The Context of Ukraine
Chapter 3. National Narratives of Ukrainian Elite
Chapter 4. Impact from Outside: Ukraine in Narratives of International Donors and Experts
Chapter 5. The Image of Ukrainian Future
Chapter 6. Conclusion: Production of Meaning in National Narratives in Ukraine



With its sophisticated theoretical foundation and methodological rigor, this timely study by Karina Korostelina provides a valuable framework for understanding the divergent, often antagonistic understandings of national identity in Ukraine that block effective state, and nation, building in that pivotal, troubled state.

— Thomas Sherlock, United States Military Academy

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