Nationalities, Culture and Language Policies

Nationalities, culture, and language policies.  The government of Ukraine, in its strategic plan, promises to undertake a “programme of national unity and support for national [i.e., ethnic] minorities,” as well as a “reform of state policy in the area of culture.”  Accordingly, our team of researchers examines the following issues:  (a) preferences of various groups of the population regarding the legal status of Ukrainian, Russian, and languages of other minorities, and their function in certain public domains in different parts of Ukraine; (b) public discourse on the language issue after the demise of Yanukovych; (c) changes in national identity due to the Euromaidan (February 2014 revolution) and the subsequent Russian aggression; (d) national minorities’ responses to the recent upsurge of separatism and ensuing tension in the east and south of Ukraine; (e) use of language and minority issues in the post-Maidan election campaigns and reform programmes; (f) the set of policy reforms in the area of culture, promised by the Ukrainian government, and the responses of Ukrainian literary activists, who act as both the initiators and recipients of such program of reforms; (g) the new, post-Euromaidan view on culture and its place in society that these reforms articulate, and (e) the impact such reforms may have on Ukraine’s course toward integration into the European Union and on its visibility internationally (more specifically, Ukraine’s impact on and presence in the global literary market).  Our findings will have direct and indirect implications for resolving Ukraine’s two existential dilemmas—the one being whether it belongs geopolitically to the West or to Eurasia, and the other its integrity, whether it is a nation.

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