Annahmen der Einheit und Trennung: Repräsentationen der nationalen Identität in der post-Majdan Ukraine

Translated title of the contribution: Principles of unity and division: Representations of national identity in the post-Majdan Ukraine

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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The Majdan, the annexation of Crimea, and the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine have significantly affected the Ukrainian state, politics, and society over the last six years. The objective of this master thesis is now to shed light on how the assumptions of nation and identity altered and how Petro Porošenko, a leading state actor, produced representations of national identity in times of crisis and uncertainty. The analysis of the representations is based on the examination of four public speeches held by Porošenko during his presidency. The speeches are embedded in the socio-political processes of post-Majdan Ukraine. Additionally, to be able to draw conclusions about the extent to which Porošenko employs representations of former Ukrainian presidents, I will trace the key aspects of the political constructions of national identity since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This process leads to four categories, which encompass the main issues of representations. The content of these four categories provides the basis for a qualitative frame analysis. To ensure the political and strategic layer of the frames with the selected actor-centered approach, I applied the concept ‘strategic frames’ (2018) developed by Jennie Schulze. The approach proposes a toolkit to analyze how political actors under domestic and foreign pressure present complex issues to achieve certain policy outcomes. In their entirety, the four categories in each
of the speeches reflect the representation of national identity at a given moment and stress the attempt by political actors to construct the social realm and to reproduce hegemonic representations.
The use of representations of national identity as a strategic means of power is illustrated by the analysis of Petro Porošenko’s public speeches. Porošenko employed the representations to substantiate his own political agenda. The focus of Porošenko lied on preservation of Ukrainian sovereignty, the increased integration of the country into European and transatlantic structures and, towards the end of his term, the aspired re-election. The examined public speeches reveal how the interpretation of the past, the Orthodox Church and the language issues are used with the aim to foster the political legitimacy of Ukraine and to establish an affective bond between nation and society. The production of unity serves, on the one hand, as a means of defense against the Russian Federation and, on the other hand, as a presupposition for a better future of the Ukrainian state. Petro Porošenko’s presidency displays the constant transformations of the representations of national identity as they are on-goingly negotiated, contested and disrupted.
Translated title of the contributionPrinciples of unity and division: Representations of national identity in the post-Majdan Ukraine
Original languageGerman
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bern
  • Scheide, Carmen, Supervisor, External person
Award date2020 Feb 20
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • History
  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


  • Ukraine
  • Porošenko
  • national identity
  • framing
  • symbolic power
  • qualitative study


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