Mykola Riabchuk

Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Paris IAS
Political science
10 months

Research interests: Postcommunism, East European politics, International relations (Ukraine/Russia, Ukraine/EU), Nationalism, National identity, and Nation-building

Research Project

The ‘Ukraine Crisis’ Revisited: Values, Interests, and a Rebirth of the ‘Geopolitics’

The ‘Ukraine crisis’ that lasts since 2014 and affects the entire European politics, is examined as a complex interaction and, in some cases, mutual reinforcement of four different crises: the crisis of Ukrainian identity and of state-nation building; the crisis of Russian identity and of building a modern nation out of the redundant empire; the crisis of traditional Western Orientalizing views of Eastern Europe, often accompanied by a residual Russo-centrism; and the crisis of international, primarily the EU institutions, unable to produce a common foreign policy and respond adequately to external challenges.

As the project is in advance and its first two parts are largely completed, the study is focused now on the international (mis)representations of the ‘crisis’: how it is named and framed in the media, official statements, scholarly and think-tank publications. What these discursive representations imply for the Western policies? The particular challenge is a study of the institutional ‘black-box’ where specific policies and decisions result from complex interactions of various agents who promote their own values, interests, and, as a rule, insufficient knowledge. At this stage, the research requires personal communication and semi-structured interviews with experts, former and actual politicians, and diplomats.

The main outcome of the study should be a book, produced in two language versions – for both a Ukrainian and an international publisher.


Mykola Riabchuk is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Political and Nationalities’ Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and a lecturer at the University of Warsaw. He is also the honorary president of the Ukrainian PEN Center and the head of the jury of the “Angelus” international award. He wrote extensively on civil society, state-nation building, nationalism, national identity, East European politics and postcommunist transition. Five of his books were translated into Polish, and one into French, German, Serbian, and Hungarian. His work was distinguished with a number of national and international awards and fellowships, including Fulbright (1994, 2016), Reagan-Fascell (2011), and EURIAS (2013).