Oxana Shevel | REDS Seminar: Identity and Religion at Times of War in Ukraine

Thursday, April 13, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

William J. Perry Conference Room
Encina Hall, Second Floor, Central, C231
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to Encina Hall may attend in person.

Oxana Shevel REDS

Ukraine has long been considered a divided society, split between Russia-leaning Russian-speaking south and east and west-leaning and Ukrainian-speaking west and center. This talk will explain why the “divided Ukraine” paradigm no longer captures Ukrainian political and social realities, focusing on profound identity transformation within the Ukrainian society that began following the Euromaidan revolution and the start of Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, and further accelerated after the February 2022 full scale Russian invasion. Among implications of these identity shifts is decisive rejection of a “pro-Russian” orientation in numerous policy areas – from memory to language to foreign policy.

This talk will focus on the impact of identity shifts on religious politics, where President Zelensky’s recent call for Ukrainian “spiritual independence” from Moscow is transforming the relationship of the Ukrainian society and the Ukrainian state with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), the branch of Orthodox Christianity in Ukraine historically subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church. 


Oxana Shevel HeadshotOxana Shevel is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Tufts University and current Vice President of the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) and the American Association of Ukrainian Studies (AAUS). Her work explores nation building and identity politics in the post-Soviet region. Her book, Migration, Refugee Policy, and State Building in Postcommunist Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2011) won the American Association for Ukrainian Studies prize for best book in the fields of Ukrainian history, politics, language, literature and culture. Her recent work has focused on the sources of citizenship policies in the post-Communist states, comparative memory politics, and religious politics in Ukraine. With Maria Popova, she is currently writing a book on the root causes of the Russo-Ukrainian war, entitled Russia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Diverging States, scheduled to be released in late 2023. 


The REDS Seminar Series aims to deepen the research agenda on the new challenges facing Europe, especially on its eastern flank, and to build intellectual and institutional bridges across Stanford University, fostering interdisciplinary approaches to current global challenges.

REDS is organized by The Europe Center and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and co-sponsored by the Hoover Institution.

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to Encina Hall may attend in person.

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