PoM Pontica Magna
Department of Social Sciences and Humanities
Baranoivichi State University, Polotsk State University
This research project aims to analyse the role played by identity issues and religion in the recent crisis in Ukraine, which led to the ousting of President Yanukovich, the secession of Crimea and the outbreak of civil war, resulting in a huge number of refugees in the neighbouring countries (Russia and Belarus) and in the European Union, including Romania.
Current academic publications have mainly considered economic and political factors in this conflict, and the interference of external actors, such as the EU, Russia, and USA. However, the principal reasons why the tragic events in Ukraine became possible may in fact be hidden in the deep divisions affecting this country and its population. These divisions are related to the peculiarities of identity construction in Ukraine, mainly in the post-Soviet era.
In this research, we shall consider identity factors in the religious divisions in Ukraine, especially between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics (Uniates).
This research aims to identify why Christian Churches take different, at times antagonistic approaches towards national sovereignty and supranational integration. We try to identify to what extent confessional specificities matter for the development of Churches’ perspectives on the issue of national independence. Churches are studied through the lenses of social constructivism, as actors of civil society and identity formers, and as providers of meaning and values (Jansen 2000, Vorbeck 2005). We aim to study the stance of Churches by juxtaposing cases in favour of integration (in such case as European integration), and against integration (Churches’ role in the strengthening of the sovereignty in Ukraine).
The main research question in this project is as follows: What are the reasons behind Churches’ choice for/against independence and integration, and what influence in this area they are willing and able to constitute.