In the name of national security: articulating ethno-political struggles as terrorism
The discourse of terrorism is one of the most powerful political discourses of our times. More often than not, its labels and assumptions – including the division of the world into sharp dichotomies of ‘free’ and ‘civilized’ states vs. ‘evil’ and ‘barbarian terrorists’–go unquestioned in related political speeches, media reports, and public deliberation. These unquestioned assumptions, however, become problematic when the signifier ‘terrorism’ is used to depict an armed struggle of ethno-nationalistic groups for independent self-governance. This is because struggle against ‘terrorism’ justifies a completely different arsenal of response strategies, which might lack legitimacy when countering separatism. This problem becomes apparent when states respond to separatism by manipulating the fear of terrorism to justify undemocratic actions in the name of national security. Using as a case study the post-Maidan confrontation in the East of Ukraine and analyzing related coverage by three political websites, this paper discusses how the discourse of terrorism has been formed within the public sphere of Ukraine.
The paper is focused on intertwinement of moral issues and massive protests in Ukraine labeled as Euromaidan. It questions whether it is correct to regard Euromaidan as a “moral revolution”, grounding on a popular in Ukraine name of the protests “Revolution of Dignity”. Emphasis is made upon the protests of Euromaidan influencing and being influenced by moral issues which are interpreted both as external triggers and internal characteristics of the protests. Six basic moral domains characterize “basic” and “advanced” moral issues in different periods of Euromaidan. It is proved that the moral triggers of the protest were connected to the domains of harm, community and freedom, while community, purity and hierarchy shaped the internal structure of Euromaidan. Appeal to reciprocity appeared along with the transformation of Euromaidan from a peaceful to more forceful protest.
The regional situation in Eastern Europe changed significantly by the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Competitionbetween Russia and the European Union increased during the 2000s, while at the same time both actors were changing their approach to the six states of the former USSR that lie between Russia and the EU – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In order to widen and deepen their influence on those territories and to reduce uncertainty about their regional politics, Moscow and Brussels developed their own integration projects and demanded those post-Soviet states define their position in the EU-Russia competition. Russian and European scholars, when trying to analyze the future of the Post-Soviet Six states, mostly examine the attractiveness of the two integration projects. While important, such an approach is insufficient, as it ignores the individual internal environments. To assess the prospects for Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union and the EU’s Eastern Partnership, however, one must look inside the six states, which are so important for both Moscow and Brussels. This article explores the aspects of the European and Eurasian integration projects that may be attractive to the six states. Within this framework, it considers what and how elements of those states’ internal environment might influence their choice by examining and comparing both integration projects. It proposes focusing directly on the countries that are currently facing the dilemma of integration and are expected to choose. Despite a number of internal factors influencing the states’ integration behaviour, research has shown that in such circumstances, a choice (whether it is made) cannot be considered final, given the individual internal environments of the Six. Their further integration will require additional mechanisms of stimulation, which will need to be developed by the centres of integration — namely, Moscow and Brussels.
Recent events in Ukraine and Russia and the subsequent incorporation of Crimea into the Russian state, with the support of some circles of inhabitants of the peninsula, have shown that the desire of people to belong to the Western part of Europe should not automatically be assumed. Discussing different perceptions of the Ukrainian-Russian war in neighbouring countries, this book offers an analysis of the conflicts and issues connected with the shifting of the border regions of Russia and Ukraine to show how ’material’ and ’psychological’ borders are never completely stable ideas. The contributors – historians, sociologists, anthropologists and political scientists from across Europe – use an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to explore the different national and transnational perceptions of a possible future role for Russia.
Employing Ernesto Laclau’s theory of populism, this paper analyses the populist discourse of the Euromaidan, a Ukrainian movement for European integration. Articulating their democratic demands equivalentially, Euromaidan leaders and activists brought to the field of Ukraine’s discursivity the impossible totality of “the Ukrainian people” fighting against the “anti-popular regime”. The purpose of this study is to trace the formation of this populist discourse by answering the following research question: how did the Euromaidan come to articulate itself as a totality representing the whole of the Ukrainian people? This paper discusses thirteen speeches delivered by Euromaidan leaders onsite in Kyiv’s main square from December 1, 2013, to February 22, 2014.
Konflikten i Ukraina har återuppväckt den ryska allmänhetens intresse för nyheter – både televisionens och nätmediers popularitet ökar konstant på grund av rapporter om detta tema. Detta kapitel undersöker ledande ryska mediers bevakning av kriget i Ukraina – Kanal 1 (den mest inflytelserika televisionskanalen), Komsomolskaya Pravda (den mest populära kvällstidningen) och Kommersant (kvalitetstidning) under perioden från juli till september 2014.
The conflict in Ukraine and Russia's annexation of Crimea has undoubtedly been a pivotal moment for policy makers and military planners in Europe and beyond. Many analysts see an unexpected character in the conflict and expect negative reverberations and a long-lasting period of turbulence and uncertainty, the de-legitimation of international institutions and a declining role for global norms and rules. Did these events bring substantial correctives and modifications to the extant conceptualization of International Relations? Does the conflict significantly alter previous assumptions and foster a new academic vocabulary, or, does it confirm the validity of well-established schools of thought in international relations? Has the crisis in Ukraine confirmed the vitality and academic vigour of conventional concepts?
These questions are the starting points for this book covering conceptualisations from rationalist to reflectivist, and from quantitative to qualitative. Most contributors agree that many of the old concepts, such as multi-polarity, spheres of influence, sovereignty, or even containment, are still cognitively valid, yet believe the eruption of the crisis means that they are now used in different contexts and thus infused with different meanings. It is these multiple, conceptual languages that the volume puts at the centre of its analysis.
This text will be of great interest to students and scholars studying international relations, politics, and Russian and Ukrainian studies.
Russia has tried to use economic incentives and shared historical and cultural legacies to entice post-Soviet states to join its regional integration efforts. The Ukraine crisis exposed the weaknesses of this strategy, forcing Russia to fall back on coercive means to keep Kiev from moving closer to the West. Having realized the limits of its economic and soft power, will Russia now try to coerce post-Soviet states back into its sphere of influence? Fears of such an outcome overestimate Russia’s ability to use coercion and underestimate post-Soviet states capacity to resist. Rather than emerging as a regional bully, Russia is trying to push Eurasian integration forward by becoming a regional security provider. The article relates these efforts to the larger literature on regional integration and security hierarchies – bridging the two bodies of theory by arguing that regional leaders can use the provision of security to promote economic integration. Despite initial signs of success, we believe that the new strategy will ultimately fail. Eurasian integration will continue to stagnate as long as Russia’s economic and soft power remain weak because Russia will be unable to address the economic and social problems that are at the root of the region’s security problems.