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Stevenson Center, national identity, Ukraine


One of the most important questions a newly-independent country must answer concerns the essence of its people as a collective nation. The policies advocated for, the laws created, and the fundamentals of the legal and political system of the young nation-state will largely be determined by the values, beliefs, culture, and identity of the people within the state. As a result, the study of the present or emerging national identity in a young sovereign state can be important for understanding the policy decisions and political direction the state is moving in. In this paper I will analyze the emerging national identity in eastern Ukraine, with a special focus on the role of language and politics. I will argue that both language and politics are influential in affecting national identity in eastern Ukraine, which will have important consequences for the state as a whole.