Supported by funding from the prestigious Petro Jacyk Foundation, Ukraine Rises: Democracy, Protest, Identity and War in Comparative Perspective will cover the trajectory of politics in Ukraine from its independence in 1991 through the 2014 Maidan revolution to the invasion of the country by Russia.
Led by Dr Olga Onuch - who is recognised as one of the few world-leading experts on Ukrainian identity, political behavior and public opinion - the course will be only the second in the UK focused entirely on contemporary Ukrainian politics, and will be the first taught outside London, the first taught by a Ukrainian scholar, and the first to be hosted in a Political Science Department.
After completing the course, students will be able to compare Ukraine’s contemporary politics to other third-wave democracies in eastern Europe and Latin America. Through course instruction and independent reading, students will develop an understanding of theories of democratisation, ethnic and civic identity, political engagement and EU integration.
It will include guest lectures from Ukrainian and UK-based policy practitioners and scholars, and each semester will end with an invited speaker delivering a keynote lecture.
The course will be supported by a donation from the Petro Jacyk Foundation, a charity founded by a Ukrainian-born Toronto businessman and philanthropist which funds major Ukraine Studies programmes and scholarships, mostly in North America and in Ukraine itself.
The University of Manchester is already a leader in the study of Ukraine in the UK - it has hosted or co-hosted several major research projects focusing on the country, and it also hosts a ESCR Case Studentship with the British Council in Ukraine. The course will help to develop a pipeline for those interested in future postgraduate study focused on Ukrainian politics.
The University has also taken a leading role in supporting Ukrainian students and scholars following the Russian invasion of the country, and became one of the first Higher Education Institutions in the UK to do so when it established a £5million scholarship fund to support students and scholars fleeing war. Under the leadership of Dr Onuch, Manchester also hosted the first-ever Ukrainian Students Conference last year which brought together students from over 20 universities.
It is a real privilege as a scholar to be able to design a contemporary political science course that places the Ukrainian experience of transition to democracy in global comparative perspective and decolonises its study. The Petro Jacyk Foundation’s funding of two years of visiting scholars, policy seminars and an annual lecture at the University will solidify our role as a centre of excellence for social science teaching and research on Ukraine in the UK.
"The funding for the course will allow students to collect and analyse original survey and textual data, on the basis of which they will write policy briefs on topics of interest to UK and Ukrainian practitioners," added Dr Onuch. "We hope to share this experience with colleagues at the Kyiv School of Economics and Kyiv Mohyla Academy, which will further promote our internationalisation aims."
"In the spirit of the University’s public engagement and social responsibility priorities, we also look forward to welcoming members of the local Ukrainian community joining us for the annual Key Note Lecture of Contemporary Ukrainian Politics. Greater Manchester and the wider region has been home to several generations of British Ukrainians, and now refugees - we hope to honour them by placing the study of Ukraine front and centre."