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Call for participation in the debate: “Can Prospect Theory Explain Russia’s 2014 Annexation of Crimea?” Deadline: 30.9.2021

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Call for participation in debate “Can Prospect Theory Explain Russia’s 2014 Annexation of Crimea?” 30.9.2021

Since 2019, Dr. Julie Fedor (U of Melbourne), Dr. Gergana Dimova (U of Oxford), and Dr. Andreas Umland (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy) have been editing a series of special sections on the annexation of Crimea, within the ibidem Press “Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society” (JSPPS): www.jspps.eu. See https://www.facebook.com/events/460801681761446. JSPPS is also distributed via Columbia University Press here: https://cup.columbia.edu/series/journal-of-soviet-and-post-soviet-politics-and-society

We invite junior and senior scholars to read, and comment on, the peer-reviewed forthcoming JSPPS paper (of which the text will be provided):

“Loss Aversion, Neoimperial Frames and Territorial Expansion: Using Prospect Theory to Examine the Annexation of Crimea”

By Dr. Ion Marandici, Department of Political Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick

Abstract: Why did Russia’s authoritarian leader decide to annex Crimea? Why could Ukraine’s politicians not resist the Russian aggression effectively? This study relies on prospect theory and new documentary evidence to illuminate the decision-making in Moscow and Kyiv that led to the takeover of Crimea. The paper assesses the scope conditions of prospect theory compared to alternative theories of foreign policy decision-making. First, it identifies the turning points of the Euromaidan crisis preceding the annexation and traces how Putin’s assessment of the status quo shifted repeatedly between the domains of losses and gains. In the domain of losses, the authoritarian leader, influenced by an imperial faction within the presidential administration, became more risk acceptant, annexed the peninsula, and escalated the hybrid warfare. In doing so, Russia’s president framed the intervention, using nationalist themes and drawing on salient historical analogies from the imperial era. Second, the analysis of new documents released by Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council (RNBO) and participant testimonies reveals that the decision-makers in Kyiv could not mount an effective resistance due to squabbles among coalition partners, the breakdown of the military chain of command in Crimea, the looming threat of a full-scale Russian invasion from the East, and the inflated expectations regarding the West’s capacity to deter Russia’s aggression. Third, the article relies on prospect theory to explain why after Crimea’s annexation, Putin refrained from continuing the territorial expansion at Ukraine’s expense, opting instead to engage in hybrid warfare and back secessionism in Eastern Ukraine. This account highlights the explanatory power of prospect theory compared to alternative frameworks, pointing out, at the same time, the need to incorporate strategic interactions, personality factors, and group dynamics in future studies of foreign policy decision-making.  

We are looking for pronounced statements on Marandici’s paper of between approx. 800 and 5,000 words. If interested to add your comment to this debate, please, request the PDF of the paper from: andreas.umland@ukma.edu.ua which we will send out in August 2021. Final texts need to be submitted until 30 September 2021 – preferably earlier. 

As models for the formal style of your comment (footnotes, transliteration, quotes, etc.), please, refer to these open-access papers: Andrew Wilson, “The Crimean Tatar Question: A Prism for Changing Nationalisms and Rival Versions of Eurasianism,” JSPPS 3:2 (2017), https://doi.org/10.24216/97723645330050302_01 Maria Shagina, “Business as Usual: Sanctions Circumvention by Western Firms in Crimea,” JSPPS 5:1 (2019), https://doi.org/10.24216/97723645330050501_04

Either footnotes or the Harvard style can be used. We will only accept fully edited, properly referenced as well as well-formatted texts in perfect English, and cannot assist in preparing or editing comments. Please, fully list all texts to which you are referring to in the footnotes or bibliography. Please, do not send us half-ready articles. We cannot absolutely guarantee publication before receiving your text, but will be happy to publish all competent comments that tackle the issue, have some empirical, conceptual and theoretical grounding, are linguistically and stylistically publishable, as well as arrive in time. Contributions to this debate will not be peer-reviewed but treated like book reviews. Multi-authored texts are welcome too. Female contributors are especially welcome.

We may have a second round of debate in 2022, if interest in continuing this discussion is sufficiently high. We later intend to republish the entire debate, within a larger collected volume.

Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society 7:1 (2021): Special sections on the history, memory & interpretation of the #OUN

#JSPPS 8:1 (2021). @ibidem11 @ColumbiaUP

Special Section: Issues in the History and Memory of the #OUN IV

Yuliya Yurchuk, Andreas Umland: Introduction: Studies in the Course and Commemoration of the OUN’s Anti-Soviet Resistance

Grzegorz Motyka: NKVD Internal Troops Operations against the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in 1944–45

Oksana Myshlovska: History Education and Reconciliation: The Ukrainian National Underground Movement in Secondary School Curricula, Textbooks, and Classroom Practices (1991–2012)

Marian Luschnat-Ziegler: Observing Trends in Ukrainian Memory Politics (2014–2019) through Structural Topic Modeling

Special Section: A Debate on “#Ustashism,” Generic #Fascism, and the OUN I

Oleksandr Zaitsev: On Ustashism and Fascism: A Response to Critics

Roger Griffin: Fascism, Ustashism, and the Ecumenical Application of Ideal Types

Angel Alcalde: A New Turn: On the Need for a Transnational Interpretation of the Ustasa and OUN

Stephen Shenfield: Accommodating “Stateless Nations” in the Conceptualization of Fascism

Ivan Gomza: Gravity of Void: Remarks on the Structural Consistency and Empirical Validity of the Notion of “Ustashism”

Per Rudling: “Saving the OUN from a Collaborationist and Possibly Fascist Fate:” On the Genealogy of the Discourse on the OUN’s “Non-Fascism”


Maria Shagina on Thane Gustafson: The Bridge: Natural Gas in a Redivided Europe

Iryna Shchygol on Maria Rogacheva: Soviet Scientists Remember: Oral Histories of the Cold War Generation

Aleksander Ivanov on Zuzanna Bogumił: Gulag Memories: The Rediscovery and Commemoration of Russia’s Repressive Past

Aijan Sharshenova on Bettina Renz: Russia’s Military Revival

Darina Sadvakassova on Marlene Laruelle: The Nazarbayev Generation: Youth in Kazakhstan
Kateryna Smagliy on Beth A. Fischer: The Myth of Triumphalism: Rethinking President Reagan’s Cold War Legacy

Mariia Koskina on Victoria Donovan: Chronicles in Stone: Preservation, Patriotism, and Identity in Northwest Russia

Aleksandra Pomiecko on Brandon Schechter: The Stuff of Soldiers: A History of the Red Army in World War II through Objects

Magda Giurcanu on Andrew Monaghan: Dealing with the Russians


On Western strategy towards #Russia: From ‘#Putinfirst’ to ‘democracy first’ – #AndriusKubilius in “European View” 2021

The article analyses two distinct approaches that Western leaders have taken to relations with Putin’s Russia. It argues that the dominant approach of fostering good relations with Vladimir Putin, prioritising these over support for longer-term democratic change in Russia, has not brought any results and is damaging the interests of Russian society, neighbouring countries and the West. The article analyses the prerequisites for deep change in Russia and argues that there is a need for the EU to comprehensively review and change its strategy towards Russia, putting democracy at its core. It discusses in detail the deterrence, containment and transformation elements of a new EU strategy. The article emphasises that the strategic approach of ‘democracy first’ in relations with Russia also relates to the future of democracy in general and should be a priority of EU–US cooperation.

Source: On Western strategy towards Russia: From ‘Putin first’ to ‘democracy first’ – Andrius Kubilius, 2021

Интервью: Зачем арестовали Навального, и что известно о преемнике Меркель? @UKRLIFETV @UkrinFuture

Source: Зачем арестовали Навального, и что известно о преемнике Меркель? – Андреас Умланд | Політика | UKRLIFE.TV


Не та война, не в то время: почему теории конфликтов не применимы к войне России и Украины, – Умланд | Політика | UKRLIFE.TV

Source: Не та война, не в то время: почему теории конфликтов не применимы к войне России и Украины, – Умланд | Політика | UKRLIFE.TV

История с вагнеровцами: может ли СБУ позволить себе действовать как израильский Моссад? @UkrLifeTV

История с вагнеровцами: может ли СБУ позволить себе действовать как израильский Моссад? – Умланд | Політика | UKRLIFE.TV


Zoom Conf.: Ukraine in East-Central Europe: Kyiv’s Bilateral Relations and Prospects of Regional Multilateralism @IDMVienna, 18 Sep 2020, 14:20-19:30

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International Hybrid Conference

“Ukraine in East-Central Europe:
Kyiv’s Bilateral Relations and Prospects of Multilateralism in the Region”

Zoom & IDM, Vienna, 18 September 2020, 2:20-7:30 p.m. (CEST)
Conference organized by IDM in cooperation with Paneuropa-Union (Vienna) and Ukrainian Institute for the Future (UIF, Kyiv)Website: http://www.idm.at/veranstaltungen/aktuelle-veranstaltungen/item/ukraine-in-east-central-europe
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/328324144906900/Youtube Livestream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4Nq0m3HJmo&feature=youtu.be

What is the role of Ukraine for the future of East-Central Europe, and vice versa? Where does Kyiv politically stand now, and should it strategically engage, in the future, within the area from Prague to Tallinn, from Riga to Baku? How can Ukraine’s relations with other East-Central European countries develop? What are the chances, opportunities and hindrances for these bilateral relations to grow, broaden and intensify, or to stagnate and even deteriorate? Can Kyiv expect and should thus work towards new bilateral treaties with its geographically closest strategic partners, and if so – with which countries towards what kind of agreements? Is there – if such upgraded relations were to develop – an opportunity to create not only deeper bilateral ties? Are there also chances for new multi-lateral networks or structures? Could such novel multilateralism around Ukraine go beyond the already existing, yet geographically and functionally circumscribed Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM), Visegrad Four, Bucharest Nine Group, and Three Seas Initiative?


14:20 Welcome by the Organizers

Sebastian Schäffer, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, Vienna
Rainard Kloucek, Paneuropa-Union, Vienna
Andreas Umland, Ukrainian Institute for the Future, Kyiv

14:30 Panel One: “Ukraine and the Major Regional Actors in East-Central Europe”

“Future Scenarios of EU Integration: Opportunities and Risks for Prospective Members”
Andreas Heinemann-Grüder, University of Bonn

“Polish-Ukrainian Bilateral Relations after the Annexation of Crimea”
Agnieszka Legucka, Polish Institute for International Affairs (PISM), Warsaw

“Ukraine’s Relations to Romania in the Past and Present”
Angela Gramada, Experts for Security and Global Affairs Association, Bucharest

“Ukraine’s Relations to Russia before and during the Russian-Ukrainian War”
Igor Gretskiy, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg

16:00 Panel Two: “Case Studies of Ukraine’s Bilateral Relations after 1991”

“Ukraine’s Relations to Belarus”
Yauheni Preiherman, Minsk Dialogue Council on International Relations

“Ukraine’s Relations to Azerbaijan”
Jamila Ismayilzada & Rusif Huseynov, Topchubashov Center, Baku

“Ukraine’s Relations to Slovakia”
Alisa Muzergues, Independent Researcher, Bratislava

“Ukraine’s Relations to the Czech Republic”
David Stulik, European Values Centre for Security Policy, Prague

17:30 Panel Three: “Ukraine, Austria and East-Central European Multilateral Structures”

“Austria’s Relations to Post-Maidan Ukraine on the Backdrop of the ‘Russian Factor’”
Martin Malek, National Defense Academy of Austria, Vienna

“Macro-Regionalization vs. ‘Minilateralism’: Chances and Challenges in the Danube Region”
Sebastian Schäffer, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, Vienna

“Abortive and Future Intermaria: NATObis, GUAM, CDC etc. & the ‘Gray Zone’”
Andreas Umland, Ukrainian Institute for the Future, Kyiv

19:00 Concluding Remarks by the Organizers

Rainard Kloucek, Paneuropa-Union, Vienna
Pavlo Klimkin, Ukrainian Institute for the Future, Kyiv
Andreas Umland, Ukrainian Institute for the Future, Kyiv
Sebastian Schäffer, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, Vienna

19:30 End

You can find the PDF version of the conference program attached.

  • Beginn: Freitag, 18. September 2020, 14:20 Uhr
  • Ende: Freitag, 18. September 2020, 19:30 Uhr
  • Ort: Zoom Livestream & IDM, Vienna
  • Auskunft: Mag. Sebastian Schäffer, MA
  • Auskunft E-Mail: s.schaeffer@idm.at

Program Ukraine and CEE Conference 2020.pdf

Die friedenspolitische Ambivalenz deutscher Pipelinedeals mit Moskau – eine interdependenztheoretische Erklärung des russisch-ukrainischen Konfliktes @Je_Sirius

Dieser Aufsatz führt einen wenig beachteten Aspekt der deutschen Ostpolitik der letzten 25 Jahren in die aufgeheizte europäische Diskussion darüber ein, wie man am besten mit Putins Russland umgehen solle. Ausgehend von der bekannten Interdependenztheorie wird argumentiert, dass durch die von Berlin geförderten zwei Nord-Stream-Projekte die russisch-ukrainischen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen gelockert und dadurch eine Konfrontation zwischen den beiden postsowjetischen Republiken erleichtert wurde. Besonderheiten der überraschend friedlichen Entwicklung der Ukraine in den ersten zwanzig Jahren ihres Bestehens als unabhängiger Staat werden der Eskalation der Spannungen zwischen Moskau und Kyjiw in den Jahren 2013–2014 gegenübergestellt. Die Fertigstellung des zweiten Strangs der ersten Nord-Stream-Pipeline im Oktober 2012 wird als eine entscheidende Entwicklung angesehen, die dem Kreml gegenüber der Ukraine freie Hand gab. Die Verringerung der wirtschaftlichen Interdependenz infolge der Umleitung sibirischer Gasexporte in die neue Ostsee-Pipeline führte zu einem Territorialkonflikt zwischen der Ukraine und Russland, der an Entwicklungen erinnert, die zuvor in Moldau und Georgien stattgefunden hatten.

Source: Die friedenspolitische Ambivalenz deutscher Pipelinedeals mit Moskau – eine interdependenztheoretische Erklärung des russisch-ukrainischen Konfliktes


TOC: Russ. Forum. Vol. 17: Germany & Russia, Donbas War, Ukrain. Decentralization, Literature, Populism, Poroshenko

Insert picture description

Форум новейшей восточноевропейской истории и культуры. 2020. T. 17. №№ 1-2
Open access: https://lnkd.in/dg-5iXQ
Contributions by: Marlene LaruelleValentyna RomanovaLeonid LuksVlad Mykhnenko and others.
Distributed by ibidem-Verlag.

I. Русские #европейцы (9)
II. Страницы новейшей истории
III. #Политология
IV. #Этнология
V. #Историякультуры
VI. Эссе
VII. Рецензии
VIII. Трибуна
Коротко об авторах


Earlier “Forum” issues: https://lnkd.in/e5uAR22


Articles series on post-Corona Ukrainian international relations with Pavlo Klimkin. Part 3: June 2020


Pavlo Klimkin and myself recently started, within the Ukrainian Institute for the Future, a series of jointly authored articles on Ukraine’s international relations, during and after the pandemic. The links to the Academia.edu PDFs of various versions of the articles published during April and May 2020 may be found here: https://umland.wordpress.com/2020/05/02/articles-series-on-post-corona-ukrainian-ir-with-pavlo-klimkin-part-1-april-2020/



Below are the titles of and links to further versions and translations of these texts published, in different editions, in French, English, and German, in June 2020. More such texts (including in Polish) are forthcoming.


The Coronavirus Crisis as a Critical Juncture for Ukraine and the World // Foreign Policy Blogs, 2020


La crise du Covid-19: un moment critique pour l’Ukraine et pour le monde // Regard Sur l’Est, 2020


Die Corona-Krise als Wendepunkt für die Weltpolitik und die Ukraine: Geopolitische Auswirkungen der Pandemie auf das internationale System und die ukrainischen auswärtigen Angelegenheiten // Portal für Politikwissenschaft, 2020


Predicting the Post-Pandemic World: “Deep Globalism” or Isolation? // Harvard International Review, 2020



Some additional oral reflections on our prognoses:


With Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski: Talk Eastern Europe Episode 40: Will COVID-19 bring a new world order? // New Eastern Europe, 11 June 2020. neweasterneurope.eu/2020/06/11/talk-eastern-europe-episode-40-will-covid-19-bring-a-new-world-order/



Some additional articles by Pavlo Klimkin published in June 2020:


Східне партнерство у новій реальності: на що варто звернути увагу Україні // Європейська правда, 2020


Пополнение на Минской площадке по Донбассу – верная, но бесполезная история // Ліга.net, 2020


Росія: що далі? Що чекає РФ після реінкарнації путінізму на референдумі, та до чого варто готуватися Україні // Дзеркало тижня. Україна, 2020 (with Volodymyr Ivanov)



A series of translated articles on the issue of Crimea’s return under Kyiv control, from June 2020:


Почему путинский захват Крыма носит лишь временный характер [unauthorized translation by InoSMI.ru]

InoSMI, 2020


Почему завоевание Путиным Крыма – это лишь временное явление [unauthorized translation by inoPressa]

InoPressa.ru, 2020


Bis Putin geht: Warum Russlands Annexion der Krim nur vorübergehender Natur ist

Focus Online, 2020


Kodel pokoronine Rusija galiausiai grazins Kryma Ukrainai

Lietuvos nacionalinis radijas ir televizija, 2020


Why Post-Corona Russia Will Eventually Hand Crimea Voluntarily Back to Ukraine

Emerging Europe, 2020


Крым может стать для Путина дорогостоящей обузой [unauthorized translation by inoSMI.ru]

ИноСМИ.ru, 2020


Crimea Could Become an Expensive Liability for Putin

Atlantic Council, 2020


Чи хочуть росіяни платити? Чому посткоронавірусна Росія зрештою поверне Крим Україні

Дзеркало тижня, 2020


Хотят ли русские платить? Почему посткоронавирусная Россия в конце концов вернет Крым Украине

Зеркало недели, 2020



Andreas Umland, Dr. phil., Ph. D.