Ukraine’s Two Maidans: How Competition Between the Grassroots and the Political Opposition During the Euromaidan Revolution Paved the Way for a New Civic Culture
Collison, Christopher G.
MetadataShow full item record
This project examines the growth of urban civic activity in Kyiv, Ukraine since the 2013-2014 Euromaidan revolution and analyzes changing dynamics of the country’s civic culture. It argues that the Euromaidan uprising was driven by two competing “Maidans” — the opposition political party leaders and the grassroots, or public. Those two blocs competed for influence over the events and cooperated only when it was necessary to advance shared goals, leading to distrust following the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych. Investigating the processes that shaped Euromaidan and situating the events in the broader context of popular uprisings and social protest in independent Ukraine reveals a diminished role for political parties in shaping the public sphere as urban activists embark on small-scale initiatives outside traditional institutions following Euromaidan. This paper explores how the public’s larger role in the second revolution and the marginalization of the political opposition paved the way for more sustained grassroots activity in the uprising’s aftermath. Through interviews with urban civic activists in Kyiv, the paper examines how distrust of political parties and the symbolism of Euromaidan as a leaderless independence movement fueled greater grassroots activity in the months that followed it than in the aftermath of the Orange Revolution, which relied on the efforts of political elites.