Introduction to the Special Issue: Reimagining Europe? Youth Narratives and Perceptions in Ukraine and the Baltic States

Natalia Chaban, Pauline Heinrichs, Alister Miskimmon, Ben O'Loughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the problematic triangle of Ukraine-the EU-Russia relations, youth – those born after the watershed events in 1991 and those for whom the USSR is a chapter in a history textbook – present a new possibility of change and continuity in the negotiation of past, present and future. This article opens our Special Issue that questions what the examination of youth narratives can tell us about the possibility of change 30 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union. We ask: What can we learn about movement through and with time, at a historic moment at which uncertainty and crises characterize the international system? To answer this question, the Special Issue generates findings about how young people (and some news media) think they are experiencing events as conditioned by an historical intersection. We argue that young people put themselves in different contexts and as such they have very different views of their own country and its place in the world and Europe vis-à-vis other actors in the post-Soviet space. Systematic insights into narratives and perceptions of the Self and Others in the eyes of the next generation of leaders and influencers in the Baltic states and Ukraine are crucial for advancing the dialogue between Ukraine, the EU and Russia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-302
Number of pages22
JournalDemokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Aug 2021

Cite this