The EU's Crisis Diplomacy in Ukraine: The Matrix of Possibilities

Natalia Chaban, Ben O'Loughlin

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This article presents findings from a three-year study of Ukrainian strategic narratives and perceptions of the EU. By identifying how news media and young Ukrainians narrate the international system and the role of their nation in that system, we can explain how and why they offer narratives about prospects for peace and the EU’s role as a potential mediator. This analysis combines strategic narrative and image theory to categorize Ukrainian narratives about possible futures for their country. We find that Ukrainian news media and young people understand their position primarily through the lens of identity. Their understanding of the international system and policy dilemmas, to them, depends on whether Ukraine can overcome its own difficulties as a nation-state. This suggests that strategic-narrative analysis of conflict states should focus on how local actors understand the identity of their own state and of external actors who might assist them.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of International Affairs
Issue number1.5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2018

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