Symbolic Politics in Post-Soviet Ukraine: Construction of the Legitimizing Narrative


Bereznyakov D.V.,

Cand. Sci (Polit.)Head of Department, Dept. of Public Administration, Siberian Institute of Management – Branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Novosibirsk, Russia, bereznyakov@ngs.ru

Kozlov S.V.,

Cand. Sci (Hist.), Dean, Politics and International Relations Faculty, Siberian Institute of Management – Branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Novosibirsk, Russia, feld@ngs.ru



DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2015.04.05
For citation:

Bereznyakov D.V., Kozlov S.V. Symbolic Politics in Post-Soviet Ukraine: Construction of the Legitimizing Narrative. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No. 4. P. 34-45. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2015.04.05



Abstract

The article analyses certain aspects and results of symbolic politics in post-Soviet Ukraine, which is unfolding in the conditions resulting from the collapse of the state and the erosion of symbolic resources for constructing national identity. The authors believe that one of the factors that contributed to the failure of the Ukrainian version of state construction is the particular format of symbolic politics selected by Ukrainian intellectual and political elites as an actual scenario for constructing Ukrainian national identity. Symbolic politics is viewed in this context as a communicative process of legitimizing political dominance and constructing a collective identity regardless of any particular type of a political regime. This is based on the fact that all political regimes seek to achieve effective political communication, which stabilizes relations of domination over the long term by developing legitimate reception of the social world and diverse rituals whose functional meaning is mass-scale involvement of the population in the reproduction of the symbolic order. This process ultimately involves not only political and intellectual elites, but also various agents of socialization and media-professionals, while social audiences become active recipients of political communication, capable of alternative decoding of the dominant ideological content developed by the elites. The authors stress that the main distinctive aspect of the legitimizing narrative at the core of the formation of the Ukrainian national state is its syncretic character which involves ideological codes of neoliberalism and of the nationalizing state-building with different underlying types of identity. The neoliberal ideological code is based on the opposition between the market and the state and on the model identity of homo economicus, while the ideological narratives invoked to invent a nation focus not on the rational actor and on minimizing the role of the state viewed as inefficient manager, but on the macropolitical identity constructed by a string national state.

Keywords
Ukraine; Russia; neoliberalism; nationalism; symbolic politics; ideology; legitimation.


Content No. 4, 2015

See also:


Mnatzakanyan M.O.,
Nationalism: Ideal Type and Forms of Manifestations. – Polis. Political Studies. 2007. No6

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