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Ukraine is Europe: Lessons for Europe and for Political Science

General Conference Keynote Lecture

Tuesday 5 September 2023, 15:45 – 16:45 BST
Live streamed from Prague

Maria Popova, McGill University


Held as part of our House Series, this year's General Conference Keynote Lecture delves into the complexities of Ukraine's European vision and its wider implications for Europe's future and for the political science discipline.

The lecture

Ukrainians have been using the slogan Україна це Європа (Ukraine is Europe) since the 2014 Euromaidan revolution. However, it was Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022 that brought their existential fight for a European future into the global spotlight.

Through this slogan, the Ukrainians convey a vision of their country as a distinct member of the European family and as an independent democratic state – building institutional capacity, strengthening the rule of law, and pursuing Euro-Atlantic integration.

But what does Ukraine’s insistence on its Europeanness mean for the future of Europe? And what does it suggest for political scientists?

Don’t miss our highly anticipated General Conference keynote lecture in which Maria Popova of McGill University explores the slogan's significance for Ukrainian identity and its rallying cry to rethink regional categorisations.

Free and open to all

The lecture, which will be streamed live from the iconic Municipal House in Prague, is open to the broader ECPR community as part of our House Series. 

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Questions? Contact our Events Team

The speaker

Maria Popova

Maria Popova is Associate Professor of Political Science at McGill University, Scientific Co-Director of the Jean Monnet Center Montreal and Editor of the Cambridge Elements Series on Politics and Society from Central Europe to Central Asia. She held the Jean Monnet Chair Europe and the Rule of Law in 2017-2021. Her research focuses on the rule of law and democracy in Europe. Her award-winning book Politicized Justice in Emerging Democracies (Cambridge University Press, 2012) examines the weaponisation of law to manipulate elections and control the media and the obstacles to judicial independence in Russia and Ukraine in the late-1990s-early 2000s.

Her recent work has analysed judicial reform in Ukraine, rule of law and protest, the politics of corruption prosecutions across Eastern Europe, and the links between conspiracies, corruption, and illiberalism in Europe. Her new book (co-authored with Oxana Shevel) delves into the root causes of the Russo-Ukrainian war and traces how after the USSR’s collapse Russia slid back into authoritarianism and imperialism, while Ukraine consolidated a competitive political system and committed to pursuing European integration as a sovereign nation-state. The book, entitled Russia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Diverging States, will be released by Polity Press in autumn 2023.

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