My career in political science started about twelve years ago, before which time I worked as a physicist (this was where I got my first degree back in 1987) and later as an editor (my "defection" was largely caused by the emergence of independent media in the USSR in the late 1980s which made it possible to retain self-respect in journalism and the social sciences). For more than ten of these years I have been affiliated with the Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences, although I have spent more than two years doing research or teaching at various Western universities, including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, University of Alberta and University College London. Still, ten months at the Woodrow Wilson Center is going to be my longest stay abroad so far. My fields of interest remained rather stable throughout this period. I began with studies of Ukrainian nationalism and national identity, a focus later supplemented by the politics of ethnicity and, increasingly, language. It is in this last field that I will work as a WWC fellow, in a hope of systematizing and enriching my previous results. Since 2000, I have developed a strong interest in media discourse which recently culminated in a book to be published later this year. Sometimes I tried to combine the two foci by analyzing language practices and discourses of the media. Most of my research has dealt with Ukraine, although one project was devoted to language policies of Western multilingual societies.


B.S. (1987) in Nuclear Physics, Kyiv Shevchenko University; Ph.D. (1999) in Political Science, Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine


  • Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies,Academy of Sciences, Ukraine (2001-present)
  • Visiting Professor, Stanford University (2006)
  • Visiting Professor, Columbia University (2002)


Ukraine, language policy, nationalism and national identity, the media

Project Summary

The proposed project is intended to examine the relationship between language beliefs, language policies and democratization in post-Soviet Ukraine. I am going to analyze, first, the interrelationship between language policies of the state and language beliefs of the population. Second, I intend to examine how the formulation and implementation of language policy is influenced by general political process and political culture in post-Soviet Ukraine, in order to explain why the potential for a long-term compromise has not been actualized. Third, I will formulate a strategy of reaching a compromise on the language problem which would focus on those aspects deemed most important by the population.

Major Publications

  • "Constructing Common Sense: Language and Ethnicity in Ukrainian Public Discourse," Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 29, no. 2, March 2006.
  • Revisiting a Success Story: Implementation of the Recommendations of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities to Ukraine, 1994-2000. Hamburg, Centre for the OSCE Research, University of Hamburg, 2002.
  • Politics of Ethnicity in Post-Soviet Ukraine: Beyond Brubaker," Journal of Ukrainian Studies, vol. 27, no. 1-2, 2001.