The radical left in Ukraine since Maidan: the case of the National Anarchist Movement
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With political fringe groups gaining momentum during the Euromaidan Revolution in 2013, much scholarly attention has been given to actors of the radical right while dynamics by the socalled ‘New Radical Left’ have been ignored. In its past the New Radical Left was striving for cultural hegemony; however, their influence diminished when the movement developed severe ideological cleavages after Euromaidan. With an ideologically divided ‘New Radical Left’ one new group, the ‘National Anarchists’, has entered Ukraine’s political arena with the aim of reappropriating the concepts of Ukrainian nationalism and the idea of an anti-imperial struggle against Russia embodying contemporary Ukrainian society’s internal division on those issues. This research aims to address the ways in which social movements and radical groups can change their political agendas due to shocking and unexpected political events, such as the Euromaidan Revolution in 2013. While political opportunity structures matter, internal dynamics within movements are often stronger indicators for the movement’s political course and path of alliance building. Posing the question of how and why internal cleavages within the pre-Maidan Ukrainian radical left have led to a fragmentation of the movement, this research additionally seeks to address how this dynamic has led to the creation of a new Ukrainian political phenomena - national anarchism. By analyzing how different social movements active on the political fringes of the Ukrainian presidential democratic system operate, this research aims to give insight into the existing political players but also on the ways political communities are built in contemporary Ukraine. As a country undergoing significant political and social transformation, the timeliness of this research cannot be overestimated. With Ukraine pushing for democratic reform, the country experiences the effects of a pro-European alignment with political fringe groups on both sides of the political spectrum striving for visibility. The fact that most scholarly attention is directed at the prominence and dynamics of the Ukraine’s Radical Right, similar patterns on the left remain understudied.
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