The “quadratic nexus” of national minority politics in Ukraine: the assessment of national cohesion

Il “nesso quadratico” delle politiche verso le minoranze nazionali in Ucraina: una valutazione della coesione nazionale

Iryna Zhyrun


This paper examines the contested nature of domestic and foreign policies through an analysis of dynamics between actors within a “quadratic nexus”. The argument of this paper is twofold. First, it argues that, due to the European orientation of Ukraine’s foreign policy, the power struggle between kin-states and Ukraine in the quadratic nexus is exercised under unequal conditions, providing more leverage to the EU kin-states. Second, it argues that the Russo-Ukrainian conflict exacerbated the asymmetries created by foreign policy, which affected national cohesion in Ukraine and impeded the Russian minority to claim and defend their minority rights. 


Il presente articolo prende in esame il carattere controverso della politica interna ed estera ucraine tramite un’analisi delle dinamiche tra attori diversi all’interno di un “nesso quadratico”. La tesi di questo articolo è duplice. In primo luogo si sostiene che, a causa dell’orientamento europeista della politica estera dell’Ucraina, la lotta di potere nel nesso quadratico tra Stati di riferimento [kin-states] e Ucraina  si svolge in condizioni impari, garantendo maggiore capacità di influenza agli Stati di riferimento appartenenti alla UE. In secondo luogo, si sostiene che il conflitto russo-ucraino abbia esacerbato tali asimmetrie prodotte dalla politica estera, cosa che ha influenzato la coesione nazionale interna dell’Ucraina e impedito alla minoranza russa di rivendicare e difendere i propri diritti in quanto minoranza.

Parole chiave

National minority policy; quadratic nexus; conflict; Ukraine; Ukrainian nationalism; foreign policy; kin-states; politiche verso le minoranze nazionali; nesso quadratico; conflitto; Ucraina; nazionalismo ucraino; politica estera; Stati di riferimento

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