Political Culture of Cossack Ukraine


Political Culture of Cossack Ukraine
Zenon E. Kohut


The book I am researching and writing seeks to trace the evolution of early modern Ukrainian political thought and culture from its sixteenth-century origins to modern times (1830s). It will answer questions of early modern Ukrainian identities, state and nation building, and patriotism. It should dispel the notion that the modern Ukrainian nation is an "invention" of nineteenth- and twentieth-century nation builders and indicate that the construction of a modern Ukrainian state and nation had a very firm, early modern foundation. At the same time, the book will examine how Ukrainian political culture influenced the conceptualization of Russia. In particular, the publication of the Synopsis (1674, 1678, 1680-81) presented a new conception of Ukraine and Russia being part of a continuous "Slavono-Rossian" tsardom, stemming from Kyivan Rus' and existing to the present moment. Thus was laid the basis for the "All-Russian Idea" and the Russo-Ukrainian unity paradigm of the nineteenth century, and as a result, early modern Ukrainian political culture produced a number of parallel yet intertwined and entangled narratives that are still debated and fought over in the 21st century.

As planned, the book will be titled and consist of chapters as follows:


Identity Formation in Cossack Ukraine: The Shaping of Political Thought,
Historical Narrative, and Political Culture (1569-1830s)

Introduction: Early modern forms of patriotism, nationhood, and identity

  1. The shaping of political culture in Polish-Lithuanian Rus' (1569-1640s)
  2. The Khme'nyts'kyi Uprising, emergence of the Hetmanate, and formulation of the basic political objectives and ideals of Cossack Ukraine (1648-68)
  3. Maneuvering among Poland, Muscovy, Crimea, and the Ottoman Empire: Political goals and values of Hetman Petro Doroshenko (1665-75)
  4. Demise of the Right Bank and rise of the Left-Bank Hetmanate: Goals, policies, and political outlook of Hetman Ivan Samoilovych (1672-87)
  5. Promoting pro-Muscovite political agendas: Construction of historical/political narratives in the era of the Ruin (1660s-1680s). Part 1
  6. Creating a history of the Ruthenian realm and recording the Cossack experience: Construction of historical/political narratives in the era of the Ruin (1660s-1680s). Part 2
  7. Loyal service to the Tsar and Ukraine: The shaping of Hetman Mazepa's policies, political outlook, and program
  8. Building a united, well-ordered, and self-governing polity: Mazepa as modernizer and enlightened ruler (1687-1708)
  9. Hetman-Prince of Ukraine and ruler of a sacred Rutheno-Rossian Orthodox realm: Forging the Mazepian Synthesis of Ukrainian political/religious thought and culture (1687-1708)
    From Mazepian synthesis to the reassertion of traditional rights: Ukrainian political thought in the wake of the Great Northern War, Peter's assault on autonomy and the Swedish alliance (1705-09)
  10. Conceptualizing Imperial Russia and the shaping of a Ukrainian Cossack grand narrative: Further evolution and legacy of the political culture of Cossack Ukraine (1709-1830s)
    Identity formation and the shaping of political thought, historical narrative, and political culture of Cossack Ukraine: Conclusions