Insufficiently diverse: The problem of nonviolent leverage and radicalization of Ukraine’s Maidan uprising, 2013–2014

15 Jun 2020

(Journal of Eurasian Studies) Abstract: The article explains the violent radicalization of the initially peaceful Maidan uprising in January 2014 as the result of failure to build efficient leverage against Viktor Yanukovych with nonviolent methods. Maidan lacked critical diversity of nonviolent tactics insofar as directly disruptive methods of noncooperation (e.g., strikes and boycott) remained small-scale and inefficient. The Maidan protest coalition primarily lacked social-organizational resources, i.e. authoritative civil society organizations and strong labor movement, for developing nonviolent leverage that was partially connected to gaps in ideological and regional diversity and partially to unfavorable structural conditions. However, radical nationalists actively participating in the protests possessed a unique combination of resources for initiating and diffusing efficient, coordinated, and strategic violence when it became legitimated by intensifying repressions and disillusionment in the incapacity of the oppositional political parties to propose an efficient strategy against the government. Violent radicalization facilitated geographical expansion of disruption via occupations of governmental buildings in western and central Ukrainian regions that the state was ultimately incapable of containing.

Read More © Journal of Eurasian Studies