Cover Osteuropa 12/2023

In Osteuropa 12/2023

Postcolonialism without End?
Ukraine as a Test Case for Theoretical Alternatives

Ulrich Schmid

Deutsche Fassung


The concept of postcolonialism has dominated Ukrainians' description of themselves since the annexation of Crimea. It has also become established in foreign descriptions of Ukraine. Russia is perceived not only as an aggressor, but also as a colonial power. Assessments of Russian culture are correspondingly harsh. It is seen as an instrument of imperial power. “Decolonization” has become a battle slogan. Postcolonial theories can indeed contribute to an understanding of Russian-Ukrainian relations. However, other theoretical approaches lead to more differentiated insights in many aspects and are better suited to describing the agency of Ukrainian political, social, and cultural actors.

(Osteuropa 12/2023, pp. 97–112)