In The Zelensky EffectDPIR alumna Dr Olga Onuch explores the magnitude of Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s invasion and examines how Zelensky symbolizes the nation’s sense of civic national belonging in its struggle.
Dr Onuch–Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Politics at the University of Manchester–and co-author Henry E Hale–Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University–explain that the nation’s fierce resistance was not Zelensky’s doing alone.
They argue that Zelensky is indeed a product of a Ukrainian political culture steeped in the same sense of civic national belonging and duty that he advocates, advances and symbolizes.
Providing a up-to-date primer on Ukrainian politics, the book–written by two of the world’s foremost scholarly experts on Ukrainian politics–demonstrates how Ukraine’s people and its president are moulded by the nation’s rich contemporary history.
It also dispels pre-war stereotypes of Zelensky as a political neophyte or ‘clown’ and provides a balanced analysis of his rise to power and presidency.
The book draws on hundreds of social scientific studies and vast arrays of relevant data to support its arguments.
Dr Onuch said: “The Zelensky Effect is both about the rich contemporary history of democratic Ukraine that raises, nurtures and “makes” Zelensky and millions just like him, creating a generation of citizens fiercely attached to the Ukrainian state and its democratic future.
“It is also about the ability of Zelenksy himself to double down on this civic sense of belonging and duty, mirror it in his actions, and motivate even more ordinary Ukrainians to rally in support of their state and democracy.”
Dr Onuch (DPhil Politics, 2010) was a Research Fellow at St Antony’s European Institute and DPIR in 2011 and is only the third Ukrainian to receive a DPhil from Oxford.
A major theme of her research has focussed on how ordinary citizens come to develop a sense of civic duty.
The Zelensky Effect is both about the rich contemporary history of democratic Ukraine that raises, nurtures and “makes” Zelensky and millions just like him.
Dr Olga Onuch, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Politics at the University of Manchester