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Contexto Internacional

Print version ISSN 0102-8529

Abstract

MIELNICZUK, Fabiano. Identity as a source of conflict: Ukraine and Russia in the post-USSR. Contexto int. [online]. 2006, vol.28, n.1, pp. 223-258. ISSN 0102-8529.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-85292006000100004.

The main argument of this paper is that the process of interaction between Ukraine and Russia generates a social identity of enmity, which is the source of the conflict of interests between the two countries. In order to defend the argument, a theoretical model is proposed based on the importance of ideas to the constitution of interests and on the belief that interests are determined by identities. The next task is to demonstrate why the identity between the two countries is one of enmity. The reaction of both countries towards NATO expansion is used to illustrate the consequences of enmity. Because identities determine interests, the relationship between friend States involves common interests and between foes divergent interests. So the perception of a threat is shared by friends while between enemies the friend of one becomes the enemy of the other. That is why Ukraine cooperates with NATO and Russia does not accept its expansion. In order to avoid that the conflicts between Ukraine and Russia become a threat to Europe's security, it's necessary to change the identity constructed in through their interaction.

Keywords : International Security; Constructivism; Ukraine; Russia.

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