ARCHIVES Danyliw Seminar 2017
George Washington University, US
Henry E. Hale is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University (GW). He has served as director at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and he is currently editorial board chair of Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization.
How Malleable Is Identity in Ukraine after the Euromaidan
and Russia-Ukraine War?
“Expressive” theories of ethnicity tend to posit that people innately value ethnic identity for its own sake and link it to feelings of dignity, honor, and belonging. This paper evaluates these theoretical expectations with respect to Ukraine by uniquely examining interviewer effects- how the identity of the interviewer (age, gender, ethnicity) impacts how respondents present themselves in terms of ethnic categories. This paper posits that the identity of the interviewer leads survey respondents to give systematically different responses when asked about their own ethnicity. Preliminary results indicate that the effects are very large, with interviewer identity making people nearly 30 percent more likely to identify ethnically in line with the interviewer on certain identity categories. This paper has implications not only for how we understand Ukrainian identity, but also for how we should interpret and best conduct surveys carried out in Ukraine.