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Title: Transition in post-USSR Europe : the human factor in political identity formation
Author: Grišinas, Arvydas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 1881
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2015
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This interdisciplinary dissertation seeks a more holistic and broader understanding of political identity formation processes in post-USSR Eastern Europe. It seeks to develop a theoretical approach for assessing the non-rationalistic factors, which influence domestic and foreign policy, political attitudes and identities in the region – including associative symbolism, human experience, political images and historical narratives. The research is based on the main case of Lithuania, which is analysed in the first three chapters of the dissertation from three perspectives: the historical/political, the intellectual/narrative and the experiential/symbolic. Along the way, a theory is being inductively elaborated, offering new insights into the process of Lithuanian political identity formation. In the next two chapters, other cases are also explored in order to examine the theory’s applicability and broaden its spectrum of inquiry. These include Russia, Poland, Estonia and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Qualitative methods are used in this dissertation, including textual and visual analysis (of primary and secondary literary sources, photographs, film, etc.), unstructured interviews, historical analysis, as well as political, philosophical and anthropological theoretical approaches by Roland Barthes, Raoul Girardet, Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, Victor Turner, Arpad Szakolczai, and others. The dissertation seeks to improve our understanding of political identity formation, periods of political transition and the importance of human experience to politics. It also aims at developing a theory capable of accounting for the often unrecognised factors of historical narrative, political symbolism and emotional associative charge. As a result it makes a contribution towards a better understanding of post-USSR Eastern European politics and thus to more effective policy towards the region, which is gaining increasing importance in global political arena.
Supervisor: Pabst, Adrian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JC Political theory