Who Needs the State? Freedom, Justice, Sovereignty, and (Post)Wartime Ukraine

May 28 2024
Vienna 1090
Phone: 01 313580
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Building on historicized political economy of wartime Ukraine since 2014, the lecture illustrates that the state as an institution must be redefined.

Ukraine has changed drastically during some 10 years of war. The erosion of social security combined with the emboldening of capital at the expense of labor (and nature), tax evasion, state subsidies and the state’s inability to serve as the guarantor of constitutional rights, duties, and freedoms are what largely conditioned the Revolution of Dignity and necessitated the emergence of a thriving civil society. The latter began to provide goods and services where they are needed “free of charge.” This concrete state (and market) failure is interpreted, paradoxically, as a reason to further curtail the state in its ability to regulate the functioning of capital while imposing further austerity on impoverished citizens with intersectional needs.

Ukraine is in a dire need of a new functioning social contract that would secure constitutional rights and deliver socioeconomic justice. The author posits that a fiscally expanded polycentric state, integrated with civil society, can serve as a catalyst for the stabilization of the post-war social order, the sustainability of economic recovery, and the protection of the sovereignty of both individuals and the nation-state of Ukraine.

Yuliya Yurchenko is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability at the University of Greenwich (UK). Her research focuses on state/society/capital complexes, transnational class formation, and on the political economy of Ukraine and the “post-Soviet space.” She is the author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketisation to Armed Conflict (Pluto Press, 2018). She is vice-chair of the Critical Political Economy Research Network Board (European Sociological Association) and an editor for Capital & Class and Global Political Economy.

Misha Glenny, IWM Rector, will introduce the speaker and moderate the Q&A session following the lecture.

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