(Click to play) How can Gramsci help us to understand the war in Ukraine?

The talk will discuss the concepts of passive and Jacobin revolutions, hegemony crisis, Caesarism in relation to the post-Soviet condition. Post-Soviet Caesarist regimes and maidan revolutions presented only deficient solutions to the post-Soviet crisis of hegemony that either conserved or reproduced and intensified the very crisis. The roots of the crisis lie in the incapacity of post-Soviet political capitalists to provide any stable alternative to the degraded Communist hegemony. The dynamics of the hegemony crisis on the global, regional, and domestic levels is crucial to understanding the threats, opportunities, and resources for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, this shift to military coercion after failing in political, intellectual, and moral leadership may trigger the end of the crisis either destructing any sovereign center of capital accumulation in the post-Soviet region or pushing Russia to the fundamental economic, political, and ideological transformation that may create the conditions for a new cycle of “Jacobin” social revolutions in the XXI century.

Volodymyr Ishchenko is a research associate at the Institute of East European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. His research focused on protests and social movements, revolutions, radical right and left politics, nationalism and civil society. He authored a number of peer-reviewed articles and interviews on contemporary Ukrainian politics, the Euromaidan uprising, and the ensuing war in 2013-14 — published in Post-Soviet Affairs, Globalizations and New Left Review, among other journals. He has been a prominent contributor to major international media outlets, such as The Guardian, Al Jazeera and Jacobin since 2014. He is working on a collective book manuscript, The Maidan Uprising: Mobilization, Radicalization, and Revolution in Ukraine, 2013-2014.