Narrating Western Education as a Pathway to Change-Making: Evidence from Post- Euromaidan Ukraine
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Advance Publishing, Fall 2021
- Additional Information
This article aims to explore the phenomenon of Western-educated professionals who returned to Ukraine amid or after the Euromaidan and the way they build their identity as a community. A zeal for multi-level change was found to be the key strategic narrative bringing Ukrainian Western-educated professionals together as a community. Though the vast majority of study subjects had planned to study in the West long in advance and were to some extent “predisposed” toward it, they narrate “Western education” as a key factor legitimizing the community’s zeal for change and contribution to reforms and leadership in the public administration and foreign relations domains. Their case is illustrative of the role that educational diplomacy and alumni groups can play in launching and consolidating cross-dimensional pro-reform networks in developing countries and the strategic narratives that Western-educated professionals produce in the post-Soviet context.