Welcome to a RUCARR seminar with Kristian Steiner & Khalil Mutallimzada on the topic:
Uncertainty and Extremism among Ukrainian Right-Wing Fighters
When: September 29, 15.15–17.00
Where: Zoom. Sign-up at email@example.com
Dicussant is Niklas Bernsand, European Studies, Lund University
After the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine broke out in 2014, thousands of Ukrainians voluntarily enrolled to various paramilitary battalions. Unlike the Right Sector’s Volunteer Ukrainian Corps (RS VUC), almost all battalions were incorporated into Ukrainian official defense structures. Applying uncertainty-identity theory and based on interviews, observations, and documents, this study investigates fighters’ motivations for joining and remaining in the RS VUC. The study finds that the fighters distrust the Ukrainian society and authorities. Membership in the RS VUC, with its unambiguous group prototypes and high entitativity, reduces the fighters’ self-uncertainty regarding their social identity in an uncertain environment.
Kristian Steiner, Associate professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, Malmö University, has for a long time been researching how religion function as a meaning making tool, legitimating, justifying, and motivating hate, violence. In his ongoing research and writing, Steiner analyses the function of meaning making and ideology for setting and policing the borders of closed communities, for legitimating its ties with external groups, and for internal its group dynamics
Khalil Mutallimzada has a BA in Law from Baku State University, Azerbaijan and a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Malmö University, Sweden. Currently he is doing his MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. Mutallimzada is, together with Kristian Steiner, also conducting research on a non-state Ukrainian paramilitary group called Right Sector’s Volunteer Ukrainian Corps (RS’ VUC), studying fighters’ motivations for joining this para-military battalion.