INTRODUCTION: War and dispossession

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This introduction discusses the significance of the imperial legacy of Russian–Ukrainian entanglements and how particular understandings of this historical encounter have licensed acts of dispossession since armed combat began in Ukraine in 2014 and sharply accelerating after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. This shared imperial legacy has been divergently interpreted among Russians and Ukrainians and has yielded vastly different political visions for each country’s future political development. Among other factors, this has led to a sacralized politics of history, competing memories of the past, and a melding of patriotism with piety, all of which are used to justify dispossessing or retaining possession of certain lands, events, and attributes of social and political life. The Russian-Ukrainian War provides a springboard to offer a theoretical and conceptual framework for thinking about the violence of war in terms of acts of dispossession. This includes dispossessing people of their land, heritage, and rights to peace, protection, and dignity. The violence and destruction that often accompanies dispossession has also provoked regeneration and reinvention. The chapters in this volume consider what has been lost as a result of war, the agency of the dispossessed in shaping the dynamics of change, and what has been created in the spirit of resistance and resilience in response to dispossession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDispossession
Subtitle of host publicationAnthropological Perspectives on Russia’s War against Ukraine
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781003835745
ISBN (Print)9781032466248
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences

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