Call for papers. The war in Ukraine and its impact on ethno-religious minorities in the region


Russia's war against Ukraine, which began in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas, and escalated into a full-scale attack in February 2022, was a challenge to the entire system of international relations that has developed since the end of World War II. Researchers and politicians are analyzing the events of the past 20 years, trying to see retrospectively the key moments and signs that had predetermined the current development of the situation. Analyses of Putin's rhetoric, the memory politics of the Great Patriotic War in Russia, and the formation of the Russian lobby in the West are all becoming the subject of intense academic debate.

Likewise, the internal Ukrainian processes – the reactions of society and the state to the challenges of Russian aggression – arouse more and more research interest from various aspects. Russia's war against Ukraine has had the most dramatic impact on the lives of Ukrainians: tens of thousands killed and wounded, millions of refugees and internally displaced persons, economic paralysis, and enormous damage to infrastructure. Experts agree that it will take decades to overcome the various destructive consequences of the war. At the same time, they acknowledge that the war had a significant impact on the values and identity of Ukrainians, becoming a catalyst for the formation of the Ukrainian nation and horizontal ties, rethinking established social, gender, and other roles. These macro-social processes are already the subject of research by anthropologists, sociologists, political scientists, and other scholars.

This workshop will examine how the war affected Ukraine's ethno-religious minorities, their identities, religious and cultural practices, and value orientations. We invite abstracts focusing on the transformations in the life of ethno-religious minorities after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the war in Donbas, and, in particular, after the full-scale Russian offensive in February 2022.

The list of topics for discussion is not limited to the following:

  • Identity, intragroup dynamics, and value orientations of ethno-religious minorities in Ukraine under conditions of war.
  • Russia's war in Ukraine and ethno-religious minorities' migration and displacement.
  • Religious affiliation and connections to transnational religious networks and Ukrainian minorities' migration trajectories.
  • Religious and cultural practices of ethno-religious minorities in Ukraine and their transformations after 2014.
  • Digitalization of religious and cultural practices of ethno-religious minorities in Ukraine in war-divided communities.
  • Ukrainian ethno-religious minorities participation in the war: mobilization, narratives, resources.
  • Intercultural communication in war, majority-minority relations, etc.

This project aims to produce a collective volume on the war in Ukraine and its impact on ethno-religious minorities in the region. We see its implementation as a two-stage process. In the first stage, we will organize a workshop at the European Center for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg, Germany, in May 2023 to gather experts in the field. The ECMI will cover the travel expenses and accommodation of the experts during the workshop.

In the second stage, we plan to publish an edited volume on ethno-religious minorities in Ukraine during the war. The ECMI is co-editing a book series devoted to minority studies entitled Routledge Advances in Minority Studies (RAMS), where the collection will be hosted. Publication of the volume is scheduled for late 2023 – early 2024.

We invite researchers to send an abstract for proposed papers (250–300 words) and a short bio-note (max. 100 words) by 20 March 2023 to: and More detailed information on papers including a style guide will be sent at a later stage.

Complete papers of about 6,000 – 8,000 words should be submitted by 29 September 2023.


Workshop convenors:

Dr. habil. Kyriaki Topidi, Head of Culture and Diversity Cluster / Senior Researcher, European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI)

Dr. Elmira Muratova, Research Fellow, Aarhus University, Denmark

Dr. Nadia Zasanska, Research Fellow, Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany

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