Ukraine's Unnamed War: Before the Russian Invasion of 2022


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$34.99  $32.54
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.6 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Dominique Arel is Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa. His publications include Rebounding Identities: The Politics of Identity in Russia and Ukraine (co-edited with Blair A. Ruble, 2006). He organizes the Annual Danyliw Research Seminar on Ukraine and is Director of the Annual ASN World Convention at Columbia University.
Jesse Driscoll is an associate professor of political science at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California San Diego. His publications include Warlords and Coalition Politics in Post-Soviet States (Cambridge, 2015) and Doing Global Fieldwork (2021).


'The 'unnamed war' in this brilliantly argued, comprehensively researched, and historically accurate book began as a civil war within Ukraine primarily fought between factions of what Russia has long imagined as their world. From this perspective, Arel's and Driscoll's analytic model reveals missed opportunities for a fragile peace that might have avoided Russia's imperialist invasion, where we can now envision only an endless war of attrition.' David D. Laitin, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University
'Contrary to explanations that emphasize the foreign origins of the war in Ukraine, Arel and Driscoll understand it instead through a logic of escalating violence, rooting it in significant part in domestic Ukrainian political dynamics. In doing so, they bring to light new aspects of the war and Moscow's miscalculations leading up to its full-scale invasion in February 2022.' Mark R. Beissinger, Henry W. Putnam Professor, Department of Politics, Princeton University
'It is impossible to fully comprehend the onset and course of the full-scale Ukraine-Russia war that began with the Russian invasion in February 2022 without understanding the politics and violence that preceded it. Using a strategic action model as a guide, Arel and Driscoll's Ukraine's Unnamed War provides the definitive account of the Ukraine-Russia conflict from 2013-2021. Eschewing overgeneralization and writing with a style accessible to non-specialists, the authors show, in detail, how the decisions, agency, and identity of local Ukrainian actors prevented a political solution and developed the conditions that would spark a major conventional war in Europe.' Roger Petersen, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
'In the heat of the devastating war in Ukraine, Arel and Driscoll have given us a cool and courageous account of the complex and fraught prehistory of Putin's invasion. Their argument is the most compelling account of how a civil war in a divided country turned into a hot war between two neighbouring states.' Ronald Grigor Suny, William H. Sewell, Jr. Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of History and Emeritus Professor of Political Science, The University of Michigan, and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History, The University of Chicago