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Black Sun Rising: Political Opportunity Structure Perceptions and Institutionalization of the Azov Movement in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 November 2019

Ivan Gomza*
Affiliation:
Program for Public Policy, Kyiv School of Economics, Kyiv, Ukraine, and Political Science Department, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Kyiv, Ukraine
Johann Zajaczkowski
Affiliation:
Political Science Department, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany
*
*Corresponding author. Email: ivan.gomza@ukma.edu.ua

Abstract

This article explores the rise of the Azov movement and explains the process through the political opportunity structure theory. We argue that a loosely coherent winning coalition of the post-Euromaidan ruling elites enabled Azov’s participation in conventional politics. As a result, Azov launched the ongoing institutionalization process which is largely responsible for Azov’s success as compared to other far-right movements. We show that two movement entrepreneurs’ profiles, namely political activist and radical, dominated the Azov leadership structure and managed to promote their strategic vision on cooperation with state officials effectively combined with contentious action. We find that political activist entrepreneurs tend to push institutionalization alongside particular institutionalization axes, namely adaptability, reification, and systemness, whereas radical entrepreneurs are responsible for Azov’s transformation into an intense policy demander.

Type
Special Issue Article
Copyright
© Association for the Study of Nationalities 2019

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