State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine: A Comparative Study of Governments and Bureaucrats, 1917-1922

State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine: A Comparative Study of Governments and Bureaucrats, 1917-1922

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Stephen Velychenko
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2011
World Rights
416 Pages 4 Images
ISBN 9781442641327
Published Jul 2011
Online discount: 25%
 $80.00    $60.00

State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine examines six attempts to create governments on Ukrainian territories between 1917 and 1922. Focusing on how political leaders formed and staffed administrations, this study shows that in Ukraine during this time, there was an available pool of able administrators sufficiently competent in Ukrainian to work as bureaucrats in the independent national governments. These people could sometimes implement policies, a significant accomplishment in light of the upheavals of the time.

Stephen Velychenko compares Ukrainian efforts to create an independent national government with the analogous successful efforts made in Russia, Poland, Ireland and Czechoslovakia. He questions the notion that Ukrainian attempts at national independence failed because its society was 'incomplete' and its leaders unable to organize an effective administration. Pointing out that Bolshevik administrations at the time were no more effective in implementing policies than their rivals, Velychenko argues that more effective governance was not one of the reasons for the Russian Bolshevik victory in Ukraine.

Stephen Velychenko is a research fellow of the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Toronto. His most recent book was State-Building in Revolutionary Ukraine.

List of Illustrations and Maps


  1. Ukrainians and Government Bureaucracy before 1917
  2. Bureaucracy Law and Parties in Ukrainian Thought
  3. The Rada and Bureaucrats
  4. The Ukrainian State
  5. The National Republic
  6. Bureaucrats and Bolsheviks in Russia
  7. Bureaucrats Bolsheviks and Whites in Ukraine
  8. Government and Bureaucrats in western Ukraine
  9. Bureaucrats in Other New European Governments


Appendix 1 Tables
Appendix 2 Provisional List of Administrators' Unions and Organizations (1917)
Appendix 3 Daily Life
Appendix 4 Prices and Wages
Bibliography of Primary Sources
Bibliography of Secondary Sources

'State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine tackles an issue present in all historical debates on the Ukrainian revolution, but which has never before been researched in a comprehensive scholarly fashion—how the administrations of competing political regimes struggled for control over Ukrainian territory from 1917 to 1922. Stephen Velychenko's extensive archival research and careful evidence handling allow this book to mark a significant series of firsts: the first time a comparative perspective has been used for this topic, the first time old stereotypes about non-existence or utter incompetence of the local bureaucracy have been challenged, and the first time a wide range of non-partisan sources have been examined. A significant contribution to the literature on revolutionary state building in general, Velychenko's book will appeal to all those interested in how new states emerge from former imperial territories.'

Andriy Zayarnyuk, Department of History, University of Winnipeg

‘Velychenko’s monograph is a useful contribution to the debate on the revolution and civil war in the Ukraine… The work highlights a set of under-researched actors who helped determine how Ukrainians experienced the revolution and civil war, and whose views and activity both reflected and affected the attempts to build a state.’

Christopher Gilley, Revolutionary Russia, vol 25:02:2012

‘Diligently researched book…. Velychenkos book will be of great interest to historians of modern sate, Eastern Europe, and what many of us still call misleadingly the ”Russian” revolution.’

Serhy Yekelchyk, American Historical Review; vol 118:03:2013

’Velychenko’s book will be of great interest to historians of the modern state, Eastern Europe, and what many of us still call misleadingly the “Russian” Revolution.‘

Serhy Yekelchyk, American Historical Review, June 2013

‘…State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine marks an important contribution not only to the historiography of twentieth-century Ukraine but also to the study of the civil war in the former Russian Empire and to the literature on state building in newly independent nations.’

Scott Smith, Journal of Modern History 2 (June 2013)