Date of Award

Winter 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Studies

Committee Director

Simon Serfaty

Committee Member

Steve Yetiv

Committee Member

Dana Heller


This dissertation seeks to analyze the development of Polish-Ukrainian relations in the context of the EU and NATO enlargements. It examines changes in the relationship during 1991-2004, and evaluates major factors that influenced it. The study of Polish-Ukrainian relations in 1991-2004 is important not only from an historical and geopolitical perspective, but also within the context of institutionally enlarging Europe. Poland has been a NATO-member since 1999 and an EU-member since 2004. Ukraine is a member of neither. This turns the Polish-Ukrainian relationship into a relationship between two states, where one side is an "insider" and the other an "outsider" to the process of institutionalization of Europe. Review of the literature on the EU and NATO eastern enlargements and current scholarship on Polish-Ukrainian relations does not offer a sufficient framework for analysis of such a bilateral relationship. Four major factors of influence have been chosen for this study: security interests and foreign policy priorities of the two states; the EU and NATO policies of enlargement; the great powers' interests in the region and their consequent relations with the two states; and the level of democratization of the two states. Based on these factors, four hypotheses are made and tested on three distinct periods of Polish-Ukrainian relations. The first period, 1991-1994 - declarative cooperation and lack of substantial cooperation, as Poland's foreign policy focus became the pursuit of NATO and EU memberships. The second period, 1995-1999—strategic partnership, vigorous and practical in all spheres, as Poland's invitation to join NATO became secured and its prospects for EU membership significantly improved. The third period, 2000-2004, "stalled" the strategic partnership through a mix of distancing and renewed need and support for each other, as Poland's EU membership became closer and Ukraine marginalized due to its internal political problems. It is discovered, that the EU and NATO enlargements, the positions of Russia and the U.S. in the region, and the foreign policy priorities of Poland and Ukraine played the most crucial roles in determining the intensity of Polish-Ukrainian cooperation, while democratic development of Poland and Ukraine did not have a significant direct impact.