Territorial self-governance can take many forms, from federation, to federacy, to devolution. Provided the conditions are right, it can contribute to conflict prevention and settlement. Ukraine exhibits many characteristics in which the application of territorial self-governance could serve as a viable approach to managing the country’s diversity, many of these conditions are not met. This is nowhere more obvious than in relation to the re-integration of the self-declared people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Neither entity has legitimate and independent local elites, the Ukrainian state is institutionally too fragile to rise to the challenges of such a reintegration, and the current status quo, while volatile, satisfies the interests of various local, regional, and global stakeholders.

This article, co-authored with Tetyana Malyarenko, is an open-access publication.