Title of Research
Reshaping Nations: Population Politics and Sovietization in the Polish-Ukrainian Borderlands, 1944-1948
Halavach will explore one of the largest Soviet social engineering projects—the Polish-Soviet population exchange in 1944-1948, when almost two million people were uprooted. His research project looks at three areas of the Polish-Soviet borderlands: Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine. The variation in the results of the population exchange created a natural experiment, which allows for investigation into the importance of different factors in national homogenization: Soviet policy, ethnic conflict, consequences of war, long-term historical trends, and the rural-urban divide. The project explores how the Soviet regime changed during the war, how nationally diverse populations were unmixed, and what role ethnographic knowledge played in the postwar reshaping of nations.
Dmitry Halavach is a historian of modern Ukraine and East-Central Europe. His research interests include nations and nationalism and the impact of war on society. He defended his Ph.D. dissertation at Princeton University in 2019. Before coming to Harvard, he was the Petro Jacyk Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto.
Soviet and Ukrainian history, nations and nationalism, impact of war on society, empire