Mikhail Minakov (also known as Mykhailo, named in Ukrainian way; born on 6 October 1971, Leninsk, Volgograd oblast, USSR) is a political philosopher living in Kyiv and Milano. His major philosophical investigations focus on human experience, social knowledge, political system, historical consciousness, and multiple modernities.
- Principal Investigator for Ukraine, and Editor-in-Chief ofKennan Focus Ukraine, Kennan Institute, Wilson Center for International Scholars, since 1 March 2018
- Vice Chair of the Academic Advisory Board at the Center for Eastern European and International Studies (ZOiS, Berlin), since 1 March 2018
- Visiting Professor, Europa-Universitaet Viadrina (Fr.O., Germany)
- UNDP Ukraine Tolerance and Good Will Envoy, 2017-18
- Head of Immanuel Kant Society of Ukraine
- Editor-in-Chief of Ideology and Politics Journal
Mikhail Minakov grew up in Zaporizhzhya oblast. He graduated from the Zaporizhzhya Medical School in 1990 and worked as a village doctor (feldsher). Same year he started studying history and sociology at Zaporizhzhya State University. In 1992, Mikhail Minakov was accepted into Kyiv-Mohyla Academy where he studied philosophy, political science, sociology and comparative literature leading him to a BA in Philosophy (1996) and an MA in Philosophy (1998).
Mikhail Minakov started his academic career as a part-time Assistant Professor at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in 2001 after defence of his Candidate Dissertation (Kant’s Problem of the Faith of Reason) at the Kyiv Institute of Philosophy. Same year he published his first book ‘Vchennia Kanta pro viru rizumu‘ (from Ukrainian: Kant’s Teaching on the Faith of Reason).
In 2007, Dr. Minakov defended his Doctoral Dissertation (‘Dosvid i filosofia: evoluzia poniattia dosvidu v zahidnii filosofii XIX-XX st.’, from Ukrainian: Experience and Philosophy: Evolution of the Concept of Experience in Western Philosophy of 19th–20th centuries). After that he joined the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy as an Associate Professor, and then Professor in 2017-18. Same year, Prof. Minakov published his second book ‘Istoriia poniattia dosvidu‘ (from Ukrainian: History of the Concept of Experience).
Between 2010 and 2014, Prof. Minakov cooperated with several Western universities: Harvard University (visiting scholar in 2010 and 2013, visiting professor in 2012), Greifswald University (visiting professor in 2010 and 2014), Wilson Centre for International Scholars (Fulbright Kennan Scholar in 2012-2013).
In 2011, Mikhail Minakov became a founding Editor-in-Chief of a scholarly peer-reviewed journal ‘Ideology and Politics.’ The Ideology and Politics Journal aims to develop an interdisciplinary platform for debates of informed and non-partisan researchers in the fields of social philosophy, political science, sociology, political economy, intellectual history and cultural studies. Devoted to the advancement of understanding of socio-political processes in post-Soviet Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, it deals with ideological and intellectual issues arising in the course of formation of new societies.
In 2012 Mikhail Minakov started working as Director of Krytyka Institute and Representative for the Harvard Ukraine Initiative. Krytyka is a Kyiv-based Ukrainian-language journal of intellectual essays, book reviews, and political and literary criticism; a research institute – the Krytyka Institute – that promotes scholarship in Ukrainian studies around the world; and a publishing house – Krytyka Press – that is committed to publishing cutting-edge scholarship in history, culture, literature, and political and media studies. The main purposes of the potential Harvard Ukraine program is to pursue excellence in research and education in the area of Ukrainian Studies, to identify and utilize both academic and research resources, and to foster scholarly involvement of both faculty and students in Ukraine.
Minakov was Associate Professor and, later, Professor at Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies (Kyiv-Mohyla Academy) between 2001-2018. Courses thought in philosophy: ‘Contemporary Western Philosophy’, ‘Political Epistemology’, ‘Philosophy of History’, ‘Philosophy of Kant’, ‘German Classical Philosophy’, ‘Contemporary Epistemology’. Courses thought in history and politics: ‘Methods of Political Analysis for Practitioners’, ‘History of Post-Soviet Countries’, ‘Post-Soviet Politics’. In 2018 Minakov left position of Professor while accepting position of Principal Investigator on Ukraine at Kennan Institute.
Prof. Minakov combined his academic career with the work in program management and political consulting. He worked at Eurasia Foundation (Assistant in 1996-1998; Director for Development/Belarus-Ukraine-Moldova in 2005-2007), the Open Society Institute – Budapest (2000-2001), Soros Foundation in Ukraine (Program Manager in 1998-2000; Deputy Director in 2001-2004), Victor Pinchuk Foundation (Director for Development, 2007-2008), UNDP – Ukraine (Senior Program Manager, 2008-2010).
In 2010, Mikhail Minakov together with a group of dedicated experts (Aliona Sibiriakova, Alexandr Blank, Volodymyr Bogatyr and Natalia Sheiko) established the Foundation for Good Politics. The Foundation’s ambition is to link global academia, European experts and post-Soviet politicians and provide political parties and governments with advice and consulting. Since that time his colleagues and Mikhail have been working with politicians and officials from the USA, Germany, Ukraine and Russia.
Mikhail Minakov travels around the world with public lectures promoting ideas and practices of tolerance, values-based leadership and communicative rationality.
Degrees and Certificates
Mikhail Minakov holds a Doctor of Sciences in Philosophy degree from Kyiv Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (2007). This dissertation was supervised by prof. Dr. Anatolii Loy; the dissertation was reviewed by prof. Dr. Yevhen Prychepii and prof. Dr. Maria Kultayeva.
Mikhail also holds degrees of Candidate of Sciences in Philosophy (2001, Kyiv Institute of Philosophy), MA in Philosophy (1998, UKMA), BA in Philosophy (1996, UKMA), Feldsher (1990, Zaporizhzhya Medical School).
Dr. Minakov is also certified in
- International Management Centre – Budapest (1998 – 2000): Strategic Management; Program Implementation Techniques; Methods of Monitoring and Evaluation; Successful Fundraising; Financial Management for Non-for-profit Organizations
- UNDP (2008): Business Ethics; Results Based Programme Management, etc.
2017 – to present UNDP Ukraine Tolerance and Good Will Envoy (Kiev, Ukraine)
2017 – to present Senior Fellow/Editor-in-Chief, Kennan Focus: Ukraine, Kennan Institute (DC, USA)
2017 – to present Member and Vice President, Academic Board, Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS, Berlin)
2015 – to present Member, Supervisory Board, Hromadske TV
2015 – to present Member, Editorial Board of a Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society
2014 – to present Member, Free Historical Association (Vol’noie Istoricheskoie Obshchestvo), Russia
2013 – to present Head of Immanuel Kant Society in Ukraine (Secretary in 1998-2013)
2013 – to present Member of the Board, Center.UA (http://uacentre.org.ua/)
1998 – 2014 Member of the Editorial Board for bi-annual ‘Ukrainiskyi Himanitarny Ohliad’
2010 – 2017 Member, Krytyka Editorial Board
2007 – 2010 Member of the Board, East European Leadership Network
2005 – 2008 Chair of the Programme Board for George Soros Translation Project
Russian and Ukrainian native
English and German fluent
Italian, French, Chinese, Polish minimal working knowledge