Mykhailo Drahomanov (1841-1895) was a prominent Ukrainian historian, ethnographer, civic leader, publicist, political thinker. Dismissed from his position at Kyiv University in 1875, he was forced to emigrate. Entrusted by the Ukrainian Hromada if Kyiv with the mission to become its spokesman in Western Europe, he settled in Geneva in 1876. There he published the journal Hromada (1878–82), the first modern Ukrainian political journal. With Serhii Podolynsky and Mykhailo Pavlyk Drahomanov formed the Geneva Circle, an embryo of Ukrainian socialism. In 1889 Drahomanov accepted a professorship at Sofia University in Bulgaria.
Drahomanov was an outstanding Ukrainian political thinker. He dealt extensively with constitutional, ethnic, international, cultural, and educational issues; he also engaged in literary criticism. Drahomanov’s ideas represent a blend of liberal-democratic, socialist, and Ukrainian patriotic elements, with a positivist philosophical background. Influenced by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Drahomanov envisaged the final goal of humanity’s progress as a future condition of anarchy: a voluntary association of free and equal individuals, with the elimination of authoritarian features in social life. Drahomanov insisted on the priority of civil rights and free political institutions over economic class interests and of universal human values over exclusive national concerns. However, he believed that nationality was a necessary building stone of all mankind, and he coined the slogan ‘Cosmopolitanism in the ideas and the ends, nationality in the ground and the forms.’