How Democratic is Ukraine?

Become a Patron! How Democratic is Ukraine? The media has framed the war between Russia and Ukraine as a conflict between democracy and autocracy. However, some skeptics question whether Ukraine is truly a democracy. Some criticisms simply refer to Ukraine as corrupt without much reflection. But others look to measures of democracy from Freedom House... Continue Reading →

Between Russia and China: Anja Mihr on Central Asia

Anja Mihr is an associate professor of Political Science at the OSCE Academy at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and the founder and program director of the Center on Governance through Human Rights at the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform (gGmbH) in Berlin. Recently, she edited the volume Between Peace and Conflict in the East and the West Studies on Transformation... Continue Reading →

Between Peace and Conflict

Become a Patron! War is Deceptively Simple “War is a deceptively simple event,” writes Frederic Oberson. In recent weeks, a handful of politicians and scholars have deflected blame from Russia through complex geopolitical arguments. John Mearsheimer is perhaps the most well-known who’s provocative 2014 article in Foreign Affairs was titled, “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is... Continue Reading →

The Nation and the State in Early Slavic History

This is a reflection on Serhii Plokhy's The Origins of the Slavic Nations. Plokhy offers the definitive account on the origins of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Justin Kempf considers the implications of their history for how the nation and the state are considered. Dividing the Nation from the State The division between the nation and the... Continue Reading →

Belarus as Nation and Identity

The definitive work on Belarus remains the work of Andrew Wilson. Published in 2012, his book Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship is the best source for its history including the rise of Alexander Lukashenko. The recent protests will likely spark new scholarship into Belarus, but they will all begin with this book for the foreseeable... Continue Reading →

Mark R. Beissinger – Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State

My most impressive professor at Truman State University was Dr. John Ishiyama. He was a professor of political science but his specialization was Post Soviet Politics. He was widely regarded as our most accomplished political scientist not simply for his knowledge of the region, but his familiarity with political science methodology. Indeed, he did not... Continue Reading →

George Soroka and Tomasz Stepniewski – Ukraine After Maidan

Because the President is likely to become impeached due to a phone call with the Ukrainian President, it might help readers to have a little background on this little-known country. Just thirty years ago it was a part of the Soviet Union. It wasn’t simply part of the Warsaw Pact like Hungary or Poland. The... Continue Reading →

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