Did Xi Jinping miscalculate by not allowing free elections in Hong Kong? We cannot know whether the Chinese leadership expected protests of this magnitude, although a large pro-democracy demonstration prior to the controversial decision was a powerful warning. The authorities … Continue reading
The conflict in Eastern Ukraine shows no signs of ending. Today the Ukrainian army used limited force after pro-Russian separatist gunmen had seized control of administrative buildings in numerous cities. These local militiamen were in all likelihood aided materially and … Continue reading
One puzzle about Moscow’s intervention in Crimea is how it helps Putin achieve whatever he wants to achieve. Yale historian Timothy Snyder argues that intervention would lead to a nationalist blacklash in Kiev, justifying Putin’s war as a result of … Continue reading
In the next class we will discuss how domestic political institutions (democracy/dictatorship) affect the propensity for war. The two papers on the syllabus try to explain why democratic countries rarely fight one another: Bueno de Mesquita et al (1999): An … Continue reading
Interested in what my research has to say about the Russian intervention in Ukraine? Check out my post on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog.
We briefly talked in class about the disturbing violence in Ukraine. I would like to draw your attention to two aspects of the power struggle in Kiev: a cultural and an institutional one. Let me start on the cultural front. … Continue reading