Welcome! I teach comparative and international politics at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Rhode Island, USA. My professional focus is on the role that religion, history, and cultural symbols can play in democratic development. Since my return in 2014 from a year spent in Ukraine as a Fulbright Research Scholar, I have focused special attention on Ukraine and the events taking place there.

I am currently working on two projects. The first is a book that explores the tensions arising from the simultaneous efforts of the Russian government to modernize society, and of the Russian Orthodox Church to “re-Christianize” it. The other is a critical appraisal of how the “values gap” between Russia and the West conditions American foreign policy. Ultimately, I wish to explore what sources within the Russian and European cultural traditions might be able to bridge this gap.

Even as my writings have become more varied, however, a common thread remains; i.e., the choice of cultural framework, or narrative, often determines a policy’s success or failure.