Welcome! I teach comparative and international politics at the University of Rhode Island. My professional focus is on the role that religious, historical, and cultural narratives play in democratic development. My regional areas of expertise are Russia and Ukraine.

I am on sabbatical leave for the academic year 2020-2021, dividing my time between Odessa (Ukraine) in the fall and the Institute for Advanced Studies of the University of Bologna (Italy) in the spring.  

I am currently working on several book length projects. One looks at classical Greek tragedy for solutions to the conflict in Ukraine. Another explores the tensions that arise from the simultaneous efforts of the Russian government to modernize Russian society, and of the Russian Orthodox Church to “re-Christianize” it. Finally, I am interested in how the "values gap" between Russia and the West has shaped American foreign policy. I hope to identify sources within the Russian and European cultural traditions that could help to bridge this gap. Click on my picture (right) to learn more about my work.

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