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.  

My latest book, The Tragedy of Ukraine: What Classical Greek Tragedy Can Teach Us About Conflict Resolutionlooks at the conflict in Ukraine through the lens of classical Greek tragedy, highlighting its deep domestic roots. For the parties to move from confrontation to dialogue will require untangling these roots and embracing a change of heart, or catharsis. To facilitate this process, we should look to classical Greek tragedy, which once performed a similar therapeutic function in Athenian society.

An extended excerpt of the text, sans footnotes, is available on Google Books.

I am also interested in how cultural stereotypes about Russia shape American foreign policy, and hope to identify sources within our common heritage that could improve mutual understanding. I first tried my hand at this in an essay written more than a decade ago, entitled “Is Ideological Competition in Europe Necessary?

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.