By: Jenna M. Patterson

Three of our faculty members brought their expertise to a joint panel held by PSIA and UNG’s Department of History, Anthropology, and Philosophy (HAP)) on Wednesday, March 2. Drs. Craig Greathouse, Jon Miner, and Raluca Viman-Miller from PSIA joined Dr. John Romero from HAP to discuss the on-going events in Ukraine. Organized within the first few days of the start of the conflict, PSIA/HAP were timely in setting up the opportunity for students to learn from the expert panel in a direct Q&A fashion. The event was well-attended both in-person and virtually via Zoom.

Recent events in Ukraine have further ignited regional tensions in Eastern Europe, resulting in conflict between Russia and Ukraine that has extensive consequences for actors across the globe. Understanding the difficulty of processing the flood of information from media sources, panel members answered pressing questions from students and provide needed context to help attendees better understand the “why, what, and next steps” related to the crisis. Current geopolitics have been significantly influenced by the Soviet Union-era relationship between Russia and Ukraine, and the panelists brought their respective area knowledge to provide a variety of perspectives as participants discussed the contemporary and historical discourses surrounding the unfolding conflict.

Dr. Craig Greathouse, Professor and Associate Department Head of PSIA, brought his expertise on security and defense policy and European politics to the panel. He offered perspectives on possible expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, as well as what it would mean if actors involved in the conflict decided to increase their use of force.

Dr. Jonathan Miner, Professor (PSIA), contributed his knowledge about U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, and comparative politics. Dr. Miner shed light on recent activity at the United Nations related to the crisis in Ukraine and discussed the impacts of nonstate actors seen thus far.

Dr. Raluca Viman-Miller, Assistant Professor (PSIA), has concentrated her research on comparative politics and European politics, and she placed emphasis on the importance of understanding the structure of the Russian regime. Additionally, Dr. Viman-Miller highlighted the impacts of the conflict on civilians of a variety of nationalities in the region in addition to Russians and Ukrainians as a result of the use of force, sanctions, and exodus of refugees from the area.

Dr. John Romero, Assistant Professor (HAP), whose expertise lies in Russian history and nationalism in European history, shed light on the historical elements of the conflict, ethnicity and nationalism, and precedent for Russian action and expansionism.

We are grateful to the faculty and students who participated in this event and hope to offer additional opportunities for the discussion of current events and global issues in the future.