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CREECA Lecture: “Shifting Rationality: How Identity Decay Led Russia to Invade Ukraine” with Mikhail Troitskiy

March 30 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

The great puzzle of Russia-West relations throughout the three post-Cold War decades has been the apparent reluctance of the Kremlin to reap significant and evident benefits from collaboration with the United States and its allies. At many junctures, Moscow consistently chose to up the ante with ensuing confrontation over reassurance of its western counterparts and other key players. The costs of such behavior would almost invariably turn out to be high and unnecessary. Despite learning these lessons, Moscow persisted with its attempts to turn the tables in Russia’s favor through confrontational actions and appeared uninterested in reassurance. That puzzle is echoed in formal academic literature on the sources of war which is regarded as a very risky and costly undertaking.

This talk will use existing theories of signaling and several high-profile cases in US-Russia relations to hypothesize about Russia’s consistent reluctance to pick the low-hanging fruit of reassurance and cooperation.

About the Speaker: Mikhail Troitskiy is a Professor of Practice at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research on conflicts, security, and politics in Eurasia, Russian foreign policy and U.S.-Russia relations, arms control, and international negotiation was published with Problems of PostcommunismSurvivalGlobal PolicyThe Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsRussian Politics and LawHorizonsCambridge University PressRoutledgePalgrave-MacmillanMcGill-Queen’s University Press / CIGIWoodrow Wilson Center PressNomos Verlag, and SIPRI. He is a member of PONARS Eurasia and PIN Negotiation networks of scholars.


March 30
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
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