Welcome! I teach comparative and international politics at the University of Rhode Island as the Silvia-Chandley Professor of Nonviolence and Peace Studies (2017-2019). My professional focus is on the role that religious, historical, and cultural narratives can play in democratic development. Since my return from Ukraine, where I spent the academic year 2013-2014 as a Fulbright Research Scholar, I have focused particular attention on developments 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 has shaped American foreign policy. Ultimately, I hope to identify the sources within the Russian and European cultural traditions that could help to bridge this gap.

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.