Welcome! I teach comparative and international politics at the University of Rhode Island, with a focus 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 Resolution (Boston and Berlin: De Gruyter, 2023), looks 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.

Some listeners might be interested in hearing me discuss my book with attorney Robert Amsterdam on his podcast Departures. 

I am also keenly interested in how cultural stereotypes about Russia shape American foreign policy, and seek to identify sources within our common heritage that might improve mutual understanding. I first tried my hand at this more than a decade ago, in an essay 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.