Understanding Ukraine

With intensifying Russian involvement in what started out as a popular democratic protest against the Ukrainian government, the entire world is anxiously watching as the newest crisis in the region unfolds. Below is a compilation of scholarly articles published in International Studies Quarterly that might give readers a better understanding of the current situation.

When will the Ukraine crisis be resolved?

1. Militarized disputes between democracies do not go away easily – the majority of the disputes between democracies in the post-WWII are not resolved. [Mitchell &  Prins, 1999] 

Why did Russia get involved?

2. Global peace is supported by international bargains and by domestic financial bargains. Yet, non-tax revenues might encourage a country to challenge the global peace [McDonald, 2011]

Will the USA, EU, and/or other parties get involved?

3. Great powers’ involvement in regional conflicts depend on the intensity of the conflict and likelihood of successful resolution. [Miller & Kagan, 1997] explain the process through the example of the Balkans in the post-Cold War Era.

4. Economic relations between countries, especially economic interdependence, between countries willing to support Ukraine and Russia are likely to be influential in a country’s decision. [Papayoanou, 1997]

5. Diplomatic relations among the actors help them coordinate their actions and reveal information about their strategies. [Ramsay, 2011] discusses the role of bargaining on the probability of war.

6. The decision to support the Ukraine in this specific case might be influenced by earlier EU/USA-Ukraine relations.  [Zagare & Kilgour, 2003] present a game theory approach to crisis bargaining. [Crescenzi et al, 2012] argue for the role of prior alliance relations.

7. Western leaders might get punished by their electorate if they fail to defend an ally. [Clare, 2013] argues that the public will react only if they care about the issue at stake, therefore, alliances are only important if the other country is deemed as having a great strategic importance.

Will there be further military action? 

8. [Harvey, 1999] closely examines the concept of “deterrence” in international relations and lists relevant variables. 

9. “Deterrence” from a military action depends on the involvement of all the actors in the international system. [Lupovici, 2010] argues that an actor should be away of the deterrence processes if it is to be discouraged from a certain action. 

10. [Abrahams, 2013] argues that violence gives credibility to the threat but does not necessarily produce gains. 

 

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