With a forced referendum in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine and the proclaimed annexation of these four territories by Russia, democracy and sovereignty of a former Soviet state are once again undercut by hegemonial aspirations and big power competition. At the same time, Russians are fleeing their homeland in large numbers after the announced that he would draft 300,000 reservists. These developments as well as the challenges posed to democratic institutions and practices in Central and Eastern Europe – and beyond – raise questions concerning the broader implications of the war in Ukraine.
Join ACG and 1014 for another discussion as part of their virtual series Democracies und Pressure: Challenges for the Global Liberal Order. We will be joined by Dr. Alexander Cooley, Claire Tow Professor of Political Science and Vice Provost for Academic Centers and Libraries at Barnard College and Academy Adjunct Faculty at Chatham House, and Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse, Director of the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) and Einstein Professor for the Comparative Study of Democracy and Authoritarianism at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Alexander Cooley is the Claire Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. From 2015-2021 he served as the 15th Director of Columbia University’s Harriman Institute for the Study of Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe. Professor Cooley’s research examines how external actors—including emerging powers, international organizations, multinational companies, NGOs, and Western enablers of grand corruption—have influenced the development, governance, and sovereignty of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus. Cooley is the author and/or editor of eight academic books including, Dictators without Borders: Power and Money in Central Asia (Yale University Press 2017), co-authored with John Heathershaw, and more recently, Exit from Hegemony: the Unravelling of the American Global Order (Oxford University Press, 2020), co-authored with Daniel Nexon.
In addition to his academic research, Professor Cooley serves on several international advisory boards engaged with the region and has testified for the United States Congress and Helsinki Commission. Cooley’s opinion pieces have appeared in New York Times, Foreign Policy, and Foreign Affairs and his research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Open Society Foundations, Carnegie Corporation, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, among others. Cooley earned both his MA and Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Gwendolyn Sasse has been the Director of ZOiS since October 2016. Since April 2021, she has been Einstein Professor for the Comparative Study of Democracy and Authoritarianism at the Department of Social Sciences of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Prior to that, she was Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations and at the Oxford School for Global and Area Studies at the University of Oxford. She maintains her connection with Oxford as a Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College. She is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the think tank Carnegie Europe. Her academic career began with the study of history, Slavonic studies, and political science at the University of Hamburg and led her to an MSc and Ph.D. in political science at the London School of Economics. After that, she took up a post as Assistant Professor at the Central European University, and then as Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at the London School of Economics before moving to Oxford in 2007 where she became a full professor in 2013.