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About the talk:
The Russia-Ukraine War is a bitter struggle with territory at its heart. It is an open question as to whether a stable peace settlement is possible because territorial integrity appears to be a 'sacred value' within Ukraine. Is this really the case, especially among those who have suffered the most from the fighting and forced displacement? This talk presents some preliminary findings from a joint research project with Karina Korostelina and Gerard Toal in Ukraine among residents and displaced persons in three frontline towns in eastern Ukraine. It focuses specifically on how people’s experiences and characteristics shape their dispositions toward potential territorial concessions. Such concessions are presently recognized by all sides as part of the road toward peace. Yet, in light of great resistance and suffering, witnessing the death of friends and family members, and extraordinary destruction and displacement, the question can be raised whether ordinary Ukrainians accept the loss of further state territory as a necessary price for peace.
About the speaker:
Gerard Toal (Gearóid Ó Tuathail) is a political geographer and a founding figure in the development of critical geopolitics. A professor of international affairs at Virginia Tech’s campus in the greater Washington DC metro region, he is the recipient of multiple research grants from the US National Science Foundation (NSF). His last book Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest for Ukraine and the Caucasus won the International Studies Association’s ENMIA Distinguished Book Award in 2019. His is the author of the forthcoming book Oceans Rise Empires Fall: Why Geopolitics Hastens Climate Change.
Co-Sponsored with Department of History and the Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies