Mackinder Forum Seminar #71: Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, ““The War in Ukraine and Russia’s Imperial Legacy.”

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On Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Eastern U.S. Time, Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff addressed the Mackinder Forum on “The War in Ukraine and Russia’s Imperial Legacy.”  Dr. Mankoff has recently published a volume on the significance of imperial legacies for the foreign policies of Iran, Turkey, China, and Russia.  See Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security.

Abstract: While Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine shocked Western observers, it was consistent with a long history of Russian imperial expansion. Failure to grapple with this imperial legacy is one of the main reasons why Russia remains three decades after the Soviet collapse a threat to its neighbors and an opponent of the Western-led global order. The undigested legacy of empire is also a factor in Russia’s alignment with other post-imperial revisionist states, notably China, but also Turkey and Iran. These imperial legacies are visible not just in Russian foreign policy, but in the construction of the state and in the stock of symbols and ideas deployed by the country’s political leadership. Russia’s eventual democratization and transformation into a status quo power would require a forthright effort to account for and overcome these imperial legacies.”

Biography: Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the U.S. National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies and a Non-Resident Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). His research focuses on Russian foreign policy, Eurasian geopolitics, and the role of history and memory in international relations. He is the author of the books Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security (Yale, 2022) and Russian Foreign Policy: The Return of Great Power Politics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009, 2012). He also writes frequently for Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks and other outlets.

Dr. Mankoff was previously a senior fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at CSIS and served as an adviser on U.S.-Russia relations at the U.S. Department of State as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow. From 2008 to 2010, he was associate director of International Security Studies at Yale University and an adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He also held the John M. Olin National Security Fellowship at Harvard University (2006-07) and the Henry Chauncey Fellowship at Yale University (2007-08). Dr. Mankoff received undergraduate degrees in international studies and Russian from the University of Oklahoma, and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in diplomatic history from Yale University. He is a Truman National Security Fellow and a past Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Reading: Jeffrey Mankoff, “The War in Ukraine and Eurasia’s New Imperial Moment,” The Washington Quarterly, 45:2, 127-147.