Fairfield University Russia/Ukraine expert available for reporters


Image: David McFaddenDavid McFadden, Ph.D., professor of history at Fairfield University and a top scholar in Russian and Ukrainian history and policies, doubts that economic sanctions will end the current crisis in Crimea and growing tensions between the two former Soviet nations. Dr. McFadden, co-author of "The United States, Europe and Russia in the Baltic Region" (Baltika, 2005), is available to speak to reporters as the crisis unfolds.

"I have grave doubts about sanctions," said Dr. McFadden. "They have generally not been shown in the past to work very well, especially in a situation such as this, where in order for them to be effective, you need the full support and wholehearted endorsement of European partners who have much more at stake economically (and politically) than does the United States. In the long run, it is much better to engage Russia economically and diplomatically and to avoid double standards."

That said, Dr. McFadden believes the ongoing situation has become "the biggest foreign policy crisis faced by the Obama administration."

"This is because it has such high stakes, and is in the heart of Europe, and affects our economy, our work with the United Nations, our relations with Europe, and our relations with Russia, which remains one of our greatest competitors, sometimes ally and partner, and sometimes enemy."

Dr. McFadden said the crisis can only be viewed properly against the backdrop of the complex history, religious issues and politics of both countries and he cautioned the President to consider many variables before making any harsh decisions. "This crisis affects the Obama administration's credibility in a host of ways, both strategic and economic, not to mention moral and humanitarian."

Dr. McFadden hopes the Organization on Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) will be a vehicle for both parties to settle their differences and that an independent Ukraine will survive, integrated with Europe and friendly to Russia.

Dr. McFadden holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. from the University of Denver. In 1998, he was Fulbright Scholar, lecturing on U.S. history and American studies at Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has led several educational study abroad programs there.

At Fairfield, Dr. McFadden teaches courses on American foreign policy, Russian history, culture and civilization, the Cold War, global humanitarian action and American studies.

To schedule an interview with Dr. McFadden, contact Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950 or mguinness@fairfield.edu.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 7, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 200