International Event: Russian Relations Lunch

(Author’s Note: I wrote this a week after the event and completely forgot to post it then. My bad.)

On March 3rd I attended a lunch with Dr. Jeffery Mankoff who is a policy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an OU alumnus.  He spoke at length about the ways that American and Russian relations have changed over the years and the ways that Russia’s movement away from the soviet block has created an entirely new era for Russia’s role in international politics.  He talked briefly about Russia’s role in the greater international community, but the most interesting part of his talk to me was his discussion of the regional politics of Russia and Croatia.  The politics of the two nations has evidently been rife with corruption and especially in recent years (up to and including the migrant crisis) there has been a huge controversy involving the ways that the countries relate to one another and the motivations of the politicians/who pays their bills.

This analysis simply served as a reminder to me of the ways in which politics across countries and continents stays the same as much as it changes.  The discussions that have surfaced during this year’s presidential election about where funding for the campaigns comes from and what that says about the loyalty of the politicians to their constituency are discussions (or mutterings) that have been had all over the world about the reliability of politicians for centuries.  The questions being asked in one election about one brand of economic skew are not inherently separate from those being asked on the opposite side of the world.  What may be most critical in the face of this cyclicality is that we remain aware and critical of political systems near and far.

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