AUA Public Events
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PSIA Seminar: The Objectives of Russia’s Military Intervention in Syria
April 3 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
About the Event:
There has been much speculation about Russia’s motives for intervening in Syria in September 2015. Certainly, Russia’s direct military intervention in the Syrian civil war was a foreign policy objective in order to shore up the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian regime, Moscow’s ally since the Cold War period, and keep Syria together as a unified state and maintain the Russian foothold in the Middle East. We argue that Russia projected force beyond its periphery to confirm Russia’s status as a great power and return it to its rightful place among the world powers. Russia’s status aspirations led the Kremlin to undertake risky policy maneuvering, like the annexation of the Crimea and the military campaign in Syria. President Vladimir Putin wanted to pursue multipolarity, that is, a long term strategy, in which interstate relations should be based upon international law, mutual respect and equal partnership with a proper role for Russia in global politics. The Kremlin still considers that fighting international terrorism, religious fanaticism and separatism are internal and external threats that undermine Russia’s national security and global security.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Ohannes Geukjian is the acting chairperson of the department of Political Science and Public Administration (PSPA) at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He is also Assistant Professor of comparative politics and conflict resolution. Dr. Geukjian received his BA and MA in International Relations from AUB, and was awarded the PhD in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, in 2005. Dr. Geukjian has published three books: Ethnicity, Nationalism and Conflict in the South Caucasus: Nagorno-Karabakh and the Legacy of Soviet Nationalities Policy (London and New York, 2012); Negotiating Armenian-Azerbaijani Peace: Opportunities, Obstacles, Prospects (London and New York: 2014); and Lebanon after the Syrian Withdrawal: External Intervention, Power Sharing and Political Instability (London and New York: 2017). Also, he has published various articles in scholarly journals like Middle Eastern Studies, Middle East Journal, Nationalities Papers, and The Maghreb Review. His research interests include nationalism, ethnic conflict, peace building and Middle East politics. Currently, Dr. Geukjian is working on a book-length manuscript on Russian Intervention in the Middle East that will be published by McGill University Press.