Alan Cafruny, the Henry Bristol Professor of International Affairs, gave a paper at the Allied Social Sciences Association annual meeting on Jan. 7 in New Orleans. Cafruny’s paper, titled "Ukraine, Multipolarity, and the Crisis of Grand Strategies," was presented as part of the panel "War in Ukraine: Implications for U.S. Hegemony and Alternatives." The event was sponsored by the Union of Radical Political Economists Section.
"Although factors such as imperial nostalgia and the domestic politics of distraction may have played a role in Russia’s illegal ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, the underlying cause of the invasion was structural, a result of Russian concerns resulting from decades of NATO expansion and highly provocative actions during 2021,” Cafruny said.
“The resultant proxy war with Russia has condemned the Ukrainian people to unspeakable suffering but it has greatly enhanced U.S. hegemony over Europe, and especially Germany. It has served to extinguish memories of “forever wars” in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to propel the neoconservative sponsors and beneficiaries of these wars back into power in Washington,” he added.
“Europe’s loss of relatively cheap Russian energy supplies and dependence on U.S. natural gas alongside protectionist industrial policies illustrate that the United States is no longer willing to underwrite Europe’s economic prosperity.” Cafruny said. “For Germany itself, the war has caused not only a Zeitenwende or ‘turning point,’ in political and ideological terms, but has also called into question its export-led economic developmental model, with important implications for German and European political stability."
Government at Hamilton
The study of politics and public affairs at Hamilton has three tracks: government, world politics, and public policy. World politics focuses on a region or theme such as poverty and inequality, democratization, or international law.