VIDEO FLASHBACK: The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis

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John J. Mearsheimer, the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science and Co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago, assesses the causes of the present Ukraine crisis in 2014, the best way to end it, and its consequences for all of the main actors. YouTube Tips ⓘ

John Joseph Mearsheimer is an American political scientist and international relations scholar, who belongs to the realist school of thought. John Joseph Mearsheimer is described as the most influential realist of his generation.

“If you really want to wreck Russia, what you should do is encourage it to try and conquer Ukraine.”

— John J. Mearsheimer

He was wrong about 2022 Russia. In 2015 Mearsheimer said the Russia is not trying to conquer Ukraine and not trying to re-establish the Soviet Union or greater Russia. He said Putin was much too smart to because of past unsuccessful occupations in Afghanistan and other troubled countries.

Mearsheimer is best known for developing the theory of Offensive Realism, which holds that the anarchic nature of the international system is responsible for the promotion of aggressive state behavior in international politics.

Anarchic nature involves great powers as power-maximizing revisionists entitling themselves to buck-passing and self-promotion over balancing strategies in their consistent aim to dominate the international system.

“A key assumption is that in order to come up with the optimum plan for ending the crisis, it is essential to know what caused the crisis. Regarding the all-important question of causes, the key issue is whether Russia or the West bears primary responsibility.”

— University of Chicago describing John Mearsheimer’s presentation

The Causes and Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis

John J. Mearsheimer

Presentation to University of Chicago Alumni

June 4, 2015

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