Prof John J. Mearsheimer: The causes and consequences of the Ukraine war



Prof. John J. Mearsheimer is an American political scientist and international relations scholar, who belongs to the realist school of thought. He is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He has been described as the most influential realist of his generation.

Mearsheimer is best known for developing the theory of offensive realism, which describes the interaction between great powers as being primarily driven by the rational desire to achieve regional hegemony in an anarchic international system. In accordance with his theory, Mearsheimer believes that China’s growing power will likely bring it into conflict with the United States. (Wikipedia)




The causes and consequences of the Ukraine war A lecture by John J. Mearsheimer

6 June 2022

Professor John J. Mearsheimer discusses the current Russian invasion on Ukraine whilst exploring the potential causes and consequences of the crisis.

In this lecture, Prof. Mearsheimer aims to focus on both the origins of the war in Ukraine and some of its most important consequences. He argues that the crisis is largely the result of the West’s efforts to turn Ukraine into a Western bulwark on Russia’s border. Russian leaders viewed that outcome as an existential threat that had to be thwarted. While Vladimir Putin is certainly responsible for invading Ukraine and for Russia’s conduct in the war, Prof. Mearsheimer states that he does not believe he is an expansionist bent on creating a greater Russia. Regarding the war’s consequences, the greatest danger is that the war will go on for months if not years, and that either NATO will get directly involved in the fighting or nuclear weapons will be used — or both. Furthermore, enormous damage has already been inflicted on Ukraine. A prolonged war is likely to wreak even more devastation on Ukraine.






In this 2015 video below, Prof Mearsheimer predicted “The West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path and the end result is Ukraine is going to get wrecked.”

The causes and consequences of the Ukraine crisis

4 June 2015

John J. Mearsheimer assesses the causes of the Ukraine crisis, the best way to end it, and its consequences for all of the main actors. 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.








And here is a more recent panel discussion on the ongoing Russia/Ukraine situation.

Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine Salon

6 March 2022

Prof. John Mearsheimer, political scientist, University of Chicago Ray McGovern, former C.I.A. head of Russia desk Jack Matlock, last US ambassador to the Soviet Union Ted Postol, MIT professor of technology and international security Susan Eisenhower, grand-daughter of General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Convened March 2nd 2022 by the Committee for the Republic Q&A host: Bruce Fein, constitutional lawyer




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