Nicolai Petro on ‘The Tragedy of Ukraine’ and Conflict Resolution

In his new book The Tragedy of Ukraine: What Classical Greek Tragedy Can Teach Us About Conflict Resolution, Dr. Nicolai Petro argues that in order to untangle the conflict within the Ukraine, it must be addressed on an emotional as well as institutional level. Petro’s work draws on Richard Ned Lebow’s ‘tragic vision of politics’ and on classical Greek tragedy to assist in understanding the persistence of this conflict. Classical Greek tragedy once served as a mechanism in Athenian society to heal deep social trauma and create more just institutions. The Tragedy of Ukraine reflects on the ways in which ancient Greek tragedy can help us rethink civic conflict and polarization, as well as model ways of healing deep social divisions.


Nicolai Petro

Nicolai N. Petro is Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island. His scholarly awards include two Fulbright awards (one to Russia and one to Ukraine) and a Council on Foreign Relations Fellowship. Among his previous books are Ukraine in Crisis (2017) and Christianity and Russian Culture in Soviet Society (2019). In addition to his scholarly writings, which are available on his web site, he has written for numerous publications including The American Interest, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian (UK), International New York Times, Kyiv Post, Moscow Times and The Nation.

Anatol Lieven (Moderator)

Anatol Lieven is Eurasia program director and senior research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He was formerly a professor at Georgetown University in Qatar and in the War Studies Department of King’s College, London. He is a member of the advisory committee of the South Asia Department of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. From 1985 to 1998, Lieven worked as a journalist in South Asia, the former Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe and covered the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and the southern Caucasus.