October 22, 2008

Steve LeVine at Chicago again. Russia, Georgia, and the Rest

About a year ago, The University of Chicago hosted journalist Steve LeVine, now senior foreign affairs correspondent for Business Week, when his book "The Oil and the Glory" came out. That book dealt with the history of the former Soviet region through the lens of the jockeying for control of oil and natural gas. (You can view last year's presentation on the UChicago CHIASMOS website).

Steve Levine joins us again tonight to discuss the recent conflict between Russia and Georgia, the reasons for it, the consequences affecting the U.S., and some projections on the future of the region and international relations. When we first conceived of this talk with Steve, not long after the early August military conflict between Russia and Georgia, our effort was to do something timely on the conflict, and what it meant circa September 2008. We entitled the talk "Putin's Labyrinth: What Russia won in Georgia; Why the U.S. Will Continue to Lose." The gist being that the U.S.'s inattention to the region was an enabling factor for Russia to launch this sort of reprisal. In the period since then, the global climate of investment has taken a nose-dive, and the price of oil has precipitously declined, perhaps providing new economic and diplomatic avenues for the U.S. to influence and secure the region. Perhaps a better subtitle for tonight's talk would be "Why the U.S. May Continue to Lose." This of course will not be found out until a new U.S. presidential administration takes over.

If you're curious about where this discussion leads, come see Steve LeVine tonight at 6pm in the Home Room of International House at The University of Chicago.

This talk is also coming out of Steve's new book "Putin's Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia." This books looks at the new displined Russian power structure under Putin through the prism of shadowy murders.

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