Dr. Edward (Ted) Holland, associate professor of geography, University of Arkansas, has research interests that range across a variety of topics, including political violence, religion, migration and critical geopolitics. His research is generally focused on Russia and the former Soviet Union.
The likelihood of Russia going the way of the Soviet Union declined prescipitously in the first two decades of Vladimir Putin's rule. However, with the outcome of Russia's war in Ukraine undetermined, this possibility should again be explored given the uncertainty that revolves around the war and Russia's larger place in the interstate system. This presentation will revisit arguments, first put forward in the early to mid-1990s, about the possibility of the breakup of the Russian state. Though often viewed as the locations from which such a process would originate, Russia's republics - regions in the larger federation that are territorially defined and represented areas where non-Russian ethnic populations are concentrated - have been generally quiescent during the two decades of Putin's leadership. Despite Putin's centralization efforts, the instability resulting from Russia's war introduces a host of unknowns about the future of the federation as a unified state. This presentation reviews the current situation in Russia's republics and considers the possibility these regions could serve as the points of origin for the breakdown of the Russian state.
The photo image shown with this seminar announcement is: the view of the old part of Kubachi, Dagestan, from a window of the town's tower. Settlements in Dagestan were often built on a ridge line to protect against enemies.