A buffer zone can separate great powers, but this arrangement only works if the competing states-and the buffer itself-agree on the terms. Ukraine's domestic turmoil and relations with Russia, the U.S., and Europe may not make it an ideal candidate for a buffer state, argue professors Thomas Graham, Rajan Menon, and Jack Snyder, but that outcome could be better than the other alternatives.
Ukraine Between Russia and the West: Buffer or Flashpoint
RAJAN MENON is the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair in Political Science at City College of New York’s Powell School and a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. His recent books include “Ukraine in Conflict: The Unwinding of the Cold War Order” (MIT Press, 2015, with Eugene B. Rumer) and “The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention” (Oxford University Press, 2016).
JACK SNYDER is the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Relations in the political science department and the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. His recent books include “Human Rights Futures” (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and “Ranking the World: Grading States as a Tool of Global Governance” (Cambridge University Press, 2015, with Alexander Cooley).
Thomas Graham, Rajan Menon, Jack Snyder; Ukraine Between Russia and the West: Buffer or Flashpoint. World Policy Journal 1 March 2017; 34 (1): 107–118. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07402775-3903592
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