Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

David M. Rowe

Second Advisor

Jacqueline McAllister

Abstract

Russia’s actions in Ukraine represented an attempted revision of the post-Cold War international system, built upon a rules-based order, the inviolability of state sovereignty, and a promotion of liberal principles. By extension, Russia’s decisive break with the West was a direct challenge to the United States, the principle architect and enforcer of the current global structure, as well as Washington’s foreign policy goal of a liberal world order. In the ensuing political firestorm, U.S. policymakers and academics alike wondered, “Why did Russia take such drastic action in Ukraine? How should Washington respond to Moscow’s intervention and the Crisis in general? What implications does the Ukraine Crisis have for U.S. foreign policy elsewhere?” This thesis, split into two parts and four chapters, will attempt to answer all of these questions.

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