Florida International University has a couple of professors who can speak about the issues surrounding the political unrest in the Ukraine. Below you will find the experts willing to offer their insight to media and the public. This list is being updated continuously.
For assistance reaching any of these professors, please call the FIU Office of Media Relations at 305-348-2232.
Political Science/International Relations
Dr. Kostadinova’s research and teaching interests include Central and Eastern European political institutions with a special emphasis on elections, electoral systems and electoral behavior; institutional reform; democratic transition; political corruption; comparative public policy; and public support for foreign policies. Kostadinova’s book Political Corruption in Eastern Europe: Politics After Communism (2012) analyzes the emergence of corruption as a major obstacle to successful democratic transition. Kostadinova teaches undergraduate courses in Russian and Eastern European politics, electoral behavior, and research methods, and graduate courses in institutional choice, democratic transitions, political parties, and advanced research. She has also conducted field work in Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia. Kostadinova has authored and co-authored articles, book chapters and book reviews. She is fluent in English, Bulgarian and Russian.
For interviews, please contact 305-348-4493.
Dr. Thiel’s areas of expertise include the politics of the European Union and Western Europe, as well as its political sociology and identity. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on international relations, comparative Western European politics, European Union Politics, international relations of Europe, and international organizations. He has published several articles and book chapters at the European Union Center of Excellence, as well as in Transatlantic Monthly, International Studies Compendium, Journal of Human Rights, Perspectives on European Politics & Society, and the Journal of European Integration. He has also published The Limits of Transnationalism: Collective Identities and EU Integration (2011) and co-edited three volumes, including Diversity and the European Union (2009), Identity Politics in the Age of Globalization (2010), and European Identity and Culture: Narratives of Transnational Belonging (2012). Thiel is a research associate at the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence and is an affiliated faculty member of the FIU European Studies Program. Thiel is available for interviews for European-Union related questions on the conflict in Ukraine and elsewhere.
Ronald W. Cox
Dr. Cox is an Associate Professor of political science and the Associate Chair of the FIU Department of Politics and International Relations. His areas of expertise include U.S. foreign policy, U.S. foreign economic policy and international political economy. Professor Cox is the author of numerous books, including the forthcoming Transnational Corporations and the New Globalization (2015), Corporate Power and Globalization in U.S. Foreign Policy (ed.) (2012), US Politics and the Global Economy (with Dan Skidmore-Hess) (1999), Business and the State in International Relations (ed.) (1996), and Power and Profits: U.S. Policy in Central America (1994). He has also published numerous journal articles, book chapters and papers. Professor Cox created the first open access academic journal in the history of FIU, titled Class, Race and Corporate Power. He has taught a variety of courses, including American Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, and Corporate Power and American Politics.
Vaclav Havel Center for Human Rights and Diplomacy
Dr. Palous is a senior fellow in the School of International and Public Affairs. He teaches classes on democratization, human rights, Europe, and the European Union. He was one of the first signatories of Chapter 77, a document criticizing the Communist government of Czechoslovakia for not respecting human rights and later served as the group’s spokesman. He also is a founding member of Civic Forum, a dissident movement that helped overthrow the Communist government in Czechoslovakia. He was elected to the Federal Assembly where he joined the Foreign Affairs Committee and later became deputy minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2002, he was appointed Ambassador for the Czech Republic to the United States, and in 2006, became the ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Nations. Palous is also the director of the Vaclav Havel Center for Human Rights and Diplomacy. The center advances the study of human rights and its impact on democratic transitions through research, lectures, internships and conferences.
Dr. Weisbord is a professor at the College of Law and a leading expert on the crime of aggression, individual criminal responsibility for illegal wars. His primary research interest is in the field of international criminal justice. Weisbord was law clerk to Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo at the ICC in The Hague. Prior to working at the ICC, he traveled to Rwanda to study gacaca–community-based genocide trials inspired by an indigenous justice tradition. He was also an independent expert delegate to the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression established by the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court. He is currently writing a book called “Prosecuting Aggression” on criminal responsibility for illegal war. He holds masters degrees in social work and law (McGill University, Harvard Law School), and a doctorate of juridical science from Harvard Law School. Prior to joining FIU, Weisbord was a visiting assistant professor at Duke Law School.
Dr. Craumer is an associate professor of geography with a joint appointment in the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies and the Department of Politics and International Relations. His areas of expertise include the economic, social and political geography of the former Soviet Union. He has published extensively on a wide range of issues, including agriculture, rural development, population change, health issues and demographic issues in the former Soviet Union, Ukraine and Eastern Europe.