Rice political scientist available to discuss escalating tensions in Russia and Ukraine


David Ruth

Amy Hodges

Rice political scientist available to discuss escalating tensions in Russia and Ukraine

HOUSTON — (April 17, 2014) — As tensions escalate between Ukraine and Russia, Rice University international relations expert Ric Stoll is available to discuss how the situation may impact European support for defense spending.


Stoll’s recent paper, “The Acceptability of War and Support for Defense Spending Evidence from 14 Democracies, 2004-2013,” finds that recent events in Ukraine are likely to produce a modest increase in public support for defense spending in Europe.

The study analyzed public opinion in 13 countries from 2004 to 2013 and found that both citizen acceptance of war and support for defense spending are most consistently influenced by basic beliefs, values and life experience. Stoll also found that this support is increased by external threats and by support for the NATO Alliance and U.S. global leadership, and all of these are likely to increase in reaction to Russian actions in Ukraine.

“I believe that the situation with Russia and Ukraine will cause a number of European governments to reconsider their defense spending,” Stoll said. “A number of these countries have been cutting spending, but at some point you must end this behavior or you won’t have a military.”

Stoll said this situation is different from others involving European military personnel.

“We’re dealing with a situation that if it gets worse, it directly involves Europe,” Stoll said. “It also involves a break of the 1994 agreement between Russia and Ukraine. When Ukraine became independent, they returned weapons to Russia with the understanding that Russia would respect its borders. And that’s not what is happening. This entire situation has broad implications for national security and defense spending in Europe.”

Stoll is the Albert Thomas Chair of Political Science in Rice’s School of Social Sciences and is regularly quoted by the news media about national and international security issues.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Stoll, contact Amy Hodges, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or ah25@rice.edu.


This news release can be found online at http://news-network.rice.edu/news.

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Related materials:

Ric Stoll bio: http://politicalscience.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=147

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About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.