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Russia-Ukraine War: The West vs. The Rest?

22/09/2022 /1:00 PM - 2:30 PM BST

Global politics around Russia-Ukrain war
Event description

The Russia-Ukraine war has lasted for months and could last for years. At the beginning of the war, many Western politicians and media reports claimed that “The world is united against Russian invasion”, which soon turned out to be a fallacy. As many commentators in the West now acknowledge, in terms of condemning and sanctioning Russia, it is largely The West vs. The Rest. This divide reflects the geopolitical tensions of the world and casts an ominous cloud over the direction of the war, given that both sides have their military and/or economic support from other countries. We bring leading analysts from both the Western and non-Western worlds to understand better different perspectives about the ongoing Ukraine war and global politics, and to analyse the reasons behind “the West vs. the Rest” divide and the implications for the world.

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Sir Ivor Roberts (former British ambassador in Belgrade, Dublin and Rome; former president of Trinity College, Oxford University; Oxford Global Society Advisory Board member)


Prof. Robert Wade (Professor of global political economy at the LSE, UK)

Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi (Distinguished Professor at the Wits School of Governance at the University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa)

Dr. Julie Newton (Director of the University Consortium & Research Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford University)

Mr. Praveen Donthi (Senior Analyst for India, Crisis Group)

Dr. Zhao Hai (Director of international political studies at the National Institute for Global Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Bios of speakers

Sir Ivor Roberts headshot

Sir Ivor Robert read Modern Languages at Keble College, Oxford. From 1968-2006 he worked in the British Diplomatic Service  in Lebanon, Paris, Luxembourg, Canberra, Vanuatu, was Minister in the British Embassy in Madrid and Ambassador in Belgrade, Dublin and Rome. On his retirement from the Diplomatic Service, he was elected President of Trinity College, Oxford, a post he held for 11 years till 2017.
Sir Ivor is an Honorary Fellow of Keble College and Trinity College Oxford, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (FCIL), a Patron of the Venice in Peril Fund and was Chairman of the Council of the British School of Archaeology and Fine Art in Rome (2007-12). He currently chairs the Trustees of the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. Sir Ivor also sits on the Advisory Board of Oxford Global Society.

In 2009, he published as editor and major contributor the first new edition for 30 years of the classic reference book on diplomacy ‘Satow’s Diplomatic Practice’ (Oxford University Press). A further edition appeared in 2017 and he is actively preparing a new (8th) edition due to appear in 2023. His memoir of his time in Belgrade during the Bosnian war and the Kosovo crisis, ‘Conversations with Milosevic appeared in 2016.


professor Wade Robert

Robert H. Wade is professor of global political economy at the London School of Economics. His central interest is in Adam Smith-type questions about the level and distribution of material well-being on a global scale.  He was awarded the Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought, 2008.  His book Governing the Market: Economic Theory and the Role of Government in East Asia’s Industrialization (Princeton University Press, 1990, 2004)  won the American Political Science Association’s award of Best Book in Political Economy for 1989-91.  He was a founding member of the Financial Times’ “Economists’ Forum”, described as “50 of the world’s most influential economists.”
Professor Wade worked at the Institute of Development Studies (Sussex University),  the World Bank, Princeton University,  MIT, and Brown University.  Fieldwork in Pitcairn Island, Italy, India, Korea, Taiwan, Iceland, and inside the World Bank and IMF.


Adebayo Olukoshi

Adebayo Olukoshi is a Distinguished Professor at the Wits School of Governance at the University of the Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and an Honorary Professor at the Centre for African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

He has previously served as the Director for Africa and West Asia at International IDEA, Director of the UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning, Executive Secretary of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Research Programme Coordinator at the Nordic Africa Institute, Senior Programme Staff at the inter-governmental South Centre, and Director of Research at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Ahmadu Bello University and a doctorate from Leeds University. His current field of research is centred on the interface of democracy, governance, and development.


Julie Newton

Based at Oxford University, Dr Julie Newton is Director of the University Consortium, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, bringing together six universities in the US, the EU and Russia – Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, Sciences Po and, until the war, MGIMO and HSE– to promote engagement between Russia and Western countries.  

She is also a Research Fellow at Oxford in the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre at St Antony’s College, where she specializes in Russian foreign policy and Russia-US-EU relations.  In addition, she is an Associate Professor at the American University of Paris, France; and in the US, she is a frequent Visiting Professor at Colorado College where she is currently teaching. Until February 2022, she also had a teaching post in Moscow in the MGIMO-MGU International Master’s Program in Post-Soviet Politics. Her authored books include Russia, France, and the Idea of Europe (Palgrave, 2003) and Institutions, Ideas, and Leadership in Russian Politics (Palgrave, 2011, with Dr William Tompson). 


Praveen Donthi

Praveen Donthi is a Senior Analyst for India at Crisis Group. He is responsible for analysing existing and emerging conflict situations in India through primary research, ground reporting and analysis. His work illuminates how domestic political calculus and regional great power rivalries come together to shape the region and India’s role in it.

Praveen has been a journalist for over fifteen years in India. He has reported intensively on politics, the intersection of business and politics, separatist and sub-nationalist conflicts, and caste and religious violence across the country. Before joining Crisis Group in 2021, he was deputy political editor with The Caravan, an independent monthly magazine in New Delhi. He has a Master’s and MPhil in modern history from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.


Zhao Hai

Dr. Zhao Hai is director of international political studies at the National Institute for Global Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (NIGS-CASS), one of the top government-affiliated think-tanks. He also serves as a senior research fellow and member of the Academic Committee of the Grandview Institution.

Dr. Zhao specialises in China-US relations, China’s foreign policy, and global governance. Besides academic publications, he is a frequent international affairs opinion contributor to China’s mainstream media.  Previously, Dr. Zhao worked as a research fellow at the National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University (NSI), and held various positions at think tanks in Chicago and Washington D.C. in the United States. Dr. Zhao graduated from Peking University with a dual bachelor’s degree in history and law, and later with a master’s degree in Asia-Pacific regional studies. Dr. Zhao obtained his PhD in international history from the University of Chicago.


1:00 PM - 2:30 PM BST
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Oxford Global Society
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