"Jonas J. Driedger"
Titel: The Stopping Power of Sources
Autor: Jonas J. Driedger
The article analyzes arguments, made by John J. Mearsheimer and others, that the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 was largely caused by Western policy. It finds that these arguments rely on a partially false and incomplete reading of history. To do so, the article identifies a range of premises that are both foundational to Mearsheimer’s claims and based on implied or explicit historical interpretations. This includes the varying policies of Ukraine toward NATO and the EU as well as the changing Russian perceptions thereof; the political upheavals in Ukraine in early 2014 that were immediately succeeded by the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbass; and the supposed absence of Russian ‘imperialism’ toward Ukraine prior to 2014. Finding that these interpretations do not hold up in light of relevant and available data, the article qualifies and contextualizes the validity of Mearsheimer’s arguments, points to superior ones, and highlights the need for case-specific expertise when using explanatory theory to make sense of politically salient ongoing events.