West Virginia University to receive $132K for Ukraine crisis study
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia University scholar said the 2014 Ukrainian crisis and lessons learned from that country’s parliamentary elections in October could hold meaning for the United States.
The National Science Foundation announced this month that WVU political science professor Erik Herron would receive an award in the amount of $ 132,670. The award will fund a study about how government organizations manage crisis situations during election cycles. His areas of expertise are Russian and East European studies.
A former program director for the NSF, Herron said the situation in Ukraine could influence foreign policy.
“The crisis in the Ukraine is probably the most significant crisis in Europe since the end of the Cold War,” he said.
The award will begin Monday. Herron’s research will address the ability of Ukraine to “act as a unified state” because of a major conflict.
“To the extent, that it’s unable to act as a unified state and provide services in democratic elections, it becomes increasingly unstable. And instability in that region is threatening to security in Europe and the U.S.”
He said studying Ukraine can give insights about governments in crisis situations can rebuild as functional societies.
“Hopefully, we can help policymakers make better decisions about how to improve practices in parts of the world where U.S. security interests are at stake,” Herron said.
“I think the U.S. could benefit from having expertise from abroad and recommendations about how we could improve our own election processes. No election process is perfect.”
His study, titled “Democratic State Capacity and Organizational Adaptation in Crisis Conditions,” will use data collected from teams based in the United States and Ukraine.