U-M experts available to discuss NSA leaker Edward Snowden case

June 27, 2013


ANN ARBOR—As the extradition case involving National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden continues to become more convoluted, University of Michigan experts are available to share their perspectives. They include:

Jim Hathaway is an internationally recognized authority on refugee law whose work has been cited by the most senior courts of the common law world. Hathaway, the founding director of Michigan Law’s Program in Refugee and Asylum Law, regularly provides training on refugee law to academics, NGOs, and official audiences around the world. He is available at (313) 443-7637 or [email protected].

“All Edward Snowden has to do is walk up to any official in Sheremetyevo Airport and say, ‘I’m a refugee, and if I’m sent home I’ll be persecuted,’ ” Hathaway said. “After that, Russia’s obligations take effect and they can’t just send him, directly or indirectly, back to the United States. If Snowden chooses to make that argument, given the circumstances, it can’t be immediately dismissed as being without substance.”

Michael Traugott, professor of communication studies and political science, is a nationally recognized expert in political communication and polls. Contact Traugott at [email protected].

“The polling data that we have to date suggests that more Americans support what Snowden did than oppose it, although the margins are variable and subject to question wording effects,” Traugott said. “However, I expect public opinion to turn against him because of his recent behavior and the reporting of it.”

Melvyn Levitsky is a retired career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service and professor of international policy and practice at U-M’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. During his 35-year career as a U.S. diplomat, Levitsky served as officer-in-charge of U.S.-Soviet bilateral relations. He was also a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. He can be reached at (734) 369-4921 or [email protected].

Anna Grzymala-Busse is a professor of political science and the director of U-M’s Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia. Her principal interests include political parties and political competition, state development and transformation, and post-communist politics. She has written about party competition and the paradoxical comeback of communist successor parties. She can be reached at (734) 764-0351 or [email protected].