U-M experts available to discuss the Syrian conflict

September 10, 2013
  • umichnews@umich.edu


ANN ARBOR—President Barack Obama plans to address the nation Tuesday as he tries to rally congressional support for a strike on Syria. Meanwhile, new diplomacy involving Russia and other nations might make U.S. intervention unnecessary.

Experts at the University of Michigan are available to discuss the political, diplomatic, legal and security dimensions of the Syrian conflict:

Michael Traugott, professor of communication studies and political science, says that if Obama loses the vote in the House, it could set a precedent that will haunt future presidents. Traugott is a nationally recognized expert in political communication and polls. Contact: mtrau@umich.edu More about Traugott: www.lsa.umich.edu/polisci/people/faculty/ci.traugottmichael_ci.detail

Steven R. Ratner, professor of law, can discuss U.S. constitutional law considerations along with international humanitarian laws and treaties that may influence the U.S. decision to strike Syria. Ratner’s teaching and research focus on public international law and a range of challenges facing governments and international institutions since the Cold War, including ethnic conflict, border disputes, counter-terrorism strategies and human rights violations. Contact: (734) 647-4985 or sratner@umich.edu More about Ratner: www.law.umich.edu/FacultyBio/Pages/FacultyBio.aspx?FacID=sratner

Michael Heaney, assistant professor of organizational studies and political science, says launching cruise missiles against Syria will only cause more bloodshed and won’t protect human rights. Heaney examines the organizational dimensions of American politics. His research focuses on the role of intermediary institutions—especially interest groups, political parties and social movements—in shaping the political process and policy outcomes. Contact: (202) 236-3369 or mheaney@umich.edu. More about Heaney: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mheaney/Michael_T_Heaney.html

Juan Cole, professor of history, says a U.S. strike on Syria will be more of a face-saving gesture that will give the rebels a psychological boost but won’t likely affect the balance of power in the conflict. Cole’s research interests include the social and intellectual history of the Middle East and Muslim South Asia. Contact: (734) 764-6305 or jrcole@umich.edu Follow him on Twitter: @jricole. More about Cole: www.lsa.umich.edu/history/people/faculty/ci.colejuan_ci.detail

James Morrow, professor of political science, says Assad used chemical weapons to shore up support among his supporters. Morrow’s published work covers crisis bargaining, the causes of war, military alliances, arms races, power transition theory, links between international trade and conflict, the role of international institutions, domestic politics and foreign policy. Contact: (734) 763-6590 or jdmorrow@umich.edu More about Morrow: www.lsa.umich.edu/polisci/people/faculty/ci.morrowjames_ci.detail Interview: www.nbcnews.com/id/45755883/ns/msnbc-the_last_word/vp/52917504#52917504

Philip Potter, assistant professor of public policy, can discuss U.S. domestic politics as well as strategy and objectives. His research explores the relationship between interdependence and international conflict, the impact of public opinion and media on foreign policy, and the role of networks in transnational terrorism. Contact: (734) 615-6905 or pbkp@umich.edu More about Potter: www.fordschool.umich.edu/faculty/Philip_Potter

Mark Tessler, professor of political science, can discuss U.S. policy in Syria. Tessler’s scholarly publications examine the political implications of attitudes and values held by ordinary citizens in the Middle East. Contact: (734) 615-9149 or tessler@umich.edu More about Tessler: www.lsa.umich.edu/polisci/people/faculty/ci.tesslermark_ci.detail