First Look at Geopolitical Orientations

The COVID crisis has upended the planned roll-out of the research results of the Geopolitical Orientations Project (see previous post from February). Fortunately we were finished the survey research process just before the crisis really hit (though we were unable to survey in all the places we had hoped to do so, for various reasons).

We were able to compose a series of short pieces for general audiences on data from the project. While we had positive experiences with various editors, it is worth noting that we do not choose the headings or sub-headings of these pieces nor the accompanying photo. Further, the process of writing for a general audience does mean some compromise on language and framing. The ‘translation’ from academic language to popular language can sometimes be tricky. Here are the pieces that have been published to date:

  1. Data on the Geopolitical Orientation and Aspirations of the Ukrainian people. (Monkey Cage blog, Washington Post)
  2. Data on the attitudes of Crimeans six years after annexation, including trust in various leaders (Monkey Cage blog, Washington Post)
  3. Longer article on political attitudes in Crimea, including perceptions of biggest problems (for Foreign Affairs blog). This article elicited a response opinion editorial from the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, available here, along with our short response.
  4. Article on perceptions of NGOs as “foreign agents” in Georgia and Ukraine (Open Democracy Russia).
  5. Article on attitudes toward the influence of the various “great powers” in Kazakhstan,with an emphasis on perceptions of China before the Covid crisis, and subsequent info war, took hold (Open Democracy Russia).

Our project is structured as a panel survey. Researchers often hope for a “big event” in between the first round of surveys and the second round. Well, we’ve got that and its massively ugly and awful. No one wished for this.

Because of a longstanding interest in geopolitical conspiracies, our surveys did include some generic and specific blame attribution conspiracy statements. One of these was about the spreading of a virus. We’re analyzing that now and will write it up for academic publication, with a general audience version thereafter I expect.

Be safe everyone.

 

About Dr Gerard Toal

Irish born academic living in Washington DC researching geopolitical competition and territorial conflicts in post-Communist Europe. Author of CRITICAL GEOPOLITICS (1996), BOSNIA REMADE (w C Dahlman) and NEAR ABROAD: PUTIN, THE WEST AND THE CONTEST OVER UKRAINE AND THE CAUCASUS (Oxford University Press, 2017).
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