Departures Podcast featuring Nicolai Petro, author of ‘The Tragedy of Ukraine’

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As the war in Ukraine rages on into its second year, there remains little consensus or understanding of how the conflict could be resolved outside of military outcomes, and a persisting misunderstanding on behalf of the West regarding Ukraine’s own internal preexisting social divisions.

This week we’re pleased to have a special guest, Dr. Nicolai Petro, a professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, whose new book, “The Tragedy of Ukraine: What Classical Greek Tragedy Can Teach Us About Conflict Resolution,” tackles these questions with unique literary framing. The conflict can not be understood merely on an institutional or rational level, but also must be considered in light of the emotional dimensions, Petro argues.

Diving into the texts of Greek tragedies, Petro finds numerous illuminating parables from ancient Athenian society which can serve as frameworks to heal deep social trauma and create more just institutions. In this fascinating conversation with host Robert Amsterdam, Petro explores how he got the idea to approach the war from this perspective, how he responds to recent changes in Ukraine since the outbreak of war, and how the country may endeavor to secure its future.