heading to Ukraine

I am on my way tomorrow to Lviv and Chernovitsi in Ukraine, to co-teach the Summer Institute of Civic Studies and Civic Education there. This will be an immeasurably small contribution to what I think is a great cause: the work of the Ukrainian people in constructing a true civil society as the basis of a true democracy. If they can achieve that task in a portion of the former Soviet Union–after a period of kleptocracy and violent repression–they will be a beacon for the whole region.

I won’t blog while traveling but will report afterwards.

By the way, an AP wire story yesterday used my trip as its opening example of US “scholars drawn to conflict zones.” I must emphasize that Lviv and Chernovitsi are far from any violent conflicts. Many colleagues at Tufts (and elsewhere) actually meet this description: “people who should be getting on a plane to go to a country that’s in crisis.” When I said that phrase, I had in mind professors who fly to Sudan or Iraq and really make a difference there. I wasn’t talking about myself going to Western Ukraine to help lead a political theory seminar for a few days. But I am excited and grateful to be going.