Alexseev, Mikhail A. 1963-

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Alexseev, Mikhail A. 1963-

PERSONAL:

Born May 3, 1963, in Kiev, USSR (now Ukraine); immigrated to United States; naturalized citizen. Education: Kiev State University (summa cum laude), B.A, 1985; Kiev State Institute of Foreign Languages, M.A. equivalent, 1989; University of Washington, Ph.D, 1996.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of Political Science, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, journalist, educator. Radio Kiev, Kiev, Ukraine, news editor and producer, 1984-87, senior correspondent, 1987-90; Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, former instructor; San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, assistant professor of political science. Guest commentator on network and cable television programs.

MEMBER:

American Political Science Association, International Studies Association, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Association for the Study of Nationalities, Oxford Union Society.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Journalism fellowship, Reuters, 1990; NATO fellowship, 1990-91; study grant, 1995, and research scholarship, 1997, George F. Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; postdoctoral research fellow, University of Washington, 1997-98; research grant, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, 1999-2000.

WRITINGS:

Without Warning: Threat Assessment, Intelligence, and Global Struggle, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor and contributor) Center-Periphery Conflict in Post-Soviet Russia: A Federation Imperiled, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Instrumental Internationalism: Regional Foreign and Security Policy Interests in Primorskii Krai, ETH Zentrum SI (Zurich, Switzerland), 2002.

Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe, and the United States, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor of chapters to numerous scholarly books. Contributor to periodicals, including the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, Globe and Mail, Seattle Times, and Oregonian.

SIDELIGHTS:

Mikhail A. Alexseev was born and began his education in the Ukraine (part of the Soviet Union at the time), then immigrated to the United States and attended the University of Washington, where he earned his doctorate. Alexseev worked as a journalist in Kiev and has written on post-Soviet politics for a number of periodicals in the United States. Among his books is Without Warning: Threat Assessment, Intelligence, and Global Struggle, which is based on his dissertation in political science. He studies such topics as the Mongol empire of the thirteenth century and its threat to the Sung and Chin empires, and Soviet-American relations from 1971 to 1991. As a speaker of Russian, Ukrainian, French, and English, Alexseev was able to draw from a variety of sources that had not been referenced in other English-language works. Because he was a Soviet journalist at the time, he provides a firsthand account of the end of the Cold War. Library Journal reviewer Nader Entessar called Without Warning "coherent, historically rich and theoretically sound." Writing in the Political Science Quarterly, Robert Jervis pointed out that the central contention of Alexseev's "interesting but sometimes awkward book," was that, as a result of errors in determining the strength of competing countries, "world politics can change rapidly and without warning." Such was the case at the end of the Cold War when the United States was still overestimating Soviet strength. Jervis concluded that, despite certain weaknesses, Without Warning "teaches the valuable lesson that states differently positioned or of different types may well not only reach different conclusions, but look at quite different indicators."

In his 2006 work, Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe, and the United States, a "theoretically and methodologically sophisticated book," according to Political Science Quarterly reviewer Kimberly Marten, Alexseev takes part in the global immigration debate. Alexseev contends that the anti-immigrant sentiment is largely a psychological rather than actual problem. He argues that majority populations feel threatened by outsiders and by new situations, and that this feeling clouds their judgment regarding immigrants and immigration policy. The author goes on to note that such a reaction is similar to the security fears that cause a spiral of emotions which in turn creates an arms race between two countries. Alexseev draws from a wide variety of sociological, psychological, and political literature to explain the reasons for the negative manner in which people often view and treat immigrants. Among the various immigrant scenarios he examines are those of the Mexicans and Latinos in the United States, the Chinese in the Russian far east, and the immigration from neighboring countries into the European Union. Alexseev offers statistics to back up his contention that fears about immigration are out of line with the realities. For example, as Steven M. Ladik noted of the Russian-Chinese issue in the Harvard International Review, "In the midst of the exaggerated fears and hostile actions expressed toward Chinese immigrants, they actually only made up 1.5 percent of the population [of the region]." Alexseev sees the distrust and dislike of immigration as rooted in suspicions of the immigrant and ethnic groups, which are often very cohesive and appear to exist outside of majority society. Other factors include the perceived slip into anarchy, which a supposed "flood" of immigrants causes in majority populations, and a misunderstanding of intentions of such immigrant groups. All of these can lead to a worst-case way of thinking and a sense of loss of security in majority populations, and to attempts to control and bar immigration, even when it is badly needed.

Alexseev's Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma drew praise from many quarters. Marten felt that the author "does an excellent job of synthesizing arguments from diverse literatures to draw creative and policy-relevant conclusions about a crucial global issue." For Ladik, "the detail of [Alexseev's] analysis and the creative and new ideas that he adds to the literature on immigration make his book exceptionally interesting, topical, and uniquely useful to policymakers across the world designing and implementing immigration laws." Similarly, Paul Roe, writing in the International Studies Review thought Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma "provides interested readers with a thorough account of some of the dynamics of ingroup and outgroup relations in the context of the immigration issue." Roe also went on to note, however, that it was "a shame … that Alexseev goes no further." Specifically, Roe observed: "By not describing how emerging anarchy might escalate into actual hostilities between groups (the US case possibly excepted), Alexseev has not taken advantage of this opportunity to explore the condition of self-help and its consequent spiral dynamics outside the usual confines of state security and military affairs."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Choice, September, 1998, A.C. Tuttle, review of Without Warning: Threat Assessment, Intelligence, and Global Struggle, p. 215; October, 2006, A.C. Tuttle, review of Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe, and the United States, p. 367.

Harvard International Review, fall, 2006, Steven M. Ladik, review of Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma.

Journal of Politics, November, 2007, Chris Rudolph, review of Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma, p. 1228.

Library Journal, February 15, 1998, Nader Entessar, review of Without Warning, p. 160.

Political Science Quarterly, spring, 1999, Robert Jervis, review of Without Warning, p. 143; winter, 2006, Kimberly Marten, review of Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma, p. 706.

Prairie Schooner, spring, 1999, review of Without Warning.

Reference & Research Book News, May, 1998, review of Without Warning, p. 21; November, 1999, review of Center-Periphery Conflict in Post-Soviet Russia: A Federation Imperiled, p. 32.

Russian Review, July, 2000, Neil Melvin, review of Center-Periphery Conflict in Post-Soviet Russia, p. 479.

Times Literary Supplement, July 24, 1998, Julian Bullar, review of Without Warning, p. 24.

ONLINE

Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, Appalachian State University Web site,http://wwwww.pscj.appstate.edu/ (January 15, 2008), "Mikhail Alexseev."

International Studies Review Online,http://www.politicalreviewnet.com/ (February 22, 2007), Paul Roe, review of Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma.

Mikhail A. Alexseev Home Page,http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~alexseev/Alex.html (June 18, 2005).

San Diego State University Web site,http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/ (January 15, 2008) "Mikhail A. Alexseev, Assistant Professor."

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