Troy professors featured on NPR

Ora Nelson

Staff Writer

Two of Troy’s professors were recently featured on National Public Radio’s “In Focus” segment about the book they co-authored together.

The book is about cultural imperialism and “the decline of the liberal order.”

“The full title is Cultural Imperialism and the Decline of the Liberal Order: Russian and Western Soft Power in Eastern Europe,” said Dr. Doug Davis, an associate professor and the master of science in international relations director. “The title is a little wordy.”

The book talks about the state of liberalism on a global scale while commenting on the gradual decline of the “liberal order” in the 21st century.

“[It] basically looks at the decline of the current order of the United States as a declining superpower,” said Dr. Michael Slobodchikoff, chair of the political science department. “One of the things [we found] is that by accepting Western ideals and the liberal order, traditional cultures in Eastern Europe are actually severely affected by that.”

“We argue that towards the end of the book, that the most likely scenario is not conflict between the West and Russia but rather a slow decline of Western institutions,” Davis said.

The radio show gave the professors a wide audience to present their ideas to.

“It’s rare to get a response from people, but it’s good to put it out there,” Slobodchikoff, said. “I think both of us would welcome responses from people who’ve listened, both good and bad, positive or negative.”

“Carolyn Hutcheson, who conducts that program [“In Focus”] knew about our book and was interested in recording and interviewing us about it for a while,” Davis said.

Davis and Slobodchikoff met Hutcheson at the NATO conference they organized in 2019.

The event lasted for two days and diplomats, policymakers and academics from six nations attended the conference at the Troy University Montgomery campus.

“It was a great opportunity for our students to interact and meet with so many diplomatic representatives in one place,” Davis said. “It was a really great thing for our community.”

Slobodchikoff added that they plan on holding another NATO conference soon.

Davis and Slobodchikoff have worked “very closely on numerous projects” together besides organizing the NATO conference.   

“It was a natural fit in my mind to write this book [with Davis],” Slobodchikoff said. “I know that we will continue working together on more projects in the future.”

The radio interview aired on Thursday, April 15 at 11:30 a.m.

Recordings of the interview can be found on NPR’s website section dedicated to podcasts, under the tab for Caroline Hutcheson’s segment, “In Focus.”

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