About Paul Robinson

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Paul Robinson

Media Bias Frames Western Reporting on Ukraine

In a 1991 article published in the Journal of Communications, Robert Entman of the George Washington University examined how the American media framed international news.  He compared coverage of two similar events: the shooting down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 by the Soviet military in 1983, and the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the U.S. milit… Read More

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Political Legitimacy Is What Matters in Ukraine’s Popular Referendums

A decade ago, The Spectator magazine commissioned me to write an article arguing that the British government ought to hold a referendum on the proposed new constitution for the European Union. I went further, and proposed that if the government did not grant a vote, the British people should hold an unofficial referendum of their own. “Although under the cu… Read More

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The Putin Book Club

“We must love all nations as we love our own,” writes Russian philosopher Vladimir Sergeevich Solovyov in his 1897 book The Justification of the Good. The “greatness and value” of nationality, he claims, lies “not in itself taken in the abstract, but in something universal, supernational … Nations live and act not for their own sake … but for th… Read More

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Reaping the Whirlwind in Ukraine

The Russian media had a good laugh on March 2 at the expense of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who denounced Russia by saying, “[y]ou just don’t invade another country on a phony pretext in order to assert your interests.” Kerry’s remark brought to mind John McCain’s similar criticism of Russia after its 2008 conflict with Georgia: “In the twenty-first c… Read More

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Four Myths About Russia

The forthcoming Olympic Games in Sochi have served as a hook for Western commentators to indulge in a prolonged round of Russia-bashing. A collection of negative preconceptions about Russia continues to dominate discussions of that country. Four of them are particularly prevalent, but none are true. Here are the reasons why. Myth 1: Vladimir Putin has tu… Read More

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In Face of Ukrainian Unrest, Doing Nothing is the Best Approach

One of the strongest barriers to our understanding of world events is the tendency to view what happens in other countries as a sort of morality play in which good fights evil. This way of looking at the world encourages us to pick sides and interfere in conflicts which do not really concern us, in the process often making things worse. The reactions to the deter… Read More

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Russia is a Beacon of Sanity About Syria

Published in the Ottawa Citizen, September 9, 2013 Russia-bashing and Putin-bashing, always fairly popular, have been much in fashion of late. Having lived for a while in Russia and before that the Soviet Union, as well as having devoted far too many hours to the study of Russian history, I might, in the past, have been sympathetic. Nevertheless, it is hard t… Read More

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There is No ‘Sacred Duty’ to Canada’s Veterans

Published in the Ottawa Citizen, Aug. 5, 2013 Seriously wounded soldiers should enjoy no special status or privilege with regard to medical care,” writes Michael Gross of Haifa University, who is probably the world’s leading authority on military medical ethics. “Once they cannot return to duty, the critically wounded lose their unique entitlement to s… Read More

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How Not to Spend $75 Billion

Humanitarian motives are given as the justification for a whole series of foreign policy endeavours nowadays, from the most peaceful forms of foreign aid through to full-scale military invasion and occupation of foreign countries. How is that working out?  Two books published this week provide some answers. The first book, titled How to Spend $75 Billio… Read More

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Where is Canada’s Ron Paul?

Ten years ago this month, almost the entire political establishment of the United States united in supporting the invasion of Iraq. On the political right, one lone voice stood out against it: the then Texas congressman Ron Paul. This weekend, Dr. Paul is keynote speaker at the annual convention of the conservative Manning Centre here in Ottawa. His presen… Read More

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