Thomas Volgy
Thomas Volgy

Increasing a nation’s status in the global word order is slow and incremental, sometimes with no status change at all. At the same time, perceived international status is “sticky” and can last well beyond a nation’s actual capabilities, a kind of halo effect.

In the second part of his two-lecture presentation, beginning at 3:30 p.m. next Thursday (Oct. 24) at the Arizona Senior Academy, UA Political Science Prof. Thomas J. Volgy will provide insights into global norms and the status ranking of all nations.

Volgy argues that a nation’s perceived status is a powerful ongoing soft influencer on other countries’ foreign policy decision-making.  For example, Russia’s current role in today’s Syrian conflict was possible due to Russia’s renewed status as a major power.

He said he will present four or five key factors in developing international status strategies.  For example, which is a more effective international status influencer: hosting the summer Olympic Games or providing foreign aid?

Volgy will evaluate post-Cold War themes such as Greening, Human Rights and Democracy-Building and their influence on international status enhancement in foreign affairs.

He is the editor of a 2011 book on status, “Major Powers and the Quest for Status in International Politics: Global and Regional Perspectives,” published by Palgrave Macmillan. He served on the Tucson City Council from 1977 to 1987, and was mayor of Tucson from 1987 to 1991. Volgy has been on the UA faculty since 1971.

The two Volgy lectures were made possible by a generous gift from Arizona Senior Academy members Joan and Gary Heymann.

Submitted by George Scholz, Academy Village Volunteer

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Global Status: Hard to Get, Equally Hard to Lose: Oct. 2013