War in Ukraine

Societal Transformation, Peace and Reconciliation, Post-War Reconstruction

March 2, 2023
9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST
Location: Copley Hall Formal Lounge Map

The Russian war on Ukraine is a year old and shows no signs of abating. While the world’s attention remains rightly focused on the changing military situation and the terrible suffering of Ukraine’s civilian population under Putin’s unprovoked assault, the one-year mark is also an opportunity to reflect on Ukraine’s future at the heart of Europe. Georgetown University brought a diverse group of scholars and policymakers together to explore the impact of the war on Ukrainian society, dynamics of reconciliation across religious communities and civil society, and the domestic and international dynamics of post-war reconstruction within the country.

This conference was sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs; Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies; Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security; and Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Public Health Measures: This event took place in-person at Georgetown University, which required all visitors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or to attest to having a medical or religious exemption from being vaccinated. All visitors completed the COVID-19 visitor registration for this event.


9:30 - 10:00 a.m. | Coffee and Gathering

10:00 - 10:15 a.m. | Welcome Remarks

10:15 - 11:45 a.m. | War and the Transformation of Ukrainian Society

The panel explored the profound transformation of Ukrainian civil society under the impact of the war, including leadership opportunities for women and institution-building that can further Ukraine’s democratic consolidation and accession to the European Union.

Serhii Plokhy, Harvard University
Frank Sysyn, University of Alberta
Melanne Verveer, Georgetown University
José Casanova (moderator), Georgetown University

11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Lunch

12:30 - 2:00 p.m. | Religion, Civil Society, and Paths to Reconciliation

This panel examined the potential role of churches, public intellectuals, and civil society in much-needed peace and reconciliation within Ukrainian Orthodoxy and—when the war ends—between Ukrainian and Russian Orthodoxy.

Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia
Cyril Hovorun, Sankt Ignatios Theological Academy
Pavlo Smytsnyuk, Princeton University
Katherine Marshall (moderator), Georgetown University

2:00 - 2:20 p.m. | Coffee Break

2:20 - 3:50 p.m. | Post-War Reconstruction

The panel explored possible paths for post-war reconstruction across multiple sectors of Ukrainian society. A particular focus will be the positive role that U.S. universities and other international cultural institutions can play in the process.

John E. Herbst, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine
Oksana Markarova, ambassador of Ukraine to the United States
John F. Tefft, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine
Thomas Banchoff (moderator), Georgetown University

3:50 - 4:00 p.m. | Concluding Remarks

Related Event | "Living Through the Unthinkable: Supporting Children and Families during Russia’s War with Ukraine," March 2, 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

related | Learn more about Berkley Center engagement on Ukraine

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