A Study of Self-Help in Anarchic International Systems

Aaron Francis O. Chan • Jul 27 2010 • Essays

The debate between “rationalists” and “reflectivists” has emerged as a central axis of contention in International Relations (IR) theory. Rationalists treat sovereign states as rational, self-regarding units, leading both Neorealists and Neoliberal Institutionalists to conclude that anarchic conditions create a “self-help” international system. Reflectivists, a broad church that includes postmodernists, critical theorists, and other anti-positivists, see no automatic link between anarchy and self-help.

Elites vs. Institutions in Peacemaking

Ondřej Roztomilý • Jul 22 2010 • Essays

In the contemporary world, the role of elites is crucially important in every political system and every phase of state development, and forms the deciding factor in settling ethnic conflicts and post-conflict reconstruction. This paper will be based on two recent conflicts, Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina, culminating in the Good Friday Agreement and Dayton Accords, respectively.

The status of women as a key indicator of modernity in Muslim society

Sebastiano Sali • Jul 21 2010 • Essays

Using women’s status as an indicator for the level of modernity achieved in non Western Muslim societies can set up a vicious circle that reinforces an orientalist bias. Such an evaluation is often affected by a belief that secular-liberal regimes hold a more favourable stance towards women. In addition, some Western feminist scholars have developed an approach that exasperates this dynamic

Terrorism’s Path: The Protection of the People in the Violence of our Era

Brandon James de Vingada Soeiro • Jul 19 2010 • Essays

This paper is an investigation on the conflict of our generation. From the ashes of the War on Terror arises the need to not only investigate the course of our actions, but also our understanding of those forces and phenomena to which we are committing both blood and treasure.

The US Victory in the Cold War: Economic Strength, Foreign Policy Triumph or Both?

David Sykes • Jul 15 2010 • Essays

The economic strength of the US alone was not enough to secure victory, and the US foreign policy was frequently counter-productive. But when the disparity in economic strength was utilised by the US foreign policy it enabled the US to have a clear advantage over its enemy and negotiate from a position of strength

John Gray and the idea of progress

Kyle Piper • Jul 14 2010 • Articles

The political thought of John Gray offers an unflinching vision of the world, a world divided by refractory ways of life, stressed by the looming conflicts over natural resources and scorched by irreversible patterns of global warming. Gray’s vision of the world is none too cheerful, and prescribed throughout his numerous analyses of today’s most pressing problems is a sobering dose of realism. Gray has repeatedly emphasized that many of our greatest problems are incurable and that the best we can hope to achieve is to minimise their symptoms

The 1997 Financial Crisis and the East Asia Development Paradigm

Piangtawan Piang Phanprasit • Jul 13 2010 • Essays

The financial collapse of 1997 which led to regional economic meltdown the following year exposed the link between financial sectors and macroeconomic performances of the troubled economies, and hence the revision of development models pursued by those economies. A distinction needs to be drawn between the crisis as the precipitating event or as the source of Asia’s extraordinary vulnerability

To what extent does the EZLN political economy framework offer a viable development alternative to its followers?

James Wilhelm • Jul 9 2010 • Essays

The EZLN is a Polanyian reaction to a specific type of market subordination, something which is central in understanding the extent to which the EZLN represents a viable political economy model for its followers. Furthermore, the Mexican Revolution triggered the emergence of these markets

The Responsibility to Protect: a new response to humanitarian suffering?

Antony Lewis • Jul 6 2010 • Essays

The “responsibility to protect” principle (R2P) has radically transformed the international community’s approach to major cases of humanitarian suffering, shifting its focus from “intervention” to “prevention”. Nevertheless, the tragic case of Darfur has clearly demonstrated its limitations.

Hobbes and Thucydides: How the fathers of Realism differ from their offspring

Lea Wisken • Jul 1 2010 • Essays

If the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes has been called a “father of Realism”, then the Greek historian Thucydides must surely be its forefather. This essay is going to compare Hobbes’ and Thucydides’ opinions on the sources of state-behaviour with respect to Realist standpoints, questioning whether they can justifiably be classified as belonging to this school of thought.

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