Category Archives: International Relations

The Democratic Peace: a figment of our imagination?

Ever since Immanuel Kant argued that democracies were bound to be more peace loving than autocracies, theorists and policy makers have been in love with the “democratic peace.” Today it’s a bedrock of American foreign policy. Both Democrats and Republicans … Continue reading

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Two great international relations courses

Middlebury College political scientist James Morrison has done a big favor for us do-it-yourself web learners by posting two of his International Relations courses on the web. In addition to the audio lectures, you can download the reading lists and … Continue reading

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A great lecture series

A great place to look for new insights in foreign affairs and public policy is the lecture archive of Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia (website, feed). While the all past lectures are not in the … Continue reading

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What’s up with Qaddafi?

As I watch the dramatic events unfold in Libya, I can’t help wondering how Muammar al-Qaddafi, a truly bizarre character, ended up ruling Libya and managed to stay in power for 42 years. Veteran newsman Arnaud De Borchgrave thinks that … Continue reading

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Two great history courses

Two of the all-time-best free history courses on the web are taught by a husband-wife team of historians, one at Stanford University and the other at its rival institution across the bay, University of California Berkeley. These stellar courses are … Continue reading

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Confused about Egypt?

If you’re wondering what is behind the current turmoil, here are some resources to help you make sense of the events unfolding now in Egypt. Council on Foreign Relations (website). CFR, a nonpartisan think tank, has posted a number of … Continue reading

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For public affairs junkies

With the recent demise of Princeton’s University Channel, what’s a public affairs junkie to do? Here are some alternative ways to feed your habit: UCLA International Institute (website, iTunes) The International Institute has its own podcasts and also hosts a … Continue reading

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Losing the endgame

Win the shooting war and lose the peace? It’s an old story for US policymakers, going back at least as far as World War I. And it’s about time for us to start doing it differently. That’s the thesis of … Continue reading

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Putin and the Petrostate

If you want to understand how Russia regained its international clout after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all you need are these statistics: Russia supplies 31% of Europe’s natural gas. Russia supplies 42% of Germany’s natural gas. Numbers like … Continue reading

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Who survived the financial crisis unscathed?

While the advanced Western economies were being whacked by the Great Recession, three Middle East economies were making great advances, namely Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Kurdistan. This perhaps surprising state of affairs is the subject of a recent lecture entitled … Continue reading

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