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    Geostrategy

  • Informed Comment

    You’ll be Surprised which Congressmen get Most Campaign Money from War Industry

    AJ+ “War is a big industry in the United States, but who profits from it? AJ+ breaks down how much money was contributed by defense contractors to members of Congress in 2014 and exactly who got the bulk of that money.” These Congressmen Made A Lot Of Money From War – AJ+ ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Iraq: Are Senior ISIL Commanders already Defecting in Mosul & Tikrit?

    By Mustafa Habib | Baghdad | via Niqash.org Senior members of the Sunni Muslim extremist group, the Islamic State, have disappeared from Mosul and Tikrit. Sources suggest they defected for a number of reasons: they fear the end is nigh for their group, the threat posed by unhappy former allies who have already assassinated some of their number and because of promises of money and safety. Last week was a tough week for the Sunni Muslim extremist group known as the Islamic State, or IS. It had incurred serious losses of manpower in strongholds in both Syria and Iraq. Figures released by the Iraqi Ministries of Defence and the Interior suggest that the IS group lost around 400 fighters in Iraq and reports from Syria say as many as 500 IS fighters have been killed there, ...more

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  • Informed Comment

    Double-Edged Sword: Can US overcome its Feelings of Exceptionalism?

    By David Bromwich via Tomdispatch.com The origins of the phrase “American exceptionalism” are not especially obscure. The French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville, observing this country in the 1830s, said that Americans seemed exceptional in valuing practical attainments almost to the exclusion of the arts and sciences. The Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, on hearing a report by the American Communist Party that workers in the United States in 1929 were not ready for revolution, denounced “the heresy of American exceptionalism.” In 1996, the political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset took those hints from Tocqueville and Stalin and added some of his own to produce his book American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword. The virtues of America...more

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  • Foreign Policy

    Four Blackwater Guards Convicted of Killing 14 Unarmed Iraqis

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  • Foreign Policy

    Four Blackwater Guards Convicted of Killing 14 Unarmed Iraqis

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  • Foreign Policy

    Four Blackwater Guards Convicted of Killing 14 Unarmed Iraqis

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  • Foreign Policy

    Four Blackwater Guards Convicted of Killing 14 Unarmed Iraqis

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  • China Matters

    The Unelected Battle the Selected: Democracy in Hong Kong

    [Corrected some mis-stated names of various organizations and added reference to Alliance for True Democracy declining to comment on authenticity of documents--CH 10/23/14] Anybody who does not start his day by placing his brains in a sack and vigorously slapping them against a nearby wall presumably realizes that the current agitation in Hong Kong is not just about students.  It represents the culmination of years of struggle against encroaching PRC control by liberal, pro-democracy, and anti-Beijing activists, many of them adults and quite a few of them members of Hong Kong’s professional, political, and intellectual elite.The annual Tiananmen commemoration begat the Article 23 concern group (security law), which begat the Article 45 Concern Group (universal su...more

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    US Plan to Strangle China's World Bank Rival, Pt 2

    Tomorrow the Asian International Investment Bank (AIIB) is born.This is a continuation of a previous post on the US wanting Chinese competition in development lending to just go away despite the likes of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank lauding the developmental benefits of competition. You know, when it comes to actual competition in development lending, the usual American BS, posturing and hypocrisy rear their ugly head. How will China's Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank survive? Depending on your point of view whether this is a good or bad thing, the US has largely succeeded in discouraging developed countries from pledging any funding to the PRC's brainchild. When th1e signatories gather tomorrow, not a one is going to be a developed country. Australia w...more

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  • Foreign Policy

    Did Politics Compromise Afghanistan's Constitution?

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  • Foreign Policy

    Did Politics Compromise Afghanistan's Constitution?

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  • Foreign Policy

    Did Politics Compromise Afghanistan's Constitution?

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Khamenei's Shadow Has a Mind of its Own

    This picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei appeared on the Facebook Page of al-‘Ahed News, one of Hizbullah's outlets:Among the online commentary I've seen so far:Ottoman Sultans used to style themselves "the Shadow of God on Earth," but I'm pretty sure their shadows pointed the right way.Perhaps Khamenei is brighter than the sun? I will resist any "brighter than a thousand  suns" remarks while the nuclear talks continue, however....more

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  • Foreign Policy

    How to Fix Brazil's Broken Economy

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  • Foreign Policy

    How to Fix Brazil's Broken Economy

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  • Foreign Policy

    How to Fix Brazil's Broken Economy

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  • Foreign Policy

    Syrian Rebels Oppose New U.S. War Strategy

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  • Moneybox

    Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    Latest Issue of Dabiq Defends Enslavement of Yazidi Women

    As Matthew Barber recently noted at Syria Comment, the Islamic State's English magazine Dabiq, which we've discussed here before,  has not only acknowledged enslaving Yazidi women, but has justified it. The article in Dabiq's issue 4 is entitled "The Revival of Slavery Before the Hour." Besides spending many paragraphs defending enslaving and selling women, they conclude, "May Allah bless this Islamic State with the revival of other aspects of the religion at its hands."(If you must, you can find the issue many places online, among them here, with the slavery article on pages 14-17.)The main theme is "The Failed Crusade," meaning the West's anti-ISIS effort. As you can see, the cover shows an ISIS flag flying over the Vatican.If you're thinking that they're just me...more

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  • Moneybox

    It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked

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  • The World

    Smart Reads 23 October 2014

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    Territorial Disputes & PRC Travel Warnings on Philippines

    Good luck finding these sorts of wedding photo ops back in the PRC.An area of study in international relations that nobody has looked at is this one: countries locked in disputes engaging in travel warnings against each other. Since most countries today are WTO members, using discriminatory measures against others' products and services is more difficult to do than in the per-WTO period. So, how are you going to get back at the offending party? Try travel advisories warning that the country in question is some kind of godforsaken hellhole where terrorism is rampant and the rule of law is an illusionary concept.As it so happens, China has been a particularly avid user of travel warnings against all and sundry transgressors of the will of the Chinese people (or at least t...more

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  • The World

    FT podcast: World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

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  • Foreign Policy

    Doctors: CDC's New Ebola Tracking Plan Is Political Theater

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  • Moneybox

    Is McDonald’s Planning to Replace Its Cashiers With Computer Screens?

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Iraq's New Old Chemical Arsenal

    Yesterday, a student asked me about the recent news reports indicating that Iraq did, in fact, have "weapons of mass destruction" back in 2002 and 2003 when the U.S. was attempting to justify a "preemptive" war. The New York Times reported that American soldiers were injured in the past decade by chemically-armed munitions found in Iraq.Already, a slew of articles in the media have debunked the claim that this vindicates George W. Bush and his Iraq misadventure. This Washington Post piece is perhaps the best since it primarily quotes Bush administration claims from the pre-war period.The Times piece certainly does not try to claim that Bush is vindicated:The discoveries of these chemical weapons did not support the government’s invasion rationale. After...more

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  • MEI Editor's Blog

    1914: As War Between Britain and Turkey Loomed, the Anomalous Position of Egypt

    By late October 1914, it was increasingly clear that the Ottoman Empire was going to join the Great War on the side of the Central Powers, Germany and Austria. Since the closing of the Straits to the Triple Entente Powers on September 26, the Ottoman Government was already in violation of treaties, but throughout October the Allies tread lightly in hopes that Turkey might not come in formally.I will be dealing in coming days with the war plans and key strategic interests and objectives of each side. But I want to begin with a particularly quirky situation: the highly anomalous legal position of Egypt.De facto, Egypt had been a British protectorate in all but name since 1882; British troops controlled the country, and defended the Suez Canal, while a British official ...more

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  • The World

    Smart Reads 22 October 2014

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  • Fabius Maximus

    The truth emerges about Afghanistan, an indictment of our war. Now comes the hard part: learning from failure.

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  • International Political Economy Zone

    PR Stunt or Third World Solidarity? Cuba & Ebola

    Next stop for Cuban doctors: the Hot Zone. Despite Cuba's (largely US-imposed) isolation from the rest of the world for the sin of being Communist...at least in the Americas when the US has long since cottoned up to the likes of China, Vietnam, and other so-called Reds, its medical system has remained one of the world's best against all odds. The World Health Organization (WHO) lauds it as being a model for the world, while even citizens of its oppressor nation say it is "unreal" in care being free yet of high quality. So much so that it has exported doctors in exchange for petroleum.I am of two minds about Cuba. While I do believe that the US has unfairly singled it out for sanctions in an age where it no longer views being socialist as grounds for isolation, Cuba...more

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  • The Arabist

    Car bomb mapping art

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  • Fabius Maximus

    We awake from fears of an Ebola pandemic in America. Now let’s ask who’s responsible…

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  • China Matters

    C.Y. Leung Harshing On the Poors Maybe Not as Dumb as You Think

    Ah, C.Y. Leung, C.Y. Leung…Supposedly the HKSAR supremo put his hoof into it again by pointing out that switching from the current nominating committee to direct selection of candidates by universal suffrage would give the poors a big voice in local governance, since half of the potential electorate makes less than US$1800/month.The liberal fainting couch was instantly overloaded by journo/activist types overwhelmed by C.Y.’s anti-democratic callosity.  Depicting C.Y. Leung as a hopeless ass is, of course, central to the pro-democracy movement's objective of delegitimizing the current officials  and the entire process that selected them.This gave me free rein to indulge my contrarian/lonely outlier inclinations, and I think I summed up the actual dynamic n...more

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  • Fabius Maximus

    DoD shows its strength, mobilizing to protect us from Ebola (a sad story about America).

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  • China Matters

    Back In the Day: Ebola "Classic"

    The Intertubes tell me Ebola is a big thing nowadays.Some netizens maybe too young to remember the first Ebola scare, back in 1989, an outbreak among monkeys in a research facility near Washington, D.C. The event was chronicled in a best-selling book, The Hot Zone, and today it was announced that Ridley Scott is planning to produce a TV series for Fox based on the book.As readers will learn from the subsequent post, recycled from 2009, Scott did his best to make The Hot Zone into a feature film back in the 1990s, but failed.Today, as I put it on Twitter, "it looks like Scott's plague-laden ship has come in"; however, I predict the same dramatic problem that plagued him back then (Spoiler alert: major monkey massacre, but nothing else happens in U.S.) may dog the project...more

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  • Achenblog

    Ebola and the BP oil spill

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  • Macro and Markets

    October Monthly: Breaking the Sanctions Code

    At last week’s World Bank and IMF meetings, I heard sharply divided views about the future path of sanctions and what lessons should be drawn from their use against Russia. Have they been successful, and at what cost to the West? Should sanctions be extended to the payments system, which enhances their power but risks damaging a global public good? What signal does it send to other countries? With growing evidence that sanctions are materially damaging the Russian economy, concerns have been raised that sanctions could become too easy an option for U.S. policymakers. My October monthly (here) looks at the question and suggests strategies for convincing other countries (and markets) that this new weapon will be reserved for combating serious violations of internati...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    When meetings matter—The World Bank and IMF Convene

    There are many reasons cited for this week’s market turndown and risk pullback, including concerns about global growth, Ebola, turmoil in the Middle East, and excessive investor comfort from easy money. What has been less commented on is the role played by last weekend’s IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings. Sometimes these meetings pass uneventfully, but sometimes bringing so many people together—policymakers and market people—creates a conversation that moves the consensus and as a result moves markets. It seems this year’s was one of those occasions. As the meetings progressed, optimism about a G-20 growth agenda and infrastructure boom receded and concerns about growth outside of the United States began to dominate the discussion. The perception that policym...more

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  • The Arabist

    Egyptian media: a shameless parallel dimension

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  • The Arabist

    Saudi Arabia sentences Shia cleric to death for "sedition"

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  • Achenblog

    Ebola fears spread faster than the virus

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    Prior to War: Debate, then Vote

    Interesting exchange about the legitimacy of America's wars, from the October 1, 2014, The Colbert Report. Stephen: Can I tell you why I think the American people might be tired of it? And want to go back to bed? And I’m speaking for myself, and, therefore, the American people. We’re asked to be afraid of it. You get to think about it all the time or you did get to think about it all the time and say to yourself, “You know what? That little corner of the desert looks like it could blow up real good. Let’s go over there.” Whereas, we’re asked to be afraid of it and we’re reminded to be afraid of it, but we no longer have much of a voice in it because our Congressional representatives won’t vote on whether we’re supposed to do anything about i...more

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  • Macro and Markets

    IMF/World Bank Meetings: In Search of a Consensus

    This week’s Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF will have a lot of discussion but little action.  Here are five things that I anticipate will capture some headlines. Growth is important…but what are you going to do about it?  I suspect that we will hear broad frustration from policymakers about the tepid global recovery.  Most expect a gradual global recovery to below average levels, as the scars from the financial crisis and weak policies constrain growth.  But there isn’t much on the table in terms of macro policies that can be debated and changed, and while there is a lot of structural work to be done (e.g., financial sector and labor market reform) we are unlikely to see much real progress on a growth agenda this week. Infrastructure is (a p...more

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  • Achenblog

    Paul Farmer on Ebola: “This isn’t a natural disaster, this is the terrorism of poverty”

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  • Rodger A. Payne's Blog

    2014 Louisville Sluggers

    This is my (very late) annual post about the Louisville Sluggers of the Original Bitnet Fantasy Baseball League. We draft twice each season -- once prior to the regular season and again at the beginning of July. I didn't get around to putting this post together until now. Sorry, though I doubt anyone cares. I'll just report draft results and transactions for the second half season -- my A season did not go all that well.Prior posts: 2013,  2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008,  2007, and 2004.Why do we draft twice each year? Well, the OBFLB crowns champions for both the "A" first half and "B" second half of the baseball season, divided by the All Star game. My team's most recent championship was in 2008B. The current team is all-but-assur...more

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    What Tom Friedman's Interview Revealed About Obama's Foreign Policy

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  • The Moor Next Door

    New World Politics Review Piece

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    The Peace Process Ends: Not With a Bang, But a Whimper

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  • The Belgravia Dispatch

    The Horror: Iraq Class of '03 Mounts Rerun

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Farewell

    In memoriam: Gary S. Becker, 1930-2014. The Becker-Posner blog is terminated. Richard A. Posner

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  • The Moor Next Door

    The Army and the Status Quo

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  • The Moor Next Door

    RND Sketch

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    Sabbatical Notice

    Starting this weekend, we will be taking a one-month sabbatical from blogging. We will resume at the end of that period.

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  • The Becker-Posner Blog

    The Embargo of Cuba: Time to Go- Becker

    The US embargo of Cuba began in 1960, a year after Fidel Castro turned this island toward communism. It was extended to food and medicines in 1962, the same year as the showdown with Russia over the installation of missiles there. The embargo has prevented American companies from doing business with Cuba, and discouraged tourism to Cuba. The American government also tried with quite limited success to prevent other countries from trading with Cuba. In general economic embargoes are undesirable because they interfere with free trade among countries. Yet a case could be made for an embargo against Cuba. Castro not only allowed Russian missiles to be installed in Cuba, just 90 miles from Florida, but was also actively trying to interfere in other countries by sending troop...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    Can the F-35 Replace the A-10?

    by Nickolai Sukharev  One of the big decisions the United States Air Force has considered over the last few months is whether to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II fleet as a cost saving measure while developing and procuring the F-35A Lightening II. Given the Budget Control Act caps on Pentagon spending and the need to better allocate funds, officials have expressed their preference to prioritize multi-mission platforms in the inventory. But the problem is that the F-35A is not a replacement for the A-10’s close air support. The reason is simple: it lacks comparable capabilities despite a higher operating cost. Given the constrained budgetary environment, the comparative cost to maintain and operate the two aircraft should be a decisive consideration. The A-10 is a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    After Geneva Talks A Consensus on Moving Forward

    By Homa Hassan The two-day round of P5+1 negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva and Western diplomats are carefully reviewing a detailed proposal presented by Iran. As this proposal is being reviewed ahead of the follow-on meetings in November it is important to look at what the realistic prospects of a deal will look like. Going into this week’s talks, a number of commentaries came out attempting to set negotiations up for failure. However, it is widely agreed that a negotiated solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear program is the best way to achieve a sustainable solution and a recent survey of reports and recommendations from bipartisan think tanks and high-level experts demonstrates a broad consensus on how to approach negotiations a...more

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  • democracyarsenal.org

    TPP, TTIP and Getting America's Competitiveness Back on Track

    By Marcela Heywood Last week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia marked further progress for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and set an ambitious goal to finish negotiations by the end of the year. Although the U.S. government shutdown – and President Obama’s absence in Bali – did not hinder the trade talks, it did call America’s credibility into question. Government shutdown could threaten both TPP and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by displaying uncertainty in U.S. economic and foreign policy priorities. Congress needs to reach an agreement and prioritize TPP and TTIP, as they are necessary policy initiatives to boost American competitiveness, stimulate the economy, and exert soft power to cr...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Why US Financial Hegemony Will Endure

    Will and I have a piece, now ungated, over at a fantastic new online magazine called Symposium. Our article translates much of the main points of our Perspectives Piece (co-authored with Thomas and Andy Pennock) for popular consumption. We are also blogging over there this week in support of the article. Please do check out our writing this week on the magazine's website, as well as the other great content on the site....more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Foreign Direct Investment, Human Rights, INGOs

    One of the major areas of underdeveloped research within political science is the interaction between non-state actors. From an international political economy perspective, the literature has largely ignored the interaction of various non-state actors that are growing in importance, and its effects on different forms of trade. In a recently published article "Avoiding the Spotlight: Human Rights Shaming and Foreign Direct Investment" by Colin Barry, Chad Clay and Michael Flynn, they lay the foundation for examining this interaction. They examine the interaction between non-state actors (INGOs) and multinational corporations (MNCs) and the extent to which private actors' choices to invest in countries are affected by the reputational costs of doing business in those...more

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  • International Political Economy at the University of North Carolina

    Verizon, Vodafone, and Measuring FDI

    Recently back from APSA in Chicago, I've been reflecting on the state of our knowledge about FDI (or perhaps more accurately, cross-border management stakes in enterprises). That, and working on my dissertation, applying for academic jobs, and teaching. Oh, and telling everyone who'll listen about my Optimus Prime sighting on Michigan Ave.Anyway, I find a post-conference review of the discipline is generally a good way to consider potentially fruitful lines of new inquiry. In my experience, the quality of papers at conferences can be rather hit-or-miss. This generally fits into my view of conferences as important sources of external deadlines for getting drafts done as well as interacting with other scholars in more informal settings such as the hotel bar/lobby/over-cro...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Why Defining Terrorism Matters

    This is a guest post by Karolina Lula, a PhD student at Rutgers-Newark.---------------The terrorism industry has grown exponentially since 9/11.  Whenever a terrorist attack occurs, a plethora of terrorism scholars eagerly spoon out their collective wisdom.  The chance to be included in the over-caffeinated media spotlight justifies decades cooped up in small offices pouring over data. In a certain respect, terrorism scholars mirror their subject.  They both love an audience.              Despite their growing presence in the media, academics fail to persuade others about what terrorism is in the first place.  Language evolves and academia is only one source of influence.  T...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Planning to be Shocked

    One of the most repeated, and most dubious, axioms about strategy is the notion that being proactive is wiser than being reactive, and that reactivity is something we should be allergic to. In the words of Briain's foreign secretary William Hague, 'the nation that is purely reactive in foreign policy is in decline.' Likewise, written into the folklore of the US foreign policy establishment is the notion that the 'strategic shocks' that struck America - such as Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor or 9/11 - happened because Washington was passively sleeping. A quick read of Presidential speeches on the anniversary of that attack shows how powerful the creed of active vigilantism lives on, even if it doesn't power all of America's day to day behaviour.Never mind that a...more

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  • The Duck of Minerva

    Quick Note

    If you haven't been seeing any posts for a few months, that's because we moved to http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/. Some readers have informed us that the redirect may not be behaving for some subset of RSS feed readers. If that's the case, you can subscribe to the new feed at http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rsshttp://whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/?feed=rss...more

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  • Political Animal

    Wednesday's Mini-Report

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  • Political Animal

    The need for partisan cover

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  • Political Animal

    House rebuffs Boehner, scraps F-35 Jet Engine Program

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Dan Steinbock

Dr Dan Steinbock is a recognized expert of the multipolar world. He focuses on international business, international relations, investment and risk among the major advanced economies (G7) and large emerging economies (BRICS and beyond).

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