Relaciones Internacionales – Comunicación Internacional

15 septiembre, 2019
por Felipe Sahagún
0 Comentarios

About the relevancy of political science

 

Best Defense

BEST DEFENSE, Tom Ricks’s daily take on national securityWhy Tom is so damn wrong about the relevancy of political science

By Stephen Saideman

Best Defense guest respondent  (September 16, 2014 – 11:35 AM)

Last night, my chain got pulled by Tom Ricks, who has written some fine books on the U.S. military including the well-named Fiasco about the Iraq war.

He was frustrated with the content of International Security and then went on a tear about how irrelevant and «made up» political science is. Given my respect for his work and the importance of his blog within the policy community, I found this view profoundly frustrating. I promised to come up with a list of relevant poli-sci stuff, and here I shall do so.

But I would like to start with a few comments. First, this entire effort may be wasted since Ricks believes that politics is an art and not a science. He, like others, may think that we cannot generalize about political behavior, that there are not recurrent patterns of which we cannot make sense.

This post might be akin to a climate scientist explaining climate change to someone who does not believe in science. He asked whether political science will be around in 200 years. Well, since it has been around in one form or another since either Thucydides or Aristotle, and that politics is not going away anytime too soon, I doubt that people will stop trying to figure it out.

Second, Ricks in his books admires Gen. David Petraeus. While his record may not be spiffy in retrospect, there is no doubt that Petraeus was influenced by people who study political science. Even if we forget about Petraeus having a Ph.D. from Princeton in international affairs (which is just chock full of poli sci), Petraeus included all kinds of social scientists in the making of counter-insurgency doctrine. So, there is some inconsistency there.

Third, Ricks needs to look around his office. Nora Bensahel should kick his butt, given that she is a top analyst on alliances and other security stuff, and she happens to have a Ph.D. from Stanford in political science. My guess is that she ain’t the only one at CNAS. .. MORE

Full article in PDF: Why Tom is so damn wrong about the relevancy of political science

Related

15 septiembre, 2019
por Felipe Sahagún
0 Comentarios

Los mejores y los peores libros de relaciones internacionales

por (16 abril, 2012)

Esta semana la revista Foreign Policy ha publicado sendos artículos de Stephen M. Walt y de Daniel W. Drezner titulados “Mi lista de diez mejores libros que todo estudiante de relaciones internacionales debería leer”“Los diez peores libros sobre relaciones internacionales”, respectivamente. Las listas son una de las especialidades de esta publicación mensual: desde “Las fronteras más discutidas del Este de Europa” hasta “Los cinco peores lugares para ser mujer” pasando por “Las guerras de la comida” o “Los 23 peores tiranos“, todos los aspectos de la actualidad internacional son susceptibles de resultar ordenados en los listados de FP. ¿Por qué resultan estos tan atractivos? Tal vez porque, como escribió John Mankiewicz, con la organización suficiente y las listas suficientes creemos que podemos controlar lo incontrolable.

…SEGUIR LEYENDO

 

 

 

15 septiembre, 2019
por Felipe Sahagún
0 Comentarios

Edward Snowden memoir

Revealing state secrets is hard, but revealing yourself in a memoir might be harder. As Edward Snowden puts it in the preface of “Permanent Record”: “The decision to come forward with evidence of government wrongdoing was easier for me to make than the decision, here, to give an account of my life.”

Snowden, of course, is the former intelligence contractor who, in 2013, leaked documents about the United States government’s surveillance programs, dispelling any notions that the National Security Agency and its allies were playing a quaint game of spy vs. spy, limiting their dragnet to specific persons of interest. Technological change and the calamity of 9/11 yielded new tools for mass surveillance and the incentive to use them.

Sweeping up phone records of Americans citizens, eavesdropping on foreign leaders, harvesting data from internet activity: For revealing these secret programs and more, Snowden was deemed a traitor by the Obama administration, which charged him with violating the Espionage Act and revoked his passport, effectively stranding Snowden in Moscow, where he has been living ever since.

“Permanent Record” is a riveting account and a curious artifact. The book is unlikely to change anyone’s mind about Snowden, but when it comes to privacy and speech and the Constitution, his story clarifies the stakes. For someone who worked in the intelligence community, the very idea of an autobiography feels uncomfortable. “It’s hard to have spent so much of my life trying to avoid identification,” he writes, “only to turn around completely and share ‘personal disclosures’ in a book.”

Notice the scare quotes; Snowden is instinctively careful about entering anything about himself into the permanent record of “Permanent Record.” The man who emerges from such “personal disclosures” seems consequently guarded and meticulous — ideal traits for a spy or a whistle-blower.

Born in 1983 in North Carolina, Snowden comes from a family whose service includes the F.B.I. (his grandfather), the Coast Guard (his father), the N.S.A. (his mother) and the Army (himself). He remembers the first thing he ever hacked was bedtime, changing all the clocks in the house so that he could stay up later on his sixth birthday. As a teenager, Snowden learned how to hack school, examining the class syllabus to figure out how he could exploit its weaknesses; the goal was to do the least amount of work without flunking out.

School was at best a distraction, he says, and at worst “an illegitimate system” that “wouldn’t recognize any legitimate dissent.” He preferred to spend time on “something new called the internet,” a “goddamned miracle” that was still distinctly human and profoundly weird, before monetization and surveillance set in. The internet of the 1990s was a liberating space, he says, where adopting and discarding different avatars could open up possibilities for more authentic expression and connection.

…More

 

15 septiembre, 2019
por Felipe Sahagún
0 Comentarios

Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries, droned

Map of Saudi Arabia showing its proximity to Yemen and Iran, Abqaiq - a vital oil processing centre south-west of Saudi Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran - and the Khurais oilfield

Saudi Arabia faces weeks without full crude and gas production capacity after Saturday’s attack on the world’s most important oil facility.

While some officials in the kingdom have sought to reassure oil markets that production will come back quickly, people briefed on the matter say it could take far longer to restore output to its maximum level.

“It will take weeks to ramp up and bring the complex to maximum capacity,” said one person close to the energy ministry.

While the full extent of the damage is still being investigated, the person said there was enough concern that the kingdom was in talks with several Opec countries. One option could be to call an emergency meeting of the oil producers’ cartel. Petrochemical feedstocks are also affected.

…MORE

Related

Attacks imperil Saudi image as reliable oil supplier

Saudis ill-prepared to handle oil attack disruption

US blames Iran for attacks on Saudi oil plants

 

15 septiembre, 2019
por Felipe Sahagún
0 Comentarios

Climate change summit 2019

Logo of the UN 2019 Climate Summit

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it. There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society. To boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will host the 2019 Climate Action Summit on 23 September to meet the climate challenge. The Summit will showcase a leap in collective national political ambition and it will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda. Together, these developments will send strong market and political signals and inject momentum in the “race to the top” among countries, companies, cities and civil society that is needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.