Henry Kissinger’s World Order and the Question of Universal Values

On the tension among “universal” values, world order, and U.S. power
Read →

Thoughts on James Fallows’s “Chickenhawk Nation”

In a Chickenhawk nation, policy still matters (featuring a case study on Somalia)
Read →

Favorite Books of 2014

Following the smashing success1 of last year’s post on my favorite books from 2013, I thought I’d aim for a repeat and perhaps inspire some gift ideas for the holidays. Here are 11 standouts that I remember from this year.

Politics and Culture in International History

The concept of order that has underpinned the modern era is in crisis. The search for world order has long been defined almost exclusively by the concepts of Western societies … But vast regions of the world have never shared and only acquiesced in the Western concept of order … [The United States must think] …

The Enduring Relevance of Thucydides

For some reason that I will never understand, Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War is not required reading for graduate students of international relations.1 I don’t know how I was handed a college degree without having read it, for that matter.

Practice Heroes

For people who played football1 growing up, on every team there were bound to be players who memorized both offensive and defensive playbooks and knew where to be to make a play against his teammates. These players tended to garner the coaches’ favor because they were excellent at doing what the coaches wanted them to …

David Bromwich and the Vanishing Art of Independent Thinking

The intelligence is defeated as soon as the expression of one’s thoughts is preceded, explicitly or implicitly, by the little word “we.”1 Recently, in The London Review of Books, David Bromwich penned an excoriating piece on Barack Obama and the political class that had me chuckling in my chair (see “The World’s Most Important Spectator”). The writing …

The Age of Entropy

…we are on the cusp of an eternal purgatory. It will be a world full of confusion and instability. The age of entropy will be a time of restless disorder, an aimless but forceful hostility to the status quo… How serendipitous. A week after posting Entropy: The Defining Characteristic of Global Affairs, I stumbled across an article …

Entropy: The Defining Characteristic of Global Affairs

Markets are pricing for utopia but is tectonic change afoot?
Read →