Posts In Category

US Politics

Pardon the self-promotion: I reviewed a new book on Reinhold Niebuhr, a theologian and realist political thinker during the Cold War, in last week’s Economist. Niebuhr died in the 1970’s but both Democrats and Republicans lean on his advice (even if misread) to guide their modern foreign policy views. Here is a snippet from my review of the book, Why Niebuhr Now?, by John Patrick Diggins, the late American intellectual historian. AFTER years in the doldrums, Reinhold Niebuhr, an American theologian, is enjoying a comeback. Although Niebuhr died in 1971, he is nowadays often name-dropped in opinion columns and highbrow chat as the ideal mind to help guide 21st-century political leaders through the ups and downs of world affairs. It …

Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter Discusses New Shifts in US Diplomacy Play Episode Pause Episode Mute/Unmute Episode Rewind 10 Seconds 1x Fast Forward 30 seconds 00:00 / Subscribe Share RSS Feed Share Link Embed <input type="text" value='
Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter Discusses New Shifts in US Diplomacy
<!-- /*! This file is auto-generated */ !function(d,l){"use strict";var e=!1,o=!1;if(l.querySelector)if(d.addEventListener)e=!0;if(d.wp=d.wp||{},!d.wp.receiveEmbedMessage)if(d.wp.receiveEmbedMessage=function(e){var t=e.data;if(t)if(t.secret||t.message||t.value)if(!/[^a-zA-Z0-9]/.test(t.secret)){var r,a,i,s,n,o=l.querySelectorAll('iframe[data-secret="'+t.secret+'"]'),c=l.querySelectorAll('blockquote[data-secret="'+t.secret+'"]');for(r=0;r<c.length;r++)c[r].style.display="none";for(r=0;r<o.length;r++)if(a=o[r],e.source===a.contentWindow){if(a.removeAttribute("style"),"height"===t.message){if(1e3<(i=parseInt(t.value,10)))i=1e3;else if(~~i<200)i=200;a.height=i}if("link"===t.message)if(s=l.createElement("a"),n=l.createElement("a"),s.href=a.getAttribute("src"),n.href=t.value,n.host===s.host)if(l.activeElement===a)d.top.location.href=t.value}}},e)d.addEventListener("message",d.wp.receiveEmbedMessage,!1),l.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",t,!1),d.addEventListener("load",t,!1);function t(){if(!o){o=!0;var e,t,r,a,i=-1!==navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE 10"),s=!!navigator.userAgent.match(/Trident.*rv:11\./),n=l.querySelectorAll("iframe.wp-embedded-content");for(t=0;t ' class="input-embed input-embed-706"/> Download file | Play in new windowOn May 18, 2011 Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter delivered the inaugural Distinguished Fulbright Lecture in Oxford. The topic: The Turn: US Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2011. The key message I took away from the lecture was that during the Obama Presidency, US diplomatic missions have shifted their focus more towards societal actors. The nature of US diplomacy has expanded from acting almost exclusively on a government to government basis, to interacting with societal actors or even acting as a facilitator between societal actors in different countries. This change in diplomacy is part of the emergence of a new paradigm driving the US Foreign Policy post “9/11”. In this paradigm, separation gives way to interconnectedness, conflict to collaboration; and the sole …

As Operation Odyssey Dawn gets underway, political leaders within the coalition continue to articulate their reasons for resorting to force. In so doing, each has invariably invoked the language of the just war tradition. On the eve of military action, President Obama proclaimed, ‘Our goal is focused, our cause is just, and our coalition is strong. ’ Similarly, in his remarks to the Commons on 20 March 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron argued that coalition forces had a ‘just cause’ to use force. When it comes to assessing prospective causes for resorting to arms, few could be more compelling than the protection of populations under threat of mass slaughter. It was on the basis of this pressing need to protect that …

For some time, I’ve been developing the argument that when we want to understand the role of internet technologies in politics—in particular when it comes to getting people involved in electoral campaigns, in various forms of activism, and in other forms of civic and political activity—we should focus less on the newest and most heavily hyped tool of the moment (Twitter election! Twitter revolution!) and pay more attention to the role of what I call “mundane internet tools” like email, search, and ordinary websites. New Media & Society has published the article where I make the argument, based on ethnographic research I did during the 2008 U.S. elections, but based on intuitions and interests aroused by previous research in the …

Two seemingly unrelated events from last Sunday night: the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and Derren Brown’s The Heist was on TV in the UK. Let me tie them together. First, for those who aren’t familiar with Derren Brown, he is a brilliant magician, illusionist, hypnotist, and “mind reader”. If you watch his shows, you’ll see that he is a master of psychological techniques. On The Heist, the show that I watched last night, he did something quite extraordinary: he got three middle-class professionals to commit armed robbery– voluntarily. Well, a simulation of an armed robbery anyway. If you haven’t seen Derren Brown, you’re probably thinking that he used actors or accomplices. I don’t think that this was the case. They were …