Competing Producers of Security: Round One

STATES, NON-STATES, AND HISTORICAL METHOD Hendrik Spruyt’s The Sovereign State and Its Competitors (Princeton, 1994) is a very stimulating account of how modern states came to be and, perhaps more importantly, why competing forms of governance fell by the wayside. It is a sweeping book which attempts to theorize the political main drift from the … Continue reading “Competing Producers of Security: Round One”

If It’s Good Enough for Serbia’s Goose, Why Not for Croatia’s Gander?

In an AP article dated 21 November, Croatia’s president, Stipe Mesic, insisted that "ousting Slobodan Milosevic was not enough," and "urged Yugoslavia’s new leaders on Tuesday to hand him over to the U.N. war crimes tribunal and face up to their country’s role in the Balkan wars. Croatian President Stipe Mesic praised Yugoslavia’s democratization, which … Continue reading “If It’s Good Enough for Serbia’s Goose, Why Not for Croatia’s Gander?”

A Peace Platform?

The closeness of the U.S. presidential vote suggests strongly that the next president will have very little even resembling a mandate to conduct foreign affairs. That lack of a mandate might prove a blessing if it is used to reassess current commitments and announce prudent steps to reduce US vulnerability to violence and conflict in … Continue reading “A Peace Platform?”

Chalmers Johnson on an ‘Ersatz Roman Empire’

CHALMERS JOHNSON AS SEEN IN THE ‘MIRROR’ One of the few benefits of wasting most of a day in airports is that one can at least catch up on the foreign press, while drinking bad coffee and eating overpriced food. Thus it was that I found an interesting interview with Chalmers Johnson in the German … Continue reading “Chalmers Johnson on an ‘Ersatz Roman Empire’”

Close Presidential Race: Cause for Revolution?

Watching last night the incredibly tight race for the White House inevitably lead me to recall another close presidential race: the one that took place in Yugoslavia just over a month ago. The outcome of that election and events that ensued in Belgrade are generally described as a “Democratic Revolution.” It was a “revolution,” albeit … Continue reading “Close Presidential Race: Cause for Revolution?”

Undermining the Empire

Presidents, prime ministers and/or high public officials from Russia, China, Germany, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, the European Union, Turkey and Indonesia were almost as red-faced as the network anchors were (or should have been) over the shifting projections that seemed to give the U.S. presidential election to Bush and Gore and back to too-close-to-call … Continue reading “Undermining the Empire”

Random Thoughts on Nationalism

NATIONALISM AS SCAPEGOAT There is a widely accepted reading of recent history which puts the blame for such disasters as World Wars I and II squarely on the shoulders of nationalism. This might be true and it might not. It is convenient for some because it removes blame from a certain murderous internationalist ideology, which … Continue reading “Random Thoughts on Nationalism”