blog question #6 for blue team (section 081)

In class today we demonstrated that it is possible to analyze the Bretton Woods institutions from at least three different points of view, and that those analyses do not agree with one another. Given this, what should we do about the incompatibility between perspectives? If one perspective is accurate, does this necessarily mean that the others are wrong?


World Politics blog question #6 for red team (section 080)

By way of further elucidating the logic of the three theoretical perspectives we're been wrestling with, I would like you to take one of the following two empirical questions and see what one or two of the perspectives would say about it:

1) the UN recently decided, according to reports like this one (http://www.space.com/news/united-nations-alien-ambassador-100927.html), to appoint an ambassador in case of alien contact. Is this a good idea?

2) the Bretton Woods system itself has undergone such radical changes that some would say that it no longer even exists. Is this a good thing?

Feel free to tackle both if you can find a creative way of combining them ;-)


World Politics blog question #5 for blue team (section 081)

Among other things, today we discussed the issue of whether and to what extent the authority of a professor in the classroom is limited. Extending this analysis to the international system: are there things that states should not do? Are there social norms and expectations that set limits on state action, or are all such limits reducible to questions of power and self-interest?


World Politics blog question #5 for section 080 (red team)

Suppose that Lady Gaga were a state. What kind of state would she be? Lady Gaga is of course known for flaunting social conventions and breaking rules; which international rules and norms would such a state try to more or less deliberately violate? And what kind of structure would an international system with Lady Gaga in it and up having?


World Politics blog question #4 for section 081 (blue team)

Building on our discussion of liberalism in class today: is an uninformed vote better than not voting at all?


World Politics section 080 (red team) blog question #4

In class today we spent a good deal of time talking about the ways that democratic elections might function as ways of de-politicizing the populace, thus frustrating the expectations of liberals about making the government accountable to the people. Given that discussion, would you rather live in a society that did not have governmental elections?


World Politics blog question #3 for section 081 (blue team)

Machiavelli paints a portrait of a ruler who must always be prepared to do whatever it takes to maintain his (and for Machiavelli, it's always "his") power. Is this an accurate portrayal of contemporary ruling elites? Should rulers follow Machiavelli's advice, even under contemporary conditions?


World Politics blog question #3 for section 080 (red team)

Near the end of The Prince, Machiavelli suggests that since fortune favors the bold, it is always better to take the initiative in political life and political struggle. Is this good advice? Does it cohere with Machiavelli's other pieces of advice throughout the book?