2011 World Politics question #5

Should a powerful country like the United States make democratization one of the goals of its foreign policy? Is the domestic regime of other states the kind of thing that a powerful state ought to worry about?


2011 World Politics question #4

Near the end of The Prince, Machiavelli comments that fortune accounts for about half of our actions; earlier in the text, he repeatedly points out occasions when someone would have succeeded except for fortune. Thus:

a) is Machiavelli right that so much of social and especially political life depends on fortune, and how would you know?
b) if half of life depends on fortune, what value is Machiavelli's advice to the would-be prince?


2011 World Politics question #3

In what ways does Diplomatic Risk seem to mirror actual world politics? in what ways does it differ? I'm not looking for an exhaustive catalog here; this week's blog question is more of an opportunity for you to reflect on the parallels and divergences between our game and what some have called the "great game."


on the ambiguities of "international recognition"

Apropos our class discussion on Thursday, this little gem from the New York Times:

"For Abkhazia, Recognition Is Coming Piece by Piece" http://nyti.ms/nnrCFh

So is it a country, or not? Discuss ;-)


2011 World Politics question #2

"Hurricanes are actors in world politics just like sovereign territorial states are. Hurricanes have names, commentators attribute motives and intentions to them, and they clearly affect state policies of all kinds -- just like other actors. Apparently, being 'sovereign' doesn't really matter in world politics." Discuss. Remember that the reading for this week, even though we didn't have class today because of the (public!) holiday, is a historical and conceptual account of the origins of state authority.