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Alternate Look at the Study of International Relations

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UN Building and Flags. Image Credit: Knowsphotos via Flickr

The fact that today the international relations (IR) community of strategic thinkers in India, is generally silent on what afflicts governance in the country, is not just directed at the myopic and careerist tendencies of some members of this community but also a comment on the limiting nature of “strategic thought” that turns a blind eye to domestic politics, the policies framed by the ruling class and their effects on public life, while keenly following every diplomatic nuance or the conduct of international affairs in multilateral and bilateral fora.

This is because of a fundamental flaw in IR practice and theory. IR is limited to mean the conduct of nation states in a world order that is characterised largely by anarchy and which necessitates self-seeking behaviour by nation states seen as individuals. This theory flows largely from the ideas espoused by Kenneth Waltz in Theory of International Politics, which spawned a paradigm of IR termed as neorealism or structural realism, one which reigns supreme in India too.

Read the full article in The Hindu.

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The Clash of Civilizations?: Lecture by Samuel P Huntington

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Samuel P. Huntington, Chairman, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, USA, pictured during the 'When Cultures Conflict' session at the 2004 meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Image Credit: World Economic Forum/Photo by Peter Lauth

On October 19, 1992, Samuel P. Huntington delivered a lecture at the American Enterprise Institute where he argued that future wars would be fought not between countries, but between cultures and that Islamic extremism would become the biggest threat to world peace. He followed this lecture with a article published in the Foreign Affairs magazine in 1993. His agruments set forth the most monumental debate for and aganist his theory.  The Clash of Civilizations? lecture is a turning point in the study of politics and international relations and a must watch for students of the subject.

 

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Policy for Iran? Options & Challenges for United States

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OIAC US Takes Part in a Rally Supporting Iranian Protesters in front of White House on January 6, 2018

The apparent dissipation of the protests in Iran, which were generally limited to the country’s smaller cities and towns and focused on the economic grievances of the lower classes, indicates that the United States will likely have to continue to contend with its adversarial government for quite some time.  Therefore the Trump administration should devise a strategy that incorporates mutually complementary military and diplomatic elements designed to deter Iranian aggression while persuading the Iranian government that the United States is willing to compromise with it on reasonable terms.

Read the full article here

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