Thursday, September 26, 2013

Slides for a Lecture: A Taxonomy of War

I thought I'd share the slides I developed for one part of my special topics course on the politics of war - a very interesting intellectual exercise, if I do say so myself.
More after the break...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Slides for a Panel on Syria

These are slides I've prepared on Powerpoint for a talk on campus at the glorious University of Virginia's College at Wise this Wednesday, September 23rd at 7PM in the Dogwood Room of Slemp Student Center on the Syrian Crisis - sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honors Fraternity.  Our guests will be the good Dr. Dilshod Achilov of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee and the Good Dr. Collin Cavell of Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia.  Consider the invitation extended!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Visualizing the Great Powers

I'm working on a presentation on the subject "who are the great powers" and "what constitutes a great power" - and whatever else seems relevant.  These are some slides I've put together.  Thought I'd share.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Key Documents and Comments / The Syrian Chemical Weapons Crisis

I'm reviewing for content and criticism several of the key documents to come up in the last few days with regards to the Syrian Revolution, the alleged chemical weapons use, the United Nations, the great powers, and just about everything else that's relevant.  If you want to check out some previous commentary on the subject first, it is available here. 


Black text in Times New Roman font represents original documentary material.

Red text in Ariel font represents commentary by Dr. Smith.

Black text in Times New Roman highlighted in yellow represents key sections of the original documentary material.

More after the jump ....

Link: The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook: Political Scientists

"Young person, please shut your eyes while I lecture you on the qualities of the neorealism/neoliberalism/neomarxism/post-modernist debate amongst international relations scholars - be assured that if you fall asleep pegging you in the head with this finely crafted Swiss watch." 

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook includes this entry on political scientists - worth a glance.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Syrian Revolution: A War of Peoples, Ideologies, and International Norms

The Syrian Revolution.

Take a moment - consider the words.  Whisper them to yourself.  There is a weight there.

Much of what I read refers to the Syrian conflict as a civil war or, alternatively, merely as one more branch of the Arab Spring, an adjunct to Egypt and Libya made notable only by the severity of its atrocities.  But it is not a civil war, not just that.  Civil war infers merely conflict over civil values - the values of the polity, the state and how it is organized - questions of who holds power, how that power is distributed, and how people acquire that power.  But revolution implies something different - a reorganization not only of the political sphere but of society and economy as well, not to mention their relationships to one another.

Syria is in the midst of a revolution, then, a battle for the very definition of itself and revolutions, friends, are hard, hard things.

Ah, but this is just more fuel for the fire until we understand the conflict more effectively.

More after the jump....