Category: Political Science

Michael H. Hunt: Polanyi’s ‘Great Transformation’: A classic for our hard times

Polanyi’s classic suggests we should ignore the profoundly false choice between markets and the state. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Polanyi’s ‘Great Transformation’: A classic for our hard times

Michael H. Hunt: How to think about the end of the “American Century”

Revisiting Henry Luce’s essay on American ascendancy, Michael H. Hunt considers the current era of American decline. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: How to think about the end of the “American Century”

Michael H. Hunt: Out of Afghanistan: Tragedy or Farce?

Michael Hunt on how the United States’ exit from Afghanistan might seem similar to some past tricky military retreats. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Out of Afghanistan: Tragedy or Farce?

Michael H. Hunt: Obama on the Middle East: Let’s Pretend

Obama’s presentation lacks the first element of good policy. It fails to honestly confront the main trends and defining features of the problem confronting us. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Obama on the Middle East: Let’s Pretend

Michael H. Hunt: The Bin Laden Killing and American Exceptionalism

To pretend that the U.S. is not caught in the grip of nationalism is to misunderstand ourselves and to open ourselves to the very excesses we condemn in others. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: The Bin Laden Killing and American Exceptionalism

Steven I. Levine: Dealing with Osama Bin Laden: A Better Way

Trying Bin Laden in a court of law would have confirmed that we are a nation that seeks to strengthen international law in order to advance peace & security. Continue Reading Steven I. Levine: Dealing with Osama Bin Laden: A Better Way

Michael Hunt: Questions that the Libya Intervention Begs

It’s ok to feel conflicted over the Libyan intervention. You’re not alone — and you have good reason. The U.S. response to the uprising against the Gaddafi regime raises a welter of issues. Is oil driving decisions? Why the inconsistency if not hypocrisy of acting in Libya but not Gaza? Is Libya just another case of U.S. muscle flexing or… Continue Reading Michael Hunt: Questions that the Libya Intervention Begs

Interview: Michael Barkun on the Gap between Real and Perceived Terror Threats

Michael Barkun discusses the gap between real and perceived terror threats and the nonrational decision making that has shaped U.S. homeland security policy. Continue Reading Interview: Michael Barkun on the Gap between Real and Perceived Terror Threats

Michael H. Hunt: Caught in Contradictions: The United States and the Middle East

The popular uprisings of the sort now spreading across North Africa to the Persian Gulf were hard to anticipate—but the American response wasn’t. U.S. history is filled with moments like the present one when upheavals abroad generated great hopes for the advance of freedom. Those moments have also evoked deep anxieties rooted in a suspicion that most peoples reaching for… Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Caught in Contradictions: The United States and the Middle East

Shane Maddock on the Persistent Nuclear Myths of the Cold War

Shane Maddock, author of Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Atomic Supremacy from World War II to the Present blogs for the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations at SHAFR.org. In his most recent post, after the ratification of the New START treaty between the U.S. and Russia, Maddock addresses some Cold War-era myths about American nuclear hegemony that… Continue Reading Shane Maddock on the Persistent Nuclear Myths of the Cold War

Michael Barkun: A New Era of Rational Thinking at DHS?

We present commentary today from Michael Barkun, author of the forthcoming Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11 (April 2011). In the book, Barkun demonstrates that U.S. homeland security policy reflects significant nonrational thinking, and he offers new recommendations for effective–and rational–policymaking. In this post, he addresses changes at the Department of Homeland Security since the arrival of… Continue Reading Michael Barkun: A New Era of Rational Thinking at DHS?

Michael Hunt: Restrepo: An Oscar for Afghanistan?

Update 4/21/2011:The lamentable news of Tim Hetherington’s death covering the civil conflict in Libya reached us yesterday (20 April 2011). Restrepo is one of this fine and courageous documentarian’s major achievements. His record of what it meant for U.S. soldiers to fight in the Afghan War will stand the test of time.—MHH Ignore all the vacuous policy statements, the bland… Continue Reading Michael Hunt: Restrepo: An Oscar for Afghanistan?

Wikileaks is a gift – but what is it worth?

Think of the Wikileaks’ release of State Department cables as one of your holiday gifts that will keep on giving . . . and giving and giving. Julian Assange and Company got generous just before Thanksgiving. A steady dribble from the quarter-million purloined documents should keep us happily diverted well into the new year and perhaps beyond. But what kind… Continue Reading Wikileaks is a gift – but what is it worth?

Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

Proponents of military force learned from Vietnam that their freedom of action depended on insulating the public from the effects of war. Contractors were an ingenuous solution to the problem of a public squeamish about fighting and killing. Continue Reading Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

The starting lineup for The Journal of the Civil War Era

Back in April we mentioned a call for papers for the inaugural edition of The Journal of the Civil War Era, a peer-review journal published in collaboration with UNC Press and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Pennsylvania State University. There’s been great response, and the issues are starting to take shape. We’ve got a special… Continue Reading The starting lineup for The Journal of the Civil War Era