“It is quite common to hear high officials in Washington and elsewhere speak of changing the map of the Middle East, as if ancient societies and myriad peoples can be shaken up like so many peanuts in a jar.”

― Edward W. Said

"A developing country that wants to develop its economy must first of all keep natural resources in its own hands."
- Deng Xiaoping

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America E. Digby Baltzell

The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America 

E. Digby Baltzell

Yale University Press

This classic account of the traditional upper class in America traces its origins, lifestyles, and political and social attitudes from the time of Theodore Roosevelt to that of John F. Kennedy. Sociologist E. Digby Baltzell describes the problems of exclusion and prejudice within the community of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants (or WASPs, an acronym he coined) and predicts with amazing accuracy what will happen when this inbred group is forced to share privilege and power with talented members of minority groups.
“The book may actually hold more interest today than when it was first published. New generations of readers can resonate all the more to this masterly and beautifully written work that provides sociological understanding of its engrossing subject.”—Robert K. Merton, Columbia University
“The documentation and illustration in the book make it valuable as social history, quite apart from any theoretical hypothesis. As such, it sketches the rise of the WASP penchant for country clubs, patriotic societies and genealogy. It traces the history of anti-Semitism in America. It describes the intellectual conflict between Social Darwinism and the environmental social science founded half a century ago by men like John Dewey, Charles A. Beard, Thorstein Veblen, Franz Boas and Frederick Jackson Turner. In short, The Protestant Establishment is a wide-ranging, intelligent and provocative book.”—Alvin Toffler, New York Times Book Review
The Protestant Establishment has many virtues that lift it above the level we have come to expect in works of contemporary social and cultural analysis. It is clearly and convincingly written.”—H. Stuart Hughes, New York Review of Books
“What makes Baltzell’s analysis of the evolution of the American elite superior to the accounts of earlier writers . . . is that he exposes the connections between high social status and political and economic power.”—Dennis H. Wrong, Commentary

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America By Margaret O’Mara

The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America

By Margaret O’Mara

Penguin Random House, 2019
The epic human story of how, out of a small patch of land in Northern California, high tech recreated America in its image, for good and for ill.

Long before Margaret O’Mara became one of our most consequential historians of the American-led digital revolution, she worked in the White House of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in the earliest days of the commercial Internet. There she saw first-hand how deeply intertwined Silicon Valley was with the federal government, and always had been, and how shallow the common understanding of the secrets of the Valley’s success actually was. Now, after almost five years of pioneering research, O’Mara has produced the definitive history of Silicon Valley for our time, the story of mavericks and visionaries, but also of powerful institutions creating the framework for innovation, from the Pentagon to Stanford University. It is also a story of a community that started off remarkably homogeneous and elitist and stayed that way, and whose belief in its own mythology has deepened into a collective hubris that has led to astonishing triumphs as well as devastating second-order effects.
Deploying a wonderfully rich and diverse cast of protagonists, from the justly famous to the unjustly obscure, across four generations of explosive growth in the Valley, from the Forties to the present, O’Mara has wrestled into magnificent narrative form one of the most fateful developments in modern American history. She is on the ground with all of the key tech companies, and chronicles the evolution in their offerings through each successive era, and she has a profound fingertip feel for the politics of the sector, and its relation to the larger cultural narrative about tech as it has evolved over the years. Perhaps most impressively, O’Mara has penetrated the inner kingdom of tech venture capital firms, the insular and still remarkably old-boy world that became the cockpit of American capitalism and the crucible for bringing technological innovation to market, or not.
The transformation of big tech into the engine room of the American economy and the nexus of so many of our hopes and dreams–and increasingly nightmares–can be understood, in Margaret O’Mara’s masterful hands, as the story of one California valley. As her majestic history makes clear, its fate is the fate of us all.

Margaret O’Mara is Professor of History at the University of Washington. She writes and teaches about the history of U.S. politics, the growth of the high-tech economy, and the connections between the two, and is the author of Cities of Knowledge and Pivotal Tuesdays. She received her MA/PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA from Northwestern University. Prior to her academic career, she worked in the Clinton White House and served as a contributing researcher at the Brookings Institution.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

White House Warriors by John Gans

White House Warriors:
How the National Security Council Transformed the American Way of War

By John Gans
(University of Pennsylvania)

W.W. Norton, 2019

This revelatory history of the elusive National Security Council shows how staffers operating in the shadows have driven foreign policy clandestinely for decades.
When Michael Flynn resigned in disgrace as the Trump administration’s national security advisor the New York Times referred to the National Security Council as “the traditional center of management for a president’s dealings with an uncertain world.” Indeed, no institution or individual in the last seventy years has exerted more influence on the Oval Office or on the nation’s wars than the NSC, yet until the explosive Trump presidency, few Americans could even name a member.
With key analysis, John Gans traces the NSC’s rise from a collection of administrative clerks in 1947 to what one recent commander-in-chief called the president’s “personal band of warriors.” A former Obama administration speechwriter, Gans weaves extensive archival research with dozens of news-making interviews to reveal the NSC’s unmatched power, which has resulted in an escalation of hawkishness and polarization, both in Washington and the nation at large.

National Geographic Documentary: Year Million (Artificial Intelligence)

"Big Data Revolution" - PBS Documentary - Artificial Intelligence: Mankind's Last Invention

"Big Data Revolution" - PBS Documentary

Artificial Intelligence: Mankind's Last Invention

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The End of Poverty Economic Possibilities for Our Time By Jeffrey D. Sachs

The End of Poverty Economic Possibilities for Our Time

By Jeffrey D. Sachs

Penguin Books, 2006.

The landmark exploration of economic prosperity and how the world can escape from extreme poverty for the world’s poorest citizens, from one  of the world’s most renowned economists
Hailed by Time as one of the world’s hundred most influential people, Jeffrey D. Sachs is renowned for his work around the globe advising economies in crisis. Now a classic of its genre, The End of Poverty distills more than thirty years of experience to offer a uniquely informed vision of the steps that can transform impoverished countries into prosperous ones. Marrying vivid storytelling with rigorous analysis, Sachs lays out a clear conceptual map of the world economy. Explaining his own work in Bolivia, Russia, India, China, and Africa, he offers an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that challenge the world’s poorest countries.
Ten years after its initial publication, The End of Poverty remains an indispensible and influential work. In this 10th anniversary edition, Sachs presents an extensive new foreword assessing the progress of the past decade, the work that remains to be done, and how each of us can help. He also looks ahead across the next fifteen years to 2030, the United Nations’ target date for ending extreme poverty, offering new insights and recommendations.

Cambridge Analytica scandal

Here's everything you need to know about the Cambridge Analytica scandal

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: What You Need to Know as Fallout Widens https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/facebook-cambridge-analytica-explained.html

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and data mining: What you need to know

What Did Cambridge Analytica Really Do for Trump's Campaign?

The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, explained with a simple diagram https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/23/17151916/facebook-cambridge-analytica-trump-diagram

Privacy & Influence in Online Social Networks:  Case Study of Facebook & Cambridge  Analytica http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mirfan/slides/2018%20Spring/Networks/Cambridge%20Analytica.pdf

Cambridge Analytica Scandal:  Don’t Blame Facebook.   Blame Bad Ethics.

Cambridge Analytica and Facebook: The Scandal and the Fallout So Far

Friday, November 9, 2018

A New Book: Strategy, Evolution, and War: From Apes to Artificial Intelligence by Kenneth Payne

Georgetown University Press, 2018

Decisions about war have always been made by humans, but now intelligent machines are on the cusp of changing things - with dramatic consequences for international affairs. This book explores the evolutionary origins of human strategy, and makes a provocative argument that Artificial Intelligence will radically transform the nature of war by changing the psychological basis of decision-making about violence.
Strategy, Evolution, and War is a cautionary preview of how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will revolutionize strategy more than any development in the last three thousand years of military history. Kenneth Payne describes strategy as an evolved package of conscious and unconscious behaviors with roots in our primate ancestry. Our minds were shaped by the need to think about warfare—a constant threat for early humans. As a result, we developed a sophisticated and strategic intelligence.
The implications of AI are profound because they depart radically from the biological basis of human intelligence. Rather than being just another tool of war, AI will dramatically speed up decision making and use very different cognitive processes, including when deciding to launch an attack, or escalate violence. AI will change the essence of strategy, the organization of armed forces, and the international order.
This book is a fascinating examination of the psychology of strategy-making from prehistoric times, through the ancient world, and into the modern age.

Table of Contents
Part 1: The Evolution of Strategists
1. Defining Strategy as Psychology
2. Evolutionary Strategy
3. Strategic Heuristics and Biases
Part 2: Culture Meets Evolved Strategy
4. The Pen and the Sword in Ancient Greece
5. Clausewitz Explores the Psychology of Strategy
6. Nuclear Weapons Are Not Psychologically Revolutionary
Part 3: Artificial Intelligence and Strategy
7. Tactical Artificial Intelligence Arrives
8. Artificial General Intelligence Does Strategy
Conclusion: Strategy Evolves beyond AI 

Kenneth Payne is a senior lecturer in the School of Security Studies at King's College, London. He is also a senior member of St Antony's College, Oxford University, having earlier been a visiting fellow in the Department of International Relations there. Payne's research is broadly in the field of political psychology and strategic studies. He is the author of two previous books, The Psychology of Strategy: Exploring Rationality in the Vietnam War and The Psychology of Modern Conflict

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Great Delusion Liberal Dreams and International Realities by John J. Mearsheimer

The Great Delusion
Liberal Dreams and International Realities

by John J. Mearsheimer

Yale University Press, 2018

A major theoretical statement by a distinguished political scholar explains why a policy of liberal hegemony is doomed to fail
In this major statement, the renowned international-relations scholar John Mearsheimer argues that liberal hegemony, the foreign policy pursued by the United States since the Cold War ended, is doomed to fail. It makes far more sense, he maintains, for Washington to adopt a more restrained foreign policy based on a sound understanding of how nationalism and realism constrain great powers abroad.
It is widely believed in the West that the United States should spread liberal democracy across the world, foster an open international economy, and build institutions. This policy of remaking the world in America’s image is supposed to protect human rights, promote peace, and make the world safe for democracy. But this is not what has happened. Instead, the United States has ended up as a highly militarized state fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home. Mearsheimer tells us why this has happened.
John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. His many books include Conventional Deterrence. He lives in Chicago, IL.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

DARPA: The Formative Years 1958 - 1975

DARPA: The Formative Years 1958 - 1975

The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA with Annie Jacobsen

DARPA and How The Government Created the Surveillance State with Annie Jacobsen

Regulation of Artificial Intelligence

How to Regulate Artificial Intelligence 
By Oren Etzioni     
The New York Times - Sept. 1, 2017

Regulating Artificial Intelligence: How to Control the Unexplainable

Elon Musk calls for regulation of artificial intelligence

Should the government regulate artificial intelligence? It already is

How should we regulate artificial intelligence? 

Should AI be regulated? 

Should Artificial Intelligence Be Regulated? By Amitai Etzioni 

Monday, October 15, 2018

MIT reshapes itself to shape the future

Center for Global Governance Newsletter - Issue 2/2018

Center for Global Governance Newsletter - Issue 2/2018

  1. Artificial Intelligence, Politics, & Humanity By Ryan Kiggins
  2. China Studies by Martín Rozengardt
  3. Political Economy of Chinese Outward Foreign Direct Investment (COFDI) in Europe:  An Examination of its Drivers and Emerging Issues and Anxieties by Conrad John Masabo
  4. Stalemate in Europe: The Greek Debt Crisis and its (Un)cooperative Roots  by Cengiz Mert Bulut
  5. Book Review: Rethinking Think Tanks in Contemporary China Author: Silvia Menegazzi Reviewed by Abdurrahim Sağır
  6. New MA (International Relations and Diplomacy) and PhD (Global Studies) Students at Shanghai University.
  7. CFP: Artificial Intelligence and International relations Conference, April 12, 2019.
  8. Call for papers:  5th China and The Middle East and North Africa Conference, Northwest University, Xi’an, May 16, 17 and 18, 2019.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Final Paper Topic Selection: INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Graduate Course – MA in International Relations and Diplomacy - FALL 2018 SHANGHAI UNIVERSITY

Yelif Ulagpan

Topic: Human Rights and International Relations

Jill Mujaji

Topic: Human security and International Relations

Hasan Erdal

Topic: Africa and African Studies and International Relations

1.     The African Experience. Vincent B. Khapoya. Pearson, 2013. http://www.pearsonhighered.com/product?ISBN=9780205851713

Catherine Kuamoah

Topic: Environmental Issues and International Relations


Trinh Tung Lam

Topic: Terrorism and International Relations

Sardor Gafforov

Topic: US Foreign Policy Toward Central Asia after 1991

Tammy Esther Andoya

Topic: Humanitarian Intervention in World Politics

Elorm Ewurama Kumah

Topic: Poverty/Development/Hunger and International Relations

3.     A Study on Poverty and Hunger in India. Junofy Anto Rozarina. N. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences Vol 4 No 12 MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy October 2013.

Felix Amoh-Siaw

Topic: Nuclear proliferation and International Relations

Kek Sonaroth

Topic: Immigration and International Relations

Yelnaz Kembayeva

Topic: Regionalism in International Relations

Tann Eangdavid

Topic: Culture in World Affairs

Munkhbileg Batmunkh

Topic: Health and International Relations

Kim Kung

Topic: Globalization and the Post-Cold War order

Yasemin Memur

Topic: Gender and International Relations

Ignatius Kgomo

Topic: Marxists Theories of International Relations

Phann Phrdhorsrithy

Topic: Nationalism and International Relations

Usgal Undval

Topic: Urbanization in Latin America and International Relations

Sultan Hamid Alizai

Topic: Think-Tanks and Foreign Policy

Necati Demircan

Topic: Liberal World Order and International Relations

Yattara Aminata

Topic: Neoliberalism in Africa and International Relations