“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

Friday, March 30, 2018

THE PARIS STATEMENT'S ARGUMENT

THE PARIS STATEMENT: A Europe We Can Believe In  
https://thetrueeurope.eu/a-europe-we-can-believe-in/

The West Cannibalizes Itself
What civilization has ever sought to repudiate its own culture and traditions as we do today?
By Robert W. Merry
The American Conservative • March 30, 2018

Paris Statement Defends Old Europe and Its Values 
Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. 
Crisis Magazine  October 16, 2017 

The Paris Statement: Hope for Europe’s Renewal 
By Michael Brendan Dougherty 
National Review - October 10, 2017 

A Tale of Two Christendoms 
by Matthew Schmitz 
First Thins - 10 . 11 . 17 

'Europe' is meaningless 
Matthew Walther 
The Week - October 10, 2017 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Century of the Self is a 2002 British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis

The Century of the Self - Part 1: "Happiness Machines" 

The Century of the Self - Part 2: "The Engineering of Consent"

The Century of the Self - Part 3: "There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed."

The Century of the Self - Part 4: "Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering"

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

8th Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Social Science Struggles for Equality, Social Justice and Democracy in Turbulent World - November 2018 Argentina


8th Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Social Science Struggles for Equality, Social Justice and Democracy in Turbulent World


November 2018
Argentina
Since 2003, CLACSO has attracted growing numbers of international participants and guests to its general conferences. Its most recent Latin American and Caribbean Conference, held in 2015 in Medellin, Colombia, received more than 30 thousand registrations, 18 thousand permanent participants, and more than 600 international guests in its panel discussions, debates, and keynote conferences. The Conference was the most important academic and political event in the social sciences at the international level in 2015.
In 2018, our 8th Conference #CLACSO2018 will also be the 1st World Forum on Critical Thinking, a broad, plural, and open space for the contributions and interventions of world leaders who represent and express the ideals of attaining societies that are more fair and equal; progressive intellectuals from diverse theoretical and disciplinary fields; activists and leaders of social and mass movements; student organizations, networks, and groups of young people who act in the construction, promotion, and defense of democracy, alternative communication, and citizen mobilization; human rights organizations; groups that work for the rights of education and public schools; women’s movements and organizations; those who fight against racism, imperialism, and colonialism; and ecologists, as well as teachers, researchers, and students from all fields of knowledge, especially in the social sciences and humanities.
#CLACSO2018 will offer settings of direct intervention for registered participants as well as lecturers (open panel discussions), special panel discussions with international guests, keynote dialogues and conferences with outstanding figures from political, academic, and social fields who are known for their contribution to the construction of a more democratic, sustainable, and free world.
#CLACSO2018 will be a space for diverse cultural expressions and manifestations, from an international film festival to an international book fair for the social sciences and humanities. In addition, #CLACSO2018 will be the setting of special events such as the China and Latin America Forum, the Russia and Latin America Forum, the Forum of Community Colleges, the Cuba in Buenos Aires Forum and forums based on other topics, to be announced in the coming weeks.
The guest institution honored at our 2015 Conference in Medellin was the House of the Americas (Cuba). In 2018, #CLACSO2018 will honor a special guest, Arab Council for the Social Sciences, based in Beirut.
#CLACSO2018 aspires to express the necessary combination of a large-scale academic event of analytical rigor and theoretical plurality, and a broad forum of debate that is politically committed, progressive, polyphonic, diverse, and open, and that recognizes its roots in the wide experience of the mobilization of global citizens, as represented by the World Social Forum.
We look forward to your participation.

Background Information
#CLACSO2018 is the continuity of the Latin American and Caribbean Conference of the Social Sciences of Medellin, held in November of 2015, although the event’s format and participation will be broadened.

Learn about the Medellin Conference #CLACSO2015.
Learn about the Mexico Conference #CLACSO2012.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

First Week March 26-30 - Think Tanks, International and Non-Governmental Organizations

READINGS:

·      Introduction to Course and overview syllabus
·      Behind Closed Doors: Elite Politics, Think-Tanks and US Foreign Policy By Tugrul Keskin and Patrick Halpern 
·      Methodological Approach: Typologies of Think Tanks (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·      Policy Communities, Advocacy Coalitions and Epistemic Communities (Kubilay Yado Arin)
·      Introduction to the study of international organizations (Ian Hurd)
·      A guide to the study of international organizations (Ian Hurd)

DOCUMENTARIES:
What Are Think Tanks And Can They Be Trusted?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_4cf8jKHWU 
Thinking About Think Tanks: What Are They and What Do They Do?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOWc_p-VmK4
Think Tanks as Lobbyists: Exposé Shows U.S. Groups Receive Millions to Push Foreign Nations' Agendas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXQBo2Vr6C8 
Think Tanks: What Are They Good For?, a Conversation with Rohinton Medhora.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KthteXzerfc

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE:
Please bring RECENT newspaper articles. Articles SHOULD BE related with Think-Tanks in the US. Other subjects will not be accepted. PLEASE VERY BRIEFLY SUMMARIZE YOUR ARTICLE IN THE CLASS!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway - Reviewed by Tugrul Keskin


A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway

Reviewed by Tugrul Keskin 

Contemporary Political Theory-5214 Journal 12, November 18 2004

In her book, A Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway argues that there has been an erosion of boundaries between the human and non-human and this new form in the stage of human development is called 'cyborg.' According to Haraway, Cyborg is part machine and part human.  According to her, today we are all cyborg. Additionally, in everyday life we are becoming more and more cyborg. In her book, She furthermore states that everyday we use more machines than before, and this new environment causes us to relate better to machine life than to human beings.  The end point of this process is that human behavior cannot be distinguished from that of machines. Walkmans, computers, cell phones, ipods, palm pilots, and other machines transform us into different human life in which the boundary between the physical and nonphysical are disappearing. This new
environment generates a new identity to the individual, and the machine we use suits our identity.  Her other important point in the book is that, “the idea of a Cyborg is intimately related to central postmodern/post structural concerns like communication, language, the code and writing.”[1]  For Haraway, the use of communication is a key element for today’s daily life.
Additionally, Donna Haraway’s illustration of the cyborg somehow relates us to our current life and relations to the machine/computer world. More technological advancements create an environment in which we, as human beings, associate ourselves with machines. The new environment has produced a human robot.  According to a national study, people who use more machines and computers, spend less time with friends and family members. This is the postmodern environment that has been created by human beings, and humans have
become slaves of his own creation. In this new social world, what predominates is something that Haraway describes as situated knowledge, a knowledge itself
that is transformed into some type of power and that generates its own dynamics
in the context of control over the society as well as the individual.
Identity is another important issue in her theory. In this new computerized
world, the machine we use becomes a part of our identity. We cannot disassociate
ourselves from the machine or computer. Cyborg is also a human identity.  To my
understanding of Haraway, her feminist perspective reminds us of Lyotard's view,
in which Lyotard stresses the importance of the technological impact on knowledge.  On the other hand, Haraway elaborates the identity of the human in a computerized society and the relationship between human and machine. In contrast to Lyotard, Haraway concentrates more on the individual level and feminism
issues.

Arguably, Haraway attempts to illustrate the idea of objectivity in the academic
world and furthermore argues that the objectivity of science impacts science
itself in a negative way. Haraway claims that, “objectivity is not about
dis-engagement, but about mutual and usually unequal structuring, about taking
risks in a world where 'we' are permanently mortal, that is, not in 'final'
control.”[2]
According to the author, scientific objectivity helps us to
understand our social world as well as science.

In short, Haraway’s understanding of the social world is very much related with
the computerized environment.  Disagreeably, Haraway’s understanding of feminist
theory is based upon the biological differences between men and women.
Additionally, I do not believe that either scientific problems or the problems
that we are facing today have nothing to do with biological differences but are
rather related with economic inequalities and economic insecurities.




[1] Ritzer, George. Postmodern Social Theory. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill, 1997, 193.
[2] Haraway, 199.