Realism: A Brief Primer

Since a number of my posts discuss realism, I decided it would be helpful to provide a brief primer on this topic for those who are unfamiliar with it.  Realism is, along with liberalism and constructivism, one of the three principle schools of international relations theory.  It is the oldest of the three, counting Thucydides,… Continue reading Realism: A Brief Primer

About This Blog

A little bit about this blog This is a blog about my research, politics, pop culture, and the intersections of those things. My academic specialties are in revolutions, regime change more generally, and international conflict, but I’m also a politics and history junky who’s interested in everything from Pharaonic Egypt to current American elections. On… Continue reading About This Blog

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The Brittney Griner Verdict

The Brittney Griner case is an interesting one, generating discussion across a number of segments of the media. Here are three reflections: Brittney Griner’s advocates point out that if it was a male NBA superstar such as LeBron James imprisoned, the case would be receiving far more attention. This is certainly true but on the… Continue reading The Brittney Griner Verdict

Does Realism Glorify War?

(Original Caption) Salamis, Greece: Greek Sea Battle. Battle of Salamis, 480 B. C. in which Greece gained an uncontested victory over the Persian fleet. Painting based on ancient sources.

One of the charges leveled against realism is that it celebrates war. This accusation is understandable. Where other IR paradigms like liberalism or Marxism look forward to a future without interstate violence, realism believes that such violence is an inescapable feature of the international system. However, it is also misguided. Although realists accept the possibility… Continue reading Does Realism Glorify War?

Remaking Star Wars

This may be one of the most controversial things I’ve ever written but I believe that eventually Lucasfilm is going to remake the original Star Wars trilogy. It sounds blasphemous even to contemplate but I’ve become convinced that there are 3 reasons why it will make sense for them to do so, not now, but… Continue reading Remaking Star Wars

CK3 Hegemons, Part 2: Hollow Empires

In Part 1 of this series, I argued that hegemonic empires were both something that actually existed in the Middle Ages and that they generally didn’t last for very long.  In this follow-up post, I examine why the AI is unable to create such empires.  Certainly it’s not for lack of strong starting points.  Apart… Continue reading CK3 Hegemons, Part 2: Hollow Empires

Star Wars and Politics, Part 10: Episode V

This series has been on hold for a bit, both because I’ve been absorbed with the war in Ukraine as well as busy preparing for MPSA, but it’s finally time to put aside the horrors of real war to dip back into the thankfully fictional conflicts of Star Wars.  This time, we’re taking on Episode… Continue reading Star Wars and Politics, Part 10: Episode V

Ukraine and the Purpose of the United Nations

Yesterday, President Zelensky gave a fiery speech to the UN in which he railed against that organization for not taking action in response to the Russian invasion of his country. His anger is understandable, but I would argue that not only is his demand unrealistic, it fundamentally misunderstands the nature of the UN. The unrealistic… Continue reading Ukraine and the Purpose of the United Nations

Crusader Kings: Royal Court Thoughts

Now that I’ve had a chance to spend some time playing the Royal Court expansion for Crusade Kings III, I thought I’d offer a few thoughts on it. The Royal Court, Pros: I really like the idea of holding court. Dealing with all the complaints, petitions, and disputes of your subjects, meeting visitors, etc, was… Continue reading Crusader Kings: Royal Court Thoughts

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