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This is the second post in a series on the lexicon of intervention’s slippery slope . The series is intended to educate human rights advocates about the opportunities, costs, and opportunity costs of coercive responses to mass atrocities. Alex de Waal, Jens Meierhenrich, and Bridget Conley-Zilkic, three genocide scholars, have penned an exceptional essay on the analytical shortcomings of the present discourse on mass atrocities prevention.
This blog roundtable is part of a series about graduate school – why do it, what is it like, and what to do afterwards. I encourage you to give your own opinions in the comments section, and if you disagree with a point made by the panel, voice your opinion! This is something a lot of my readers can relate to, so I’m hoping to hear from all of you.
Patrick Porter Finally after a busy teaching term I’ve got a chance to add some thoughts to the great post and articles by Jon Western and Joshua Goldstein on humanitarian intervention. Bottom line: I think Jon and Joshua make a robust case that not only can intervention work, but that the international community is learning effectively how to go about it. As they argue, it is a technique of statecraft that is being refined and better understood. It might not necessarily transform societies on every metric of human well being, but prompt military action combined with due attention to the rule of law, security and institutions can fend off predators and give oppressed peoples a chance – a breathing space - to rebuild.
Over the centuries, the high seas have served as a blank canvas for cartographers’ worst nightmares. They have dotted the oceans with a whole crypto-zoo of island-sized whales, deathly seductive mermaids, giant sea serpents, and many more - a whole panoply of heraldic horrors. As varied as this marine bestiary is, mapmakers have settled on a single, favourite species for land-based beastliness: the octopus.
Censoring on one end, "outliers" on the other, what can we do with the middle? - Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social ScienceThis post was written by Phil. A medical company is testing a cancer drug. They get a 16 genetically identical (or nearly identical) rats that all have the same kind of tumor, give 8 of them the drug and leave 8 untreated…or maybe they give them a placebo, I don’t know; is there a placebo effect in rats?. Anyway, after a while the rats are killed and examined. If the tumors in the treated rats are smaller than the tumors in the untreated rats, then all of the rats have their blood tested for dozens of different proteins that are known to be associated with tumor growth or suppression. If there is a “significant” difference in one of the protein levels, then the working assumption is that the drug increases or decreases levels of that protein and that may be the mechanism by which the drug affects cancer.
The news surrounding Obama's nomination of Chuck Hagel and John Brennan as Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA (respectively) has primarily been focused on the "controversial" Hagel's previous statements and positions. Republican commentators have been complaining about Hagel's nomination, claiming that his nomination sends a powerful signal that the Obama administration is putting more "daylight" between the US and Israel, among other things.
Since the beginning of Syria’s roughly 20-month-long civil war, the question of whether or when the regime would turn to chemical warfare to ensure its survival has loomed large for Syrians and the wider world alike. Damascus maintains, by most estimates, prodigious stocks of blister agents and even advanced nerve agents that could inflict horrific results on civilians and soldiers alike. The recent military gains by rebels in the neighborhoods of Damascus and their increasingly potent air defense capabilities all speak to plausible motive.
The Canard "All the fake news that's fit to print" The long awaited return of HBO’s wildly popular fantasy series, the Game of Thrones, has not generated enthusiasm on the part of at least one group. The nation’s international relations reference librarians, those who help students and members of the public research the complicated dynamics of world politics, are sighing collectively as they anticipate the coming months of boredom. During the airing of the show, they have noticed a marked decline in visits to the reference desk, as the nation’s public draws inferences about the intricacies of international relations from these fictional characters on television, rather than through the classic vehicle – books.