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Archive for the 'World Civ-Post Cold War' Category

Back to the USSR

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Tanks rolling into neighbouring countries, the media back under state control and Kremlin policy shrouded in secrecy … Luke Harding reports on why Russia seems hellbent on reverting to its Soviet past. Read on from The Guardian

“A World Without Power”

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Critics of U.S. global dominance should pause and consider the alternative. If the United States retreats from its hegemonic role, who would supplant it? Not Europe, not China, not the Muslim world—and certainly not the United Nations. Unfortunately, the alternative to a single superpower is not a multilateral utopia, but the anarchic nightmare of a new Dark Age…

Unfortunately, the world’s experience with power vacuums (eras of “apolarity,” if you will) is hardly encouraging. Anyone who dislikes U.S. hegemony should bear in mind that, rather than a multipolar world of competing great powers, a world with no hegemon at all may be the real alternative to U.S. primacy. Apolarity could turn out to mean an anarchic new Dark Age: an era of waning empires and religious fanaticism; of endemic plunder and pillage in the world’s forgotten regions; of economic stagnation and civilization’s retreat into a few fortified enclaves.

Read more Ferguson from Foreign Policy Magazine

Travels in the Former Soviet Union

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Check out these five “dispatches” from the former USSR. The fifth dispatch focuses on Uzbekistan.

Opposing Perspectives: The Impact of the Collapse of the USSR on the Global Balance of Power

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

The Breakup of the USSR Makes the US the Leader of the World (Elliot Abrams)

The Breakup of the USSR Signals the End of US World Leadership (Zoltan Grossman)

Write a 1-2 page, single-spaced position paper which adheres to the following:

I. Short Intro with a Thesis (specific, complex and refutable)

II.  Summarize the ideas of the author with whom you do NOT concur and explain why his ideas are disagreeable (clearly demonstrate that you have read and understood this author’s ideas). Do not feel compelled to disagree with this author entirely as there surely is some truth to his argument.

III.  Summarize the ideas of the author with whom you DO concur and explain how his ideas are superior to the other author (clearly demonstrate that you have read and understood this author’s ideas).

IV. Conclude by restating your thesis and exploring the significance thereof.

Please bear in mind that your goal is to illustrate that you have read BOTH documents and that you have thought about them. Be prepared for a healthy debate in class.

Opposing Perspectives on Reagan’s Role in the Dissolution of the USSR

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Reagan’s Presidency DID cause the collapse of the USSR (Edwin Meese III)

Reagan’s Presidency did NOT cause the collapse of the USSR (Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry)

Write a 1-2 page, single-spaced position paper which adheres to the following:

I. Short Intro with a Thesis (specific, complex and refutable)

II. Summarize the ideas of the author with whom you do NOT concur and explain why his ideas are disagreeable (clearly demonstrate that you have read and understood this author’s ideas). Do not feel compelled to disagree with this author entirely as there surely is some truth to his argument.

III. Summarize the ideas of the author with whom you DO concur and explain how his ideas are superior to the other author (clearly demonstrate that you have read and understood this author’s ideas).

IV. Conclude by restating your thesis and exploring the significance thereof.

Please bear in mind that your goal is to illustrate that you have read BOTH documents and that you have thought about them. Be prepared for a healthy debate in class.

TWE Is China a Threat to the West?

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

Use evidence from all three articles to write a formal 1-2 page single-spaced essay that explores the extent to which China is a threat to the West (and, in particular to the U.S.). Your primary focus is to demonstrate a mastery of of the content of all three articles.
China: Threat or Peaceful Rise?

Revving Up the China Threat

A Chinese Perspective from People’s Daily Online

Power Point: Is China a Threat to the West?

A symphony of civilizations

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Used to innumerable discourses on the differences between the West and the East, one is not prepared to recognize two facts.

First, although Europe and China have been slowly elaborating two distinct civilizations, they cannot be absolutely separated. Having in common long maturations over millennia, the two old worlds have developed affinities and, despite all the exotic representations, the two edges of Eurasia are closer than they seem.

Second, one should not reduce the West to the US: that country, which from a colony has been rising to the rank of global hyperpower in only 230 years…

It is precisely based on their affinities that Europe and China have to build a partnership that goes beyond ever-varying trade, scientific or even political interests. In other words, by placing culture as the keystone of their relationship, the two Eurasian civilizations would enter a really stable and meaningful cooperation having over time global constructive impact.

Read Symphony of Civilizations

Responses to Symphony

Does the Future Belong to China?

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Fareed Zakaria reminds us (warns us?) that China, “is a country whose scale dwarfs the United States. 1.3 billion people, four times America’s population. For more than a hundred years it was dreams of this magnitude that fascinated small groups of American missionaries and businessmen. 1 billion souls to save; 2 billion armpits to deodorize, but it never amounted to anything. China was very big, but very poor. All that is changing. But now the very size and scale that seemed so alluring is beginning to look ominous.”

Read it here

Respond to these questions

The New American Cold War

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Stephen F. Cohen of Colombia University posits that the Cold War is far from over and that “[c]ontrary to established opinion, the gravest threats to America’s national security are still in Russia. They derive from an unprecedented development that most US policy-makers have recklessly disregarded, as evidenced by the undeclared cold war Washington has waged, under both parties, against post-Communist Russia during the past fifteen years.”

The New American Cold War

Response Sheet to Cohen


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