An introduction to IR theory
Asia Times has published two parts of a three part series on Biden’s foreign policy team and their misadventures in Ukraine. Unsurprisingly, the essays document the sclerotic bipartisan consensus that dominates the thinking of the Washington establishment. Love Trump, hate Trump or anything in between, the former President was clearly right when he said “America never wins anymore.”
It’s not hard to figure out who to blame. The mendacity of Democratic and GOP elites is very hard to overstate. Regardless of whether the Ukrainians are successful in fighting off the Russian barbarians, the United States will emerge from its role in that conflict poorer, weaker, more divided and more incompetently led. The only way to prevent this disastrous outcome is the defeat of a globalist foreign policy. Sadly, that’s unlikely. Like a virulent cancer that keeps re-emerging, globalism is sure to eviscerate its host before finally delivering the coup de grâce.
The Asia Times articles are interesting. If you’re inclined, take a look.
So, from an international relations standpoint how would you explain the relatively bad relationship that has existed between France and Eastern Europe since 1991 vs the relatively positive one that existed between the United Kingdom and Eastern Europe up to Brexit at least?
I'm glad to see you're going to expound on this. I'm not sure how conscious the effort was in the comments section, but I saw some Socratic questioning being offered, which I admire. I should probably try and exercise my patience a little more.
Unfortunately, Socratic questioning isn't particularly effective against presuppositional apologetics. If your partner is unwilling to engage with the possibility that their foundational assumptions are wrong, they'll pull a few of the usual dodges: ignoring questions, making more unsubstantiated claims, the Gish Gallop. Post hoc rationalization is very difficult to break through, since the evidence provided is inconsequential to the conclusions presented. "What could convince you you're wrong," is unfortunately answered with an honest, "Nothing."
Fortunately, Socratic questions can do a lot for the benefit of an audience. Even if your conversational partner is avoiding the conclusions they might be forced to face, there will always be readers who aren't so attached to that world view. Bill Nye didn't debate Ken Ham (creator of the Ark Encounter in Kentucky) because he was trying to convince Ken that the Bible isn't 100% accurate, he did it for the benefit of the audience members who had minds that could be opened to that possibility. The downside is the amount of time needed to properly break down the façade.
Claire - Sounds like a fascinating series. Thanks for sharing it with us.
One small correction (with a wink) - you did too have an occasion to write about your thesis before - in your wonderful book "There is no alternative" you reminisced about checking with the Bodleian Library at Oxford to see how many times it's been signed out.