I am hitting on the final stretch of the summer semester and have a fuckton of writing left to finish. Nominally, the book response paper is due a week from yesterday, the term paper being due on the sixth of August. Except life is more complicated than that and I am heading down next weekend to get the boys for a week.
So I really need to try to get this fucking term paper done by next weekend, clean my space and install a fold down monitor in my van (I already installed my DVD, USB, SD - MP3, MP4, MPEG playing dashmount stereo). At least I have made the book response paper easier, as I will be addressing (relatively) unique points in each essay - following it up with a 16-20 page response to three specific points that are of extreme underlying importance through the book.
First, I will be dealing with a dominant (in scholarly analysis) post-Cold War paradigm. Namely that the Cold War was a major engine for stability and that the post Cold War world has become inherently unstable. Even when one accepts that these essays were published in 1998, when there was some serious instability in some former Soviet states, they are both overstating the case for the stability of the Cold War era and overstating the case for significantly more instability after the Cold War. This is problematic, because you see a lot of the reasoning the stems from this paradigm in foreign policy decisions today.
Second, while credit is definitely given, there is serious understatement to the impact of technological breakthroughs on global politics and the weakening of nation states. I will argue that not only is communications technology a critical factor, but the medium itself is an engine for instability. Ie. technological development has far outstripped our ability to functionally integrate it and understand the implications - thus creating inherent instability. If I can, I will also address transnational tribalism.
Finally, I am going to address something that seems conspicuous in it's absence: The reaction of major powers to the weakening of nation states, as a threat to world security. While again, I can appreciate that this book of essays was published in 1998, at least some of what has happened was predictable in general terms. While the exact circumstances might have been unclear, it should be no shock that we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. If it hadn't been that, it would have been something else - possibly something even more dangerous and destabilizing. While the end of Soviet communism and nuclear deescalation treaties created some thawing, by no means did they spell cordial relations between Russia and the U.S.
What is important to recognize, is that contrary to popular theories, put forth by esteemed scholars (in this case, Dr. James Rosenau), the end of the Cold War wasn't the cause of any significant instability. The roots of the weakening nation state, global terrorism and environmental concerns (the major problems with global security at this point) are deeply seeded in globalization and the rapid developments in communications technology. These have only tangential relations to the Cold War. Technological development was somewhat driven by the Cold War and globalization was in some cases happening in spite of the Cold War, while in other sectors it was completely driven by the Cold War.
When I get that finished, I will focus on the fucking animal rights terrorists and their intellectual cheerleaders, as well as their "spiritual" leadership. The topic of my term paper is the relation of postmodern extremist movements, to religious extremist movements and global terrorism.
In any case, I have a fuckton of work to do, over the next ten days. If you happen to see me where I shouldn't be - like commenting on blogs - feel free to chastise me.