International Relations Major, Thucydides
2 days ago
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Meet Foreign Policy Interrupted

Madeline Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, arrives in London on December 5, 2005. (Hird/Courtesy Reuters)

“My motto…for young and medium-aged women is that we have to learn to interrupt because you don’t get called on just because people think you should be. You have to have some thoughts and interrupt.”
Madeleine Albright

From CFR:

Elmira Bayrasli and Lauren Bohn are co-founders of Foreign Policy Interrupted, an important and unprecedented new initiative that aims to increase the number of female voices in foreign policy. Working from the ground up through a cohesive fellowship program, including media training and meaningful mentoring at partnering media institutions, FPI helps women break both internal and external barriers to more and better representation in and on the media.

"I’m a journalist, so I’ve encountered the disparity from a couple of angles. I’ve been reporting on the ground in the Middle East for the past three years and it’s interesting because the press corps in the region is largely female. Just yesterday, ahead of Egypt’s voting on a new constitution, I compiled a list of female journalists on the ground to follow on Twitter. There are tons. Yet when it comes to the analysis side of things, we don’t see as many women being positioned or positioning themselves, as expert voices. When producing a piece, I always try to include the opinions of female analysts, and women who are doing great work on the issues, but they’re typically a bit more reticent to assert their opinions than men.”

Subscribe here: http://fpinterrupted.com/

(h/t Colleen)

11 months ago
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FP’s 5 Best Tumblrs for Foreign Policy Nerds (besides IR Major, obviously)

Now that Tumblr is all over the news, Foreign Policy shared their five favorite IR blogs. Sadly, Dan Drezner hasn’t noticed my fangirling.

1. Kim Jong Un looking at things
2. International Relations as Depicted by Cats

3. Cosmarxpolitan

4. International Relations Ryan Gosling and International Development Ryan Gosling

5. It’s Always Sunny in Kabul

11 months ago
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BuzzFeed/Foreign Policy Mashup? “11 BuzzFeed Lists that Explain the World” 

"The real point, however, is that entertaining pieces of web culture — often the iconic images known as "memes" — spread virally. This is the way the web now works: It’s a different kind of front page for the world, one where Overly Attached Girlfriend and a dead-serious exposé of Malaysian government propaganda in the U.S. media can and do coexist. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the social web is full of cat pictures, great journalism is dying. (In fact, many great journalists are fond of cats.) This new viral world not only promotes the heck out of powerful original reporting, but it also is a crucial new channel for understanding closed, authoritarian societies, and for activists and campaigners from Russia to Zimbabwe to communicate with the outside world.
Then there are the lists, an old journalistic form reborn online with a vengeance: 21 Cats Who Aren’t Striking the Right Work/Life Balance, 10 NCAA Coaches Who Look EXACTLY Like Their Mascot. Once you stop laughing and start thinking, the extreme virulence of the social web just might revolutionize the way you think about the world too. Lists, I suggest to you, are the news of the future. Here are 11 we’d like to see on BuzzFeed — or ForeignPolicy.com — soon” 
(via 11 BuzzFeed Lists That Explain the World - By Ben Smith | Foreign Policy) h/t Christina

I absolutely agree with Ben Smith that social media and web culture are mixing up the way we digest serious, hard hitting news. Heck, I run a Tumblr called “IR Major, Thucydides” and reblog pictures of Ryan Gosling paired with international development quips, so dismissing Foreign Policy’s piece on memes would be more than a tad ironic.
However, I’m wary of Smith’s delight in proclaiming that lists are the news of the future. Lists aren’t news. They’re easy to breeze through, but they’re superficial. They shouldn’t replace well researched, longer articles. Which is not to dismiss them—if a list like “9 Disturbingly Good Jihadi Raps" can interest you enough that you delve into longer articles covering terrorism and ideology, excellent. But that’s all lists like the ones found in BuzzFeed’s politics section are: appetizers, not full meals.
Megan Garber made an excellent point about the increasing co-habitation of “pop” culture and “serious” culture when she wrote about Oreo’s response to the Mars Landing:

Last night, we landed a robot on Mars. Today, a sandwich cookie celebrates that accomplishment. The fluidity here between history and banality — and between science and pop culture — is, actually, kind of wonderful. It represents an access point to a fairly complicated news story. It makes the epic seem accessible, and it makes the accessible seem just a little (teensy, tiny) bit epic.

I echo Smith in hoping that we heartily embrace the interaction between frivolous memes and serious news. But as someone studying IR first and foremost and running a Tumblr on the side, I hope Garber’s critique rings truer. Memes and lists are wonderful, but they should serve as access points to more thoughtful analysis—they shouldn’t replace the news.

BuzzFeed/Foreign Policy Mashup? “11 BuzzFeed Lists that Explain the World”

"The real point, however, is that entertaining pieces of web culture — often the iconic images known as "memes" — spread virally. This is the way the web now works: It’s a different kind of front page for the world, one where Overly Attached Girlfriend and a dead-serious exposé of Malaysian government propaganda in the U.S. media can and do coexist. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the social web is full of cat pictures, great journalism is dying. (In fact, many great journalists are fond of cats.) This new viral world not only promotes the heck out of powerful original reporting, but it also is a crucial new channel for understanding closed, authoritarian societies, and for activists and campaigners from Russia to Zimbabwe to communicate with the outside world.

Then there are the lists, an old journalistic form reborn online with a vengeance: 21 Cats Who Aren’t Striking the Right Work/Life Balance, 10 NCAA Coaches Who Look EXACTLY Like Their Mascot. Once you stop laughing and start thinking, the extreme virulence of the social web just might revolutionize the way you think about the world too. Lists, I suggest to you, are the news of the future. Here are 11 we’d like to see on BuzzFeed — or ForeignPolicy.com — soon” 

(via 11 BuzzFeed Lists That Explain the World - By Ben Smith | Foreign Policy) h/t Christina

I absolutely agree with Ben Smith that social media and web culture are mixing up the way we digest serious, hard hitting news. Heck, I run a Tumblr called “IR Major, Thucydides” and reblog pictures of Ryan Gosling paired with international development quips, so dismissing Foreign Policy’s piece on memes would be more than a tad ironic.

However, I’m wary of Smith’s delight in proclaiming that lists are the news of the future. Lists aren’t news. They’re easy to breeze through, but they’re superficial. They shouldn’t replace well researched, longer articles. Which is not to dismiss them—if a list like “9 Disturbingly Good Jihadi Raps" can interest you enough that you delve into longer articles covering terrorism and ideology, excellent. But that’s all lists like the ones found in BuzzFeed’s politics section are: appetizers, not full meals.

Megan Garber made an excellent point about the increasing co-habitation of “pop” culture and “serious” culture when she wrote about Oreo’s response to the Mars Landing:

Last night, we landed a robot on Mars. Today, a sandwich cookie celebrates that accomplishment. The fluidity here between history and banality — and between science and pop culture — is, actually, kind of wonderful. It represents an access point to a fairly complicated news story. It makes the epic seem accessible, and it makes the accessible seem just a little (teensy, tiny) bit epic.

I echo Smith in hoping that we heartily embrace the interaction between frivolous memes and serious news. But as someone studying IR first and foremost and running a Tumblr on the side, I hope Garber’s critique rings truer. Memes and lists are wonderful, but they should serve as access points to more thoughtful analysis—they shouldn’t replace the news.

1 year ago
1 year ago
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Dan Drezner is trolling us, and I love it.
The Geopolitics of ‘Girls’ - By Daniel W. Drezner | Foreign Policy:
This is the Golden Age for television shows that offer commentary, directly or allegorically, on world politics. Shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s Revolution examine how humans react to a Hobbesian system in which trust is a scarce commodity. Showtime’s Homeland and FX’s crackerjack The Americans explore the corrosive effects of espionage and counterintelligence during the War on Terror and Cold War respectively. HBO’s Game of Thrones combines a dollop of magic with the realpolitik of 17th-century Europe. I’m here to tell you: Forget all those shows. The true TV connoisseur appreciates that the most insightful television show about world politics airing right now is, obviously, Girls.
…Dunham’s Hannah Horvath, a struggling young writer who clearly represents the United States in all her fading hegemony. She borrows from others in order to afford her current lifestyle. Hannah manages to insert herself into every situation, making it all about her — a process that evokes myriad U.S. military interventions.
As for Hannah’s ostensible best friend, Allison Williams’ Marnie, she exemplifies Germany. There is much to admire in Marnie — her undeniable beauty, her self-assuredness, and her unwillingness to go into debt. Unfortunately, however, Marnie expects everyone else to behave the same way she does — and is truly flummoxed when others seem to prosper using a different recipe for success.
…If the female characters on Girls represent the West, the two most important male characters come from the BRICs. Ray is a coffee-shop manager, the oldest member of the group, and far and away the most cynical and angry character on the show. He scorns just about everything that every other character says or does, but seems unable to make much of himself. Ray is Russia personified. In contrast, Adam — Hannah’s former beau — is China. He’s a force to be reckoned with, but it’s not entirely clear whether he’s socialized into how the rest of Brooklyn society behaves. One could posit that Hannah’s relationship with Adam represents the promise and peril of the “responsible stakeholder" concept. On the one hand, Hannah seems to use her "soft power" to entice Adam into liking her a lot more than he originally thought — in other words, getting him to want what she wants. He begins to socialize with Hannah’s circle of friends. At the same time, Hannah is unsure just how much she wants to engage Adam, reflecting America’s ambivalence in its relationship with China. At the end of the first season, she is quite uneasy about moving in together. The result is an Adam that, much like China, is angry and frustrated at his treatment by others — which in turn leads to bellicose behavior, which in turn leads Hannah to call the cops and try to contain his behavior. The breakdown in the relationship between Hannah and Adam is yet another example of the security dilemma destroying lives.

Dan Drezner is trolling us, and I love it.

The Geopolitics of ‘Girls’ - By Daniel W. Drezner | Foreign Policy:

This is the Golden Age for television shows that offer commentary, directly or allegorically, on world politics. Shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s Revolution examine how humans react to a Hobbesian system in which trust is a scarce commodity. Showtime’s Homeland and FX’s crackerjack The Americans explore the corrosive effects of espionage and counterintelligence during the War on Terror and Cold War respectively. HBO’s Game of Thrones combines a dollop of magic with the realpolitik of 17th-century Europe. I’m here to tell you: Forget all those shows. The true TV connoisseur appreciates that the most insightful television show about world politics airing right now is, obviously, Girls.

…Dunham’s Hannah Horvath, a struggling young writer who clearly represents the United States in all her fading hegemony. She borrows from others in order to afford her current lifestyle. Hannah manages to insert herself into every situation, making it all about her — a process that evokes myriad U.S. military interventions.

As for Hannah’s ostensible best friend, Allison Williams’ Marnie, she exemplifies Germany. There is much to admire in Marnie — her undeniable beauty, her self-assuredness, and her unwillingness to go into debt. Unfortunately, however, Marnie expects everyone else to behave the same way she does — and is truly flummoxed when others seem to prosper using a different recipe for success.

…If the female characters on Girls represent the West, the two most important male characters come from the BRICs. Ray is a coffee-shop manager, the oldest member of the group, and far and away the most cynical and angry character on the show. He scorns just about everything that every other character says or does, but seems unable to make much of himself. Ray is Russia personified. In contrast, Adam — Hannah’s former beau — is China. He’s a force to be reckoned with, but it’s not entirely clear whether he’s socialized into how the rest of Brooklyn society behaves. One could posit that Hannah’s relationship with Adam represents the promise and peril of the “responsible stakeholder" concept. On the one hand, Hannah seems to use her "soft power" to entice Adam into liking her a lot more than he originally thought — in other words, getting him to want what she wants. He begins to socialize with Hannah’s circle of friends. At the same time, Hannah is unsure just how much she wants to engage Adam, reflecting America’s ambivalence in its relationship with China. At the end of the first season, she is quite uneasy about moving in together. The result is an Adam that, much like China, is angry and frustrated at his treatment by others — which in turn leads to bellicose behavior, which in turn leads Hannah to call the cops and try to contain his behavior. The breakdown in the relationship between Hannah and Adam is yet another example of the security dilemma destroying lives.

1 year ago
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Obama’s Drone Problem

newyorker:

Amy Davidson asks, “The Obama Administration worried about how Romney might use its targeted-assassination program: but was the problem Mitt or the “kill list” itself?” Continue reading.

Cite Arrow via newyorker
1 year ago
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But the most surprising fact about the debate’s discussion of China—and the one that tells us the most about the new relationship taking shape the world’s two greatest powers—was that neither candidate in uttered the words, “human rights” in relation to the People’s Republic. That used to be a standard feature… The absence of a discussion of human rights will not go over well in the American human-rights community or with Tibetan groups. For the moment, however, in Beijing it is being greeted with pleasure. China takes careful note of vocabulary—the Foreign Ministry keeps track of the mentions of specific words—and the erosion of human rights from the candidates’ priorities will be taken as a sign, as foreign-affairs specialist Zhu Feng put it, that economic issues are “something they really care more about now than human rights or security.” »Evan Osnos on China, trade, and human rights in last night’s Presidential debate. Read more. (via newyorker)
Cite Arrow via newyorker
1 year ago
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inothernews:

adamisacson:

Countries that got mentioned in last night’s presidential debate. List here.


Although Latin America as a whole was briefly mentioned as well. (And the U.S., of course—there was way too much domestic politics going on in last night’s debate for my taste.)

inothernews:

adamisacson:

Countries that got mentioned in last night’s presidential debate. List here.

Although Latin America as a whole was briefly mentioned as well. (And the U.S., of course—there was way too much domestic politics going on in last night’s debate for my taste.)

Cite Arrow via inothernews
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The Internet creates a gem about the foreign policy debate, which unfortunately didn’t contain much foreign policy. 
nationalpost:

A viral is born: ‘Horses and bayonets’ shows how memes have defined debatesThe defining meme of the third U.S. Presidential Debate has become Barack Obama’s biting, perhaps condescending, response to Mitt Romney on the question of defence spending.Romney’s argument that the U.S. Navy has fewer ships than any time since 1917, brought this quick response from the president: ”Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” suggesting Romney’s worldview was obsolete. “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” (Via quickmeme)

The Internet creates a gem about the foreign policy debate, which unfortunately didn’t contain much foreign policy.

nationalpost:

A viral is born: ‘Horses and bayonets’ shows how memes have defined debates
The defining meme of the third U.S. Presidential Debate has become Barack Obama’s biting, perhaps condescending, response to Mitt Romney on the question of defence spending.

Romney’s argument that the U.S. Navy has fewer ships than any time since 1917, brought this quick response from the president: ”Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets,” suggesting Romney’s worldview was obsolete. “We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” (Via quickmeme)

Cite Arrow via nationalpost
1 year ago
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FP is calling tonight’s debate “The Foreign Policy Superbowl.”
Click through to read 55 questions for the candidates, written by the likes of Nye & Drezner.
(via The Foreign Policy Superbowl | Foreign Policy)

FP is calling tonight’s debate “The Foreign Policy Superbowl.”

Click through to read 55 questions for the candidates, written by the likes of Nye & Drezner.

(via The Foreign Policy Superbowl | Foreign Policy)

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