The Domestic Side of Things

Clearly I'm trying to make up for a post drought from the past couple of months.  I'll leave the more in-depth commentary to someone who has been following this situation more closely, but it looks like the Wisconsin State Government is experiencing a wheeeeee-bit of a principal-agent problem (via Boing Boing). Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol I will say that it's not immediately clear to me whether we're talking about off-duty cops only, or if we're talking about both on and off-duty police officers.  If the latter are protesting that would seem to be less of a Continue reading The Domestic Side of Things

Rumsfeld Interview

Given this piece from the other day, I thought this was an appropriate followup.  Daily Show fans have probably already seen his interview from last night with former Defense Secretary Donald Rumseld, but for those who have not I would recommend it.  Rumsfeld was unquestionably one of the most important architects of the Iraq war, and I think this interview fits in nicely with the discussion from the other day regarding the influence of unelected actors in the policymaking process.  I found it particularly interesting how Rumsfeld acknowledges the important role played by presidential advisors in this process, but really Continue reading Rumsfeld Interview

Quick Post

So it's been a little while since I've posted here (very busy times these are).  Anyway, I wanted to link to this post by Phil Arena over at his blog.  Phil discusses how his views on various topics related to IR have changed over the past few years.  I agree with a lot of what he has to say on these issues–I think a lot of what IR scholars focus on, to the extent that we're interested in the domestic forces generating foreign policy outcomes, tend to place too much stock in the qualities we typically assume to characterize democracies Continue reading Quick Post

A Rare Glimpse Inside North Korea

In 2006 National Geographic produced a documentary that gives viewers a rare glimpse into everyday life in North Korea. In the documentary, Inside North Korea, an eye doctor travels to the isolationist country to perform surgery on 1,000 patients in 10 days. The doctor convinces the government to allow a camera crew to document his work. However, the camera crew really wanted to document everyday life in the country. Once inside, the crew took every opportunity they got to film the everyday lives of ordinary North Koreans. The film is really compelling, as it demonstrates how much control the North Korean government Continue reading A Rare Glimpse Inside North Korea