Browsing Archives of Author »Aldo Matteucci«

355 – The US Presidential elections: A preview from the past

January 27, 2016


Shigeru MIZUKI has published a three-volume manga: History of Japan Showa. It is a mix of both micro-history (his growing up in that period) and macro-history: Japan during the first part of Hirohito’s reign. The following quote may apply to the forthcoming US Presidential election: (One reads the balloons from right to left) The third […]

354 – Time out for a bit of mischievous fun

January 24, 2016


Each year, since hundreds of years, a group of Incas rebuilds a bridge across a canyon. They are experts at using ropes – in fact, lines and knots were used to record and calculate before Westerns came with paper, ink and abacus. Here is the video showing how the community went about it: One […]

353 – Is there “diplomatic theory”?

January 20, 2016


The diplomat, so the theory, is the agent of the principal – the state. The diplomat is tasked to pursue the goals of the state with respect to other states in the framework of international relations. In the best sense of the word, diplomats are golems. The agent has no independent agency. In practice, diplomats […]

352 – Do states “strive to attain as many resources as possible?”

January 16, 2016


Ubi fracassorium, ibi figgitorium Pulcinella[1] This view of the acquisitive “group” or state (as from quote in 350) would seem– at first sight to originate in auto-referential arcade games, where scoring maximum points is the aim. Are states relentless maximizers or rather optimizers? This question warrants closer inspection. I am somewhat puzzled that a “realist” […]

351 – Are states “unitary actors”?

January 6, 2016


One of the enthymemes underlying “realism” in International Relations (see 350) is that states can be taken to be “unitary:” In this view, there is only one and coherent principal, followed by a bevy of agents faithfully acting on its behalf. Let’s look at a few pivotal points in history for verification of the assertion: […]

350 – Are states “rational actors”?

January 2, 2016


“Realism is a tradition of international theory centered upon four propositions: The international system is anarchic. No actor exists above states, capable of regulating their interactions; states must arrive at relations with other states on their own, rather than it being dictated to them by some higher controlling entity. The international system exists in a […]

349 – The role of the 3-I in international relations

December 31, 2015


(To find out what 3-I means, read on) A significant and growing literature on international relations (IR) argues that domestic politics is typically an important part of the explanation for states’ foreign policies. (…) I argue that what constitutes a “domestic-political” explanation of a state’s foreign policy choices has not been clearly elaborated. What counts […]


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