January 24, 2006

IR Posting

We are already entering our third week! This would mean, that we're starting chapter three (in both sections), but I am inclined toward really getting comfortable with the concepts in Chapter two.
For IR, that means -- complete familiarity with the three levels of analysis, and recognition of their subsets; for example, you should know "Systemic" level of analysis down cold, and be -familiar- w/ Classical/Structural Realism when you see. We will split hairs as to the Realist/Liberal distinctions together in our discussions - same w/ the other two levels of analysis. We should also think of a few questions about the 'real world'; for instance, when has the US acted and reacted in a 'Classical Realist' sense, in a liberal sense, etc., and who are examples of these schools of thought? We will also want to ask how personal politics fits in (this is walking right up to the line of the individual level...) - for instance, Churchill and Roosevelt, Reagan and Thatcher, Bush I's famously close relationship with leaders, Clinton-Blair and GW Bush and Blair - is this beginning to look a little more like the 'world politics as local politics' that Harry Truman may have thought? Are the 'contrasts' between Bush and Truman contrasts, or are they really just differing illustrations of similar views of world politics? (I believe that being President is unique enough, that Presidents' instincts and personal tastes have much more to do with shaping policy than one would think - remember, the Presidency is the only indispensible office in our system).

For US Gov't, we started on the historical undercurrents of the constitution, and have recently addressed the intangibles - i.e., Marbury v. Madison. Our job is to get a 'gut level' feeling for government, and I think we can do this. There'll be more soon - in the meantime, dwell carefully on what your opinion should be. Question - would John Marshall's assumption of power in 1803 be accepted, were it Chief Justice John Roberts making a similar assertion today? Think about this!




Blogger Chris Anderson said...

Well, I can't get past the obvious on this one. No, Roberts would probably not be able to make such a bold and ground breaking decision on this subject, because surely there would have been a previous decision on a similar matter. There's no possible way that in over 200 years of cases and rulings that the Supreme Court could not have ruled on matters of the constitution, thus establishing a precedence on the topic. New questions will always arise in the court system, however, such an essential responsibility as deciding constitutionality could not have been overlooked since 1803.

11:22 PM  

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