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Thursday, October 06, 20051128575182

Three Insurgencies: Early Christianity, Vietnamese Communism, and al Qaeda as case studies for "International Law as a Social Cognitive Battlespace"

Big Cheese approved my idea for a final paper, outlined previously in my notes: International Law as a Social Cognitive Battlespace. BC is skeptical of the Boydian background and the choice of case studies: early Christianity, Vietnamese Communism, and al Qaeda; however, other students were surprised that he approved anything this early, so I will take that as a good sign.

I imagine that most of the "substantive" or original (dare I say gifted?) posts at tdaxp for a while will relate to one part or another of the paper. This is out of habit, but BC said good words about the importance of writing, so I think that is a good idea. Anyway, the structure:


Introduction
International Law
Social Cognition
Battlespaces
Existing Research
Theory
- IL/SC and Realism
- IL/SC and Liberalism
- IL/SC and Constructivism
Practice
- IL/SC and the Rise of al Qaeda
- IL/SC and the Rise of the Vietnamese Communists
- IL/SC and the Rise of Early Christianity
Avenues of Disproof
Conclusions


So, without further adieu, the first, abrig'd, matrix edition of the Practice section:

three_insurgencies_md
3 insurgencies
Early Christianity, Vietnamese Communism, and al Qaeda


Now to extend thsi graphic to 10 pages. Huzzah.

Comments

By " Vietnamese Communism" I presume you mean from the inception of the ICP under Ho as a separate organization from the French Communist Party to the fall of Saigon ?

Or more the Vietcong phase ?

H-Diplo archives are deep with Vietnam threads by Vietnam/SEA/Cold war specialists along with roundtables and book reviews

Posted by: mark safranski | Thursday, October 06, 2005

Congrats on getting approval BTW. You must have intrigued him by thinking horizontally

Posted by: mark safranski | Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mark,

Thanks for the comment!

Yeah, I was thinking from its beginning as a coherent movement to the conquest of Saigon. During the "conversation" with Big Cheese (which felt like a defense -- in a good way -- I guess ;) ), he was pinning down my meaning of the VietComs and I answered "Even if the North would have been defeated, that would merely have begun a new stage in the Vietnamese Communist effort."

Likewise, early Christianity ends at Constantine, though I'm going to focus on Jesus and Paul. al Qaeda is of course ongoing.

An advantage of the structure of the paper is that no section needs to be longer than 3 pages.

I hope I impressed him... He was... skeptical, because the thesis was too apparent and the cases were too unrelated. The reason I started this chart was to demonstrate to myself how the three insurgencies are related on a continuum. (Plus SuperTeacher, over at Instruction & Human Cognition, has gotten matrices on my mind...)

But then, other students were surprised he approved /anything/, and the only other I know of him approving is for a doctoral student, so I'll take that as a good sign :)

Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, October 07, 2005

" He was... skeptical, because the thesis was too apparent and the cases were too unrelated. "

Ah, but when the cases are unrelated and the mechanism is the same you've hit on something important.

Any fool can notice superficial similarities in closely-related scenarios but when you can prove ( or at least make a reasonable case) that something deeper is at work you are talking fundamentals and doing some intellectual heavy-lifting.

Good, good good. :o)

Posted by: mark safranski | Friday, October 07, 2005

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