Sunday, May 14, 2006

Redefining the Gap 7, The Pentagon's New Map

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp's SummerBlog '06

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Thomas P.M. Barnett defines the "non-integrating gap" as those "regions of the world that are largely disconnected from the global economy and the rule set that defines its stability" (T. Barnett 2004:xvii-xviii). Immediately he gives it a geographic description, "today, the non-integrating gap is made up of the Caribbean Rim, Andean South America, virtually all of Africa, portions of the Balkans the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, and most of Southeast Asia." Barnett writes that the "Gap" will be "the expeditionary theater for the U.S. military in the 21st century" (T Barnett 2003) of "failed states and feral cities" (T. Barnett 2004:151). The rest of the world, the “Functioning Core,” is in turn split “into the Old Core, anchored by America, Europe, and Japan; and the New Core, whose leading pillars are China, India, Brazil and Russia” (T. Barnett 2005:32).

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Redefining the Gap 6, Critical Geopolitics

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp's SummerBlog '06

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In the early 1990s, the political tilt of Global South discussions led to the emergence of critical geopolitics (Dodds 1994:275). While some have criticized the theory as appearing too soon for a valid “contexualization” of geography (C. Barnett 1995:417) others view critical geopolitics as necessary for explaining the contemporary world (Tuathail and Luke 1994:381).

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Friday, May 12, 2006

Redefining the Gap 5, The North and the South

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp's SummerBlog '06

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The theory of the Global North and Global South is a new geopolitical perspective. It is a new perspective that divides “the world into two blocs – the industrialized countries of the global North and the poor countries of the South” on the global level of analysis (Goldstein, Huang, and Akan 1997:242). While “Global South” is sometimes used as a synonym for the more familiar “Third World” (Hayes 1975:1261), the end of the Cold War has seen the term “Third World” and the politics behind it fall into disfavor (Pletsch 1981:569).

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Redefining the Gap 4, First Geopolitical Theories

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp's SummerBlog '06

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Political Geography (geographie politique) was defined in 1751 (Kristof 1985:1178), but it's modern study was invented by Friedrich Ratzel in his description of political geography (politische Geographie) in 1897 in terms of space and position (Kiss 1942:634). Rudolf Kjellen invented the term “geopolitics” (Agnew 1995:1; Tuathail 1994:259) shortly thereafter. Kjellen was primarily interested in how geography effects the power relations of states (Osterud 1998:191) – specifically, their land and people (Tunander 2005:548).

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Redefining the Gap 3, Introduction to Geopolitics

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp's SummerBlog '06

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Geopolitics helped make geography a science by focusing on the political (Unstead 1949:47) and human (Dawson 1987:28) dimensions of geography. Halford Mackinder, an influential geopolitician, described his goal as not "to predict a great future for this or that country, but to make a geographical formula into which you could fit any political balance." (Hall 1955:109). Thus, geography is a "conditioning factor" in many parts of politics (Spkyman 1938:29). The internal (Williams 1927:142) and external (Enterline 1998:804) nature of states and how they go to war (Midlarsky 1995:224) are effected by their geopolitical position. Geopolitical analysis has survived changing constellations of great powers and technologies (Hooson 1962:20). Stable geopolitical concepts have emerged, even as academic debates on the specifics of geopolitics continue (Harkavy 2001:38).

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Redefining the Gap 2, Summary

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp's SummerBlog '06

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“The Pentagon's New Map” is a proposed grand strategy for the United States. Originally developed for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the wake of September 11th, it is leading to changes in America's military. It proposes the use of preemption as a normal tool of statecraft, and thus has implications for what wars we fight, what weapon systems we buy, and where we die.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Redefining the Gap 1, Prologue

Note: This is a selection from Redefining the Gap, part of tdaxp's SummerBlog '06

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Attempts to find empirical proof for Barnett's Core-Gap hypothesis have increases since I first attempted operationalizing the gap. Coming Anarchy has looked at Euro-Canadian troop deployments and FP's failed state index, ZenPundit ponders metrics, Curtis looks at ways to skin the Gap, and Sean Meade, Tom Barnett's blogger-in-chief, is paying attention.

Now I am prepared to release my own results:

We are at War with Africa and Islam

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

An Epistemology of Their Own: Why Iraqis Should Embrace Critical Theory

The wording of the final in Scopes was as hilarious as the concept was brilliant. Imagine you've been hired to teach political science in Iraq, it begins, You're tickled pink. But what epistemological approaches are essential to teach to understand the real world of Iraqi politics?.

The full question is several paragraphs long, It provided a fun way for students to synthesize the various approaches that been taught in this class. Below is my Scopes & Methods final, which argues that the most appropriate method would be Critical Theory. I tried to work in some humor, as well. Sorry for that.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Marxism is Useless to Study

No, I don't quite believe the title. But in Scopes I was a debater, and thus had to argue the position.

Personally, I'm sympathetic to Marxist Stability Theory, and Marxism-Barnettism....

And a quick note that the homework-as-blog meme is spreading. Check out Adam of The Metropolis Times' essay on Francis Fukuyama and State Building.

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Operationalizing the Gap

"Force Structure Will Change," by Thomas Barnett and Henry Gaffney, Proceedings, October 2000, pp 30-34, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/published/forcestruc.htm

"A Hammer Looking for Nails: The Gap, the Core, and the Final Frontier," interview with Thomas Barnett, Raeson, 1 November 2004, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/interviews/RaesonInterview.pdf.

"Viral in-coring: Seoul to Beijing," by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 4 January 2006, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002774.html.

"http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/glossary.htm," Thomas P.M. Barnett, downloaded 8 April 2006, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/glossary.htm.

In this post I will try to put together an operationalization and some alternate rival hypotheses for Tom Barnett's PNM Theory.

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I need to finish a research design for my Scopes & Methods class. The rough draft was on traditional geopolitics, but needed considerably work. I kicked around ways to to save it, yet I had trouble focusing on writing that just doesn't matter. I learn so much more from blog writing than class writing that I find myself looking forward to typing in new posts, but assignments are drudgery.

Until the obvious hit me: write it as a blog post! It's not a good blog post -- it's actually the perfect combination that doesn't work either as a tdaxp post or as something I could hand in -- but at least it gets me motivated. So today's work discusses the Research Question, Independent Variable, Dependent Variables, and Alternate Research Hypotheses required to operationalize the Gap.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of Catholicgauze, Chicago Boys, Coming Anarchy [1, 2, 3] and The Glittering Eye in "mapping the gap." Those posts were inspirational.

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