Weekly links

By Sarah Bakhtiari

Alexander Dux, "See America," 1936. Via the Library of Congress.
Alexander Dux, “See America,” 1936. Via the Library of Congress.

Fighting authoritarianism without violence: annually, the North Korea Strategy Center smuggles thousands of USB drives filled with foreign movies, music, and books into North Korea to undermine the information stranglehold of the North Korean regime—oh yeah, and to overthrow it. On the topic of authoritarian states, Eritrea does really well at achieving development indicators, but that doesn’t mean its citizens want to stay. Many who leave have gone on to drown in the Mediterranean.

Questing for a new research topic? Gender in International Relations is trending in the right direction, no longer exiled to the periphery of the field.

Speaking of bringing outcasts into the academic fold: here is a new blog on the impact of religious actors and interests on world politics.

Writing for Buzzfeed, Gregory Johnsen profiles the “untouchable” John Brennan. According to Johnsen, his rise within the CIA closely mirrors the creation of the national security state.

Meenakshi Gigi Durham explores the limits of transnational feminist solidarity as reflected in several films about gender relations in India, to include India’s Daughter—a film about Jyoti Singh Pandey, a medical student fatally raped and assaulted by six men in 2012—which the Indian government banned.

Getting the (academic) word out: are blog posts and online, peer-reviewed, short-form journals, like Research and Politics, the way to make academic research more relevant—and by that, I mean, more widely read (than this article suggests)?

Nevertheless, some advise scholars to adopt a strategy of “one for me, one for the system.”

Replication is critical to progress in science, but Michael Clemens argues that it isn’t defined well enough to know when it’s actually taking place.

The new way of war? Non-linear warfare employs three instruments: kinetic force, intelligence, and information. Look to Russia to find both success (Crimea) and failure (Novorossiya) in non-linearity.

Is the United States likely to fall into the Thucydidean trap with China? David Welch says no; a push, pull, or stumble is much more likely.

Der Spiegal has an article detailing the organizational structure of ISIS based on documents smuggled out of Syria. If they’re real, then ex-Baathists have always been at the heart of the organization. Speaking of terrorist groups, Mark Stout reminds us that the life of international terrorists is pretty tough.

Understanding the ‘Pink Tide’ in Latin America through a Gramscian lens reveals a regional war of position, in which competing social forces exploit the new spaces created by regional institutions.

Probabilities for Turkey to succumb to the logic of nuclear armament are low, despite the significant geopolitical indicators that point them down that very road.

What can the lessons of nuclear history can offer policymakers as they chart a course toward “global zero” or nuke-enabled deterrence?

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and in Foreign Affairs Thomas de Waal looks at the complicated politics of the word “genocide”. Then in Foreign Policy, Nick Danforth is not a fan of Samantha Power’s interpretation of the Genocide. He argues that the Genocide was not clear-cut, and imagining that all future atrocities will be inhibits or ability to respond effectively.

Peru’s informal black-market gold industry has reportedly surpassed cocaine as the country’s biggest illegal export, supported by more than four hundred thousand informal gold miners. Artisanal gold mining produces just ten percent of the world’s gold annually, but comprises ninety percent of the gold industry’s jobs.

Space control. Sounds exotic, but it’s not…as John Sheldon explains, space control has been a part of U.S. national policy for more than fifty years.

Although the roles women play in political violence are often marginalized by misattributing their motives, women are active in about 60 percent of non-state armed groups that rely on voluntary recruitment.

How did American Muslims become Public Enemy #1 for conservatives?

After the infamous Iraq nuclear weapons assessment, the Intelligence Community appeared to redeem itself with the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate. But is the intelligence being used to push a policy agenda?

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