international relations

Whose Past, Which History? Modern Historiography as a Code

History-writing, this seminar suggests, is not the re-creation of a past that is lying mute, waiting for the historian to give it voice. Historiography is instead a code or genre or technology that constructs the past in ways that make it amenable to representation through the code of history. If history-writing is not the truth of the past, and if other forms of relating to it (myth, epic, legend) are erroneous, we can explore the elements that constitute the code of history, prompting us to ask what history-writing is ‘for’, what does it ‘do’.

From Norm Contestation to Norm Implementation: Recursivity and the Responsibility to Protect

Cecilia Jacob, ‘From Norm Contestation to Norm Implementation: Recursivity and the Responsibility to Protect’, Global Governance, 24(3) 2018: 391-409.

Realism, Spinozism, Secularism

In Man, the State, and War (1959), Kenneth Waltz identifies Spinoza as a “first-image theorist.” Alongside Augustine, Niebuhr, and Morgenthau, Spinoza holds the view, according to Waltz, that “political ills [are deducible] from human defects.” The description is disputable. And the inclusion of two contemporary thinkers alongside two classics cannot but provoke intellectual historians fearful of anachronism.

SDSC War Studies Seminar: An Australian Band of Brothers

In his most recent book, An Australian Band of Brothers, Dr Mark Johnston tells the story of Don Company of the 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion – part of the 9th Division, which sustained more casualties and won more decorations than any other Australian division in the Second World War. Like his previous works on Australians at war, the book is a ‘warts and all’ exploration of the life of front-line servicemen.

Acting Like a State: Non-European Membership of International Organizations in the Nineteenth Century

Ellen Ravndal, ‘Acting Like a State: Non-European Membership of International Organizations in the Nineteenth Century’, in Jens Bartelson, Martin Hall and Jan Teorell, eds, De-Centering State M

Trygve Lie (1946-1953)

Ellen Ravndal, ‘Trygve Lie (1946-1953)’, in Manuel Fröhlich and Abiodun Williams, eds, The UN Secretary-General and the Security Council: A Dynamic Relationship (Oxford: Oxford University

The Case for Institutional Pacifism

Pacifism, in its most familiar form, is the view that waging war is never morally justified—call this the pacifism-of-acts. This is to be carefully distinguished from what we might call the pacifism-of-institutions. The latter position is not characterised by an absolute objection to waging war with the military resources that we have amassed. It is characterised, rather, by an objection to the amassing of those resources to begin with.

R2P and the Prevention of Mass Atrocities: A Child-Centric Approach

Cecilia Jacob, ‘R2P and the Prevention of Mass Atrocities: A Child-Centric Approach’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 10(1-2) 2018: 75-96.

Testing the Nuclear Stability-Instability Paradox Using Synthetic Control Method

Does acquisition of nuclear weapons by security rivals increase their level of conventional militarised conflict? Some recent theoretical and quantitative work has supported the ‘stability-instability paradox’, the proposition that while nuclear weapons deter nuclear war, they may also provide the conditions for nuclear-armed rivals to increase conventional military conflict with each other. However, other quantitative analysis and qualitative studies of the India–Pakistan dyad have delivered more equivocal assessments.

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