Nicholas Sarkozy 2007

Sarkozy 2007!,” Catholicgauze, 19 February 2006,

Any day that sees Playboy returning to UNL and tdaxp taking over a warship wouldn’t be complete without French political news. From Catholicgauze:

Creoles, Arcadians, and Cajuns! Soon you may be able to once again embrace your French heritage with pride! Americans of all backgrounds may once again look to France as an ally. Soon it will be time for the Old Europe country of France to elect the pro-globalization, pro-American, anti-terrorist Nicolas Sarkozy as Président de la République française.

Market-liberalism combined with social conservatism is marching across the developed world to victory after victory. The latest region to become a battle ground for the Neo-Right is Old Europe. Germany elected as Chancellor over the center-left incumbent . The next up for elections is France.

has been on tdaxp before.

Books Biz Borrowed: The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but to be honest, Dan’s homework is a tough act to follow. I am okay with following yet another amazingly cognizent rant by Aaron though.

My path to this book involved a review for “” that said, “Diablo Cody is to stripping what Sarah Vowell is to American History. As a lover of both strippers and the history of America I was intrigued. I rushed to the library with my eyes filled with visions of well-filled American flag bikinis. In fairness to Diablo Cody, she put in more work for her book than Sarah Vowell probably ever has.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot is a collection of essays that tie in current events with political history and travel. writes like a that focuses less on quirky one-liners and more on making larger connections full of irony. Calling Lincoln our “American Jesus” and contrasting Ted Nugent with Rosa Parks, Vowell remains intelligent yet accessible, and communicates her points very eloquently.
I do find a flaw in this book that brings it down an inch or two in my own opinion. Sarah Vowell is billed as an American History writer, and the library has this book wedged between books chock full of Pearl Harbor and Appomattox. However, only about half give history more than a passing glance.

The saving grace for this book and the main reason I recommend it is in the titular essay. Written in December of 2001, Vowell makes a powerful statement on being American.

“And while I could shake my fists for sure at the terrorists on page one, buried domestic items could still make my stomach hurt–school prayer partisans taking advantage of the guilt of children to circumvent the seperation of church and state; the White House press secretary condemning a late-night talk show host for making a questionable remark about the U.S. military: “The reminder is to all Americans, that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and now is not a time for remarks like that.” Those are the sort of never-ending qualms that have turned me into the partly cloudy patriot I long not to be.”


a tdaxp Special Report by “Aaron”

Aaron is a Noted Beacon of Non-Partisan Sanity

I’ll avoid quoting cliche’ but we all know the text of President John F. Kennedy’s famous Inaugural Address. At a time when there was much uncertainty in the world, the President did not ask us to fend for ourselves but to band together and make sacrifices for the greater good of each other and the world. Later, at a speech at Rice University, he famously said “we choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

In his speech on January 31, President Bush noted the following:

Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources — and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

In this statement, the President is throwing the onus of oil consumption reduction on scientists and engineers, not on consumers and definitely not on producers. Again, no request for sacrifice from the voting public. Has patriotism gone to exclude the self-giving that Kennedy and others asked of us?

In reading this and reflecting, it occurred to me that this President Bush is very hesitant to ask anything of the American people, the Military excluded. We shy away from heavy environmental regulation because it may hamper our ability to do business efficiently. We opt out of the Kyoto Protocol, noting that other countries would not be expected to sacrifice as much as we do. We continue to decrease taxes for those who need it the least, and when I say need I mean honest, physical need. We ignore the warning signs of global warming, glacial retraction and seawater acidity, because no one has proven definitively enough for the detractors that we can stop it or that it’s our fault… Even though a simple reduction in world greenhouse emissions could show us a positive or negative change in warming acceleration in less than a decade. The President is eager to push Health Savings Accounts on the American public, asking us to spend more of our own money or go to the doctor less, all in an effort to better pad the pockets of investors and CEOs.

It seems that in every turn, the current Administration is only interested in making more, keeping more, and not in using less or making less. I understand that capitalism thrives on the efficiency of everyone being as greedy as possible, but could it not also thrive on people being as giving as possible?

Dan and I discussed at length the idea of a fuel tax. We thought that an increase in the price of gasoline might drive down demand. We discussed that this tax could be made fairer by giving rebates at tax-time for miles driven. In this system, those who drove the least would be rewarded and those that drove the most would even out. But we both know this idea would be political suicide for whoever attempted to legislate it. Again, no ask for sacrifice. Is it that unpalatable to the American public? For every person who volunteers for the military, where is the person willing to pay $5/gallon for gas? For everyone who thinks the President is infallible, where is the person trading in his tax-subsidized SUV for a hybrid, or even a higher fuel-efficiency vehicle? Again, efforts to mandate increased efficiency were retarded to spare the automobile industry the brunt of higher cost of manufacture. Some manufacturers even tweaked their models slightly so as to be larger than the government standard ‘light truck’ qualification, thereby exempting themselves from even the relaxed newer regulation. And who is crying foul? A marginalized Democratic minority?

This year, the economics of the situation got to me. I started riding my bike to work more frequently and I second-guessed a lot of short trips. I already had a fuel-efficient vehicle (32mpg) but I have paid more attention to keeping it efficient… Maintenance and more pragmatic operation. The President is pushing for more nuclear energy, which I applaud, but what’s wrong with wind, solar, and hydroelectric energy? Almost no mention of them in the speech. He mentions switchgrass farming for cellulose alcohol, a more efficient form of combustible than ethanol. But where is the mention of agricultural subsidies to the farmers growing an initially unprofitable crop?

I am interested to see where the Administration goes with this. I have great hopes for the American people. In the same speech, President Bush vowed billions for the teaching of math and science. And in the same term, argues that intelligent design ought to be taught in public schools. I think if we can only overcome the limitation of our President, we just might make it.

Guerrillaz, Part II: 19-2000


The world is spinning too fast
I’m buying lead Nike shoes

To keep myself tethered
To the days I try to lose

My mama said to slow down
You should make your shoes
Stop dancing to the music
Of gorillaz in a happy mood

Keep a mild groove on

Ba ba ba Day dee bop

There you go!
Get the cool!
Get the cool shoeshine!

There’s a monkey in the jungle
Watching a vapour trail
Caught up in the conflict
Between his brain and his tail

And if time’s elimination
Then we got nothing to lose
Please repeat the message
It’s the music that we choose

Keep a mild groove on

Ok bring it down yeah we gonna break out

Ah ah ah ah”
Gorillaz, “19-2000” (repetitions omitted)

There’s more…

19-2000, by Gorillaz, Gorillaz, 19 June 2001, [buy the cd, read the lyrics, watch the video].

We do not feel good about Iraq. The reason is that our enemies have gotten inside our OODA loops — our learning processes — and are able to transient between one form and another faster than we can comprehend them. This makes them appear to know whack, when in fact they are whacking us. Much as Stalinism had a negative influence on the moral-political condition of the Party, created a situation of uncertainty, contributed to the spreading of unhealthy suspicion, and sowed distrust among Communists, the Iraq War has done similar things (but to much lesser extents) to America.

Time and again we have played into our enemy’s hands. Abu Gharib seriously damaged our ability to offer generous terms to the vanquished, while popular Iraqi politician Abdul Aziz al-Hakim was partially right when he blamed American Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for the destruction of a holy Shia mosque. As Hakim said, American policy of Sunni-Arab appeasement has given a green light to terrorists by rewarding violence and bloodshed.

Now, it may be that appeasement does work. By appeasing Hitler early on, Britain eventually managed to permanently knock out Germany, warp Soviet development, and give global hegemony to a fellow English-speaker power. Perhaps by rewarding anti-democratic terrorists, Khalizad can achieve a similar coup for the United States. But the moral cost of this is very high.

From a moral perspective, our behavior has been functionally identical to trying to lose. As might say, we have shaped and influenced events so that we not only diminish our spirit and strength but also influence potential friends as well as to uncommitted so that they are down away from our philosophy and our antagonist toward our success.

If America wishes to remain a moral power — a nation capable of inspiring others towards a worldwide grand strategy — we have to stop dancing to the enemy’s music. We need to stop dancing, and buy lead Nike shoes.

We need to time-shift the OODA loop. When we try to dance to their rhythm we tear ourselves apart. But if we make them dance to our rhythm, if we purposefully elongate our thinking, we render the guerrilla’s advantages moot. John Boyd outlined three categories of conflict

  • Attrition
  • Maneuver
  • Moral

Maneuver warfare focuses on agility and the ability to get inside an OODA loop. The enemy is more agile, so wishes to fight maneuver war. We should deprive him of that, by instead focusing on attrition war.

We can do this by empowering local proxies to fight for us, refusing to fight the enemy where he is strongest (our lack of agility) and instead forcing him to fight where we are strongest (his lack of resources). In the case of Iraq this involves welcoming Shia and Kurdish reprisals against Sunni Arab terrorist networks. Going forward, it means that friends on the ground are much more important than a friendly UN vote or French nods.

(Focusing on local friends also gives us the advantage in moral warfare as well.)

Our military is designed for blitzkrieg, and its rapid interaction with so many complications in the local environment leads to friction and harmful waste heat. Instead of melting in this sauna, we should focus on what we do best and allow local friends to do what they would do best.

We need to cool down. We need to get the cool. The current heat of Iraq is too much for America to easily take.

We have spent too long listening to dancing to their music. Now it’s time for them to hear the music that we choose.

Guerrillaz, a tdaxp series in four parts
Part I: Feel Good Inc
Part II: 19-2000
Part III: Clint Eastwood
Part IV: Dare

Guerrillaz, Part I: Feel Good Inc


Feel good.

City’s breaking down on a camel’s back.
They just have to go cause they don’t know whack.
So all you fill the streets it’s appealing to see
You wont get out the county cause you’re bad and free
You’ve got a new horizon It’s ephemeral style.
A melancholy town where we never smile.
And all I wanna hear is the message beep.
My dreams, they’ve got to kiss, because I don’t get sleep, no..

Windmill, Windmill for the land.
Turn forever hand in hand
Take it all in on your stride
It is sticking, falling down
Love forever love is free
Let’s turn forever you and me
Windmill, windmill for the land
Is everybody in?

Laughing gas these hazmats, fast cats,
Lining them up like ass cracks,

Ladies, ponies, at the track
its my chocolate attack.
Shit, I’m stepping in the heart of this here
Care bear bumping in the heart of this here
Watch me as I gravitate

Yo, we gonna ghost town, this motown,
with yo sound, you’re in the place
You gonna bite the dust, can’t fight with us.
With yo sound you kill the “inc.”

So don’t stop, get it, get it
until you’re cheddar header.
Yo, watch the way I navigate

Don’t stop, get it, get it
we are your captains in it.
Steady, watch me navigate,
Ha ha ha ha ha!

Don’t stop, get it, get it
We are your captains in it
Steady, watch me navigate
Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Gorillaz, “Feel Good Inc.” (repititions ommitted)

There’s more…

Feel Good Inc,” by Gorillaz, Demon Days, 24 May 2005, [buy the cd, read ASL lyrics, read 3S lyrics, watch the video].

O’Reilly: U.S. Should Leave Iraq ‘as fast as humanly possible’ because ‘there are so many nuts in the country’,” Media Matters for America, 22 February 2006, (from Aaron).

It Didn’t Work, by William Buckley, Universal Press Syndicate, 25 February 2006,

It goes without saying that William F Buckley does not feel good

One can’t doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed. The same edition of the paper quotes a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht backed the American intervention. He now speaks of the bombing of the especially sacred Shiite mosque in Samarra and what that has precipitated in the way of revenge. He concludes that “the bombing has completely demolished” what was being attempted — to bring Sunnis into the defense and interior ministries.

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven’t proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

Nor, on the opposite end of the intellectual spectrum, does Bill O’Reilly

Somewhat of a disturbing report out of Iraq, and it’s more important than it first appears. The governor of — or the mayor of Karbala, which is a town in the south part of Iraq, Shiite-controlled, has banned any further government dealings with the American military in his province, saying that they’re not behaving well.

Now, it’s a small little thing, but I picked up on it, because here is the essential problem in Iraq. There are so many nuts in the country — so many crazies — that we can’t control them. And I don’t — we’re never gonna be able to control them. So the only solution to this is to hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible. Because we just can’t control these crazy people. This is all over the place. And that was the big mistake about America: They didn’t — it was the crazy-people underestimation. We did not know how to deal with them — still don’t. But they’re just all over the place.

As Bill noted, the reason we don’t feel good is that they don’t know whack: too many Iraqis act inexplicably. Or perhaps we don’t know whack: if we did, presumably we could control them. William continues:

One of these postulates, from the beginning, was that the Iraqi people, whatever their tribal differences, would suspend internal divisions in order to get on with life in a political structure that guaranteed them religious freedom. The accompanying postulate was that the invading American army would succeed in training Iraqi soldiers and policymakers to cope with insurgents bent on violence.

The reason for our whackless knowledge is that “the Iraqis” are operating at a high tempo. They can get inside our cognition loop, they can teach us, by quickly transitioning from one type of activity to another. The cognition loop is stable over the long term because ultimately every mind is attracted by both high-kinetic activities (teaching) and low-kinetic activities (learning).

However, by having powerful energy free energy sources — by exploiting the liberal concept of ideology and the preliberal concept of kin — our enemies can spend more time doing and less time resting. In the same way, by relying on free energy sources from the environment, windmills can run as long as the wind blows. The Iraq’s powerful mix of religion and family is analogous to a similar movement in the United States — political movements that here have refined themselves into victors.

Not only are they powerful and built for victory, they are attacking us wisely. They are laughing-gassing us, what John Boyd might have called pulling us apart and collapsing our will to resist. They have magnified our entropy by working with critics in our own societies. Howard Deanesque criticisms of George Bush lying over the lack of hazardous materials — WMDs — in Iraq combine with William Lindoid concerns over real hazardous materials — centers of disorder — to try to get us to just leave.

These moral infiltration tactics rely on flow. Instead of trying to synchronize their forces, the enemies “seep or flow into any gaps or weaknesses they can find in order to drive deep” into our rear. By taking the path of least resistance, they rely on gravity — another free energy source — to do the heavy work for them. Instead, our objective of making them sane (O’Reilly) or making them value “religious freedom” (Buckley) requires us to constantly hold up the sky and defy gravity.

This is why we don’t feel good about Iraq. Half of our strategies aren’t working. We are not strong enough for the means we have chosen.

We see them choose which streams to follow, which mosques to destroy, which weddings to bomb. They seem crazy. We feel bad.

We need to stop dancing to the music of the guerrillas.

Guerrillaz, a tdaxp series in four parts
Part I: Feel Good Inc
Part II: 19-2000
Part III: Clint Eastwood
Part IV: Dare

Partnersuche Osteuropa und Partnersuche Deutschland are Link Spammers

Today’s blog spam is courtesy of und .

Originally I thought this some some sort of business partnering service, but as the google ads on the search ages directly to places such as “” and , it appears to be some form of German relationship/sex/match service.

More information on link spammers is available from The Register.

German translation of this text (via both google translate and babelfish) is below the fold:

AltaVista’s BabelFish (Google Translate for alternate text):

Heutiges blog Spam ist Höflichkeit von Partnersuche Deutschland und Partnersuche Osteuropa. Ursprünglich dachte ich diese irgendeine irgendeine Art an Geschäft partnering Service, aber, während das google ADS auf der Suche direkt zu den Plätzen wie “Frau altert, den aus Osteuropa” finden [“aus Osteuropa Frau finden” altert ] und Jüdische Singlebörse, es scheine, irgendeine Form des deutschen relationship/sex/match Services zu sein. Mehr Informationen über Verbindung Spammers [Verbindungsspammers ] sind vom Register vorhanden.

Guerrillaz: A tdaxp Series

Earlier I promised a somber post on the mosque bombing in Iraq. But I don’t have the words for it. And I’m not a naturally somber person. Like a broken bell, the post would not ring true.


By random chance, while I was trying to think of how to write, I finally listened to Feel Good Inc, off the album Demon Days” by Gorillaz. For some reason the memory of Lady of tdaxp being surprised by the “incorporated” in the title was playing in my mind yesterday — I could not get the song nor her exclamation out of my head.

As I listened to their songs I came across their video, Clint Eastwood, and was blown away. Watching whatever I could find and listening to every track, this series appeared before me.

gorillaz iraq

In the coming days, tdaxp will host the series “Guerrillaz,” joining Embracing Defeat, Liberal Education, and OODA-PISRR as tdaxp tetraologies.

Part I, Feel Good Inc
Part II, 19-2000
Part III, Clint Eastwood
Part IV, Dare

I hope you enjoy.

Truth Extends Beyond the Borderlands of Science

The Structure of Science,” by Earnest Nagel, 1961.

Conjectures and Refutations,” by Karl Popper, 1963.

Social Theory and Political Practice,” by Brian Fay, 1975.

The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory,” by Richard Bernstein, 1976.

This is my first “reaction paper” for Scopes & Methods. The first third of this class has focused on how to write a research design. The rest focuses on the epistemology of political science.

The debating topic this week is ‘Just look at all of the advances made by science and you’ll know that the only way to understand human behavior is to study it scientifically. We are limited to two double-spaced pages. I have been assigned to the contrary team.

Those interested in Karl Popper, by the way, may wish to check out the Popper-themed blog, Conjectures and Refutations.

The answer: “Wrong. Just wrong.”

The question: “What are plagiarism, vandalism, and the proposition, ‘Just look at all of the advances made by science and you’ll know that the only way to understand human behavior is to study it scientifically’”?

As the readings show, that statement is wrong on five counts. First, it assumes that inductive thought is valid by itself. Second, it assumes the ability to ascertain absolutely knowledge. Third, it simplistically uses the word ‘scientifically.’ Fourth, even allowing all this, the statement does not provide for normative context. Fifth, the statement’s nonsensical gibberish.

First, as Hume said of intuition “even after the observation of the frequent or constant conjunction of objects, we have no reason to draw any inference concerning any object beyond those of which we have had experience.” There are two ways out of this mess, both of which are proscribed by the statement. The first would be to presupposed that inference — “just [looking]” — is a valid method, but then we are just looking and assuming. Or we may, as Popper does, add in trial-and-error, but then we are looking, trying, and erring!

Second, it is doubtful one can truly “know”. For example, in his defense of social sciences, Nagel qualifies the reach of all science. He acknowledges that objectivity seems to be the same as “relational objectivity” because all objective science appears to rely on perspective. One may trade perspective for another one, but perspectiveleess scientific knowledge appears to be impossible.

Third, as Popper said of science, science and truth are not the same thing. While there is considerable overlap, there is also a lot of difference. What is false can still be scientifically useful, as as Popper says “false theories often serve well enough: most formulae used in engineering or navigation are known to be false, although that may be excellent approximations and easy to handle, and they are used with confidence by people who know them to be false.” Also, recall Nagel’s remarks on the methodological limits of science. He writes that even radical exponents of behaviorism, a scientific form of psychology, “do not deny the existence of conscious mental states; and their rejection of introspection, in favor of the study of overt behavior, was controlled primarily by a methodological concern to base psychology upon publicly observable data.” The truth of conscious mental states do not make them scientifically valid, but their scientific invalidity does not make them untrue. Likewise, Bernstein writes that “few social scientists are willing to suggest that the study of [non-scientific] political and social philosophy has no value whatsoever.”

Fourth, even if all previous criticisms are ignored, the statement remains wrong because it assumes that what we see is beneficial. As Fay writes, “science deprives men of the old faith by which they lived and thus helps destroy the old social order…” and later “the emergence of a core of policy scientists would also support the rise of an active and centralized government.” The issue is not the normative value of the mental health of old people and local governments, to name just these two issues. Rather, normative context requires something outside of “just looking,” and the statement does not provide for any such thing.

Fifth, the statement itself makes no sense. It is clear that the original statement is not scientific, because there it does not make a falsifiable prediction. It is as self-serving as Freudianism or Individual Psychology. However, the statement claimed that the only way to know was scientifically. Therefore, if the statement is true, it is worthless (because of there is only the scientific avenue to knowledge, unscientific statements aren’t reliable guides). But if the statement is false, it may be true (because then non-scientific statements may be valid after all).

When it comes to positivist science-only extremism, “just say no!”

Positivism Notes

This posts is just the lecture notes over the same readings I used for my skeptisism of science debate. There’s more interesting stuff on this blog. Read that instead.

– paleopositivism: “we can positively know the truth”
– postpositivism/neopositivism: “we can approximate the truth”

“brute facts” / “brute data” – things can be observed without interpretation
– acknowledged by paleopositivists
– denied by postpositivists

Basic Tenants of Positivism and Science
1. Explanation and Prediction
2. Induction (paleopositivism) or Hypothetico-Deducation (postpositivists)
3. Objectivity
4. Knowledge is Cumulative (no single study is definitive)
5. Approximation of Scientific Method (experimentation)

Popper on Pseudoscience (Marxism, Freudianism, Adlerism)
Pseudoscience lacks one of the following
1. Observable Facts
2. Risky Predictions
3. Refutability
4. Testability
5. No Conventionalist Twists (personal skepticism of this) — seems like a word game
6. Criterion of Demarcation – difference between right and wrong – so cannot be fuzzy???

discussion of proper popper procedure with theory, hypothesis, and data

Mertin’s (Famous Guy’s) arguments
– argues social sciences are younger, less mature than physical sciences
– supports hypothetico-deductive approach

Nagel’s Counter-Arguments
1. “social sciences face additional obstacles”
– but Nagel says, natural sciences face obstacles too
– (astronomy doesn’t experiment, quantum mechanists effect things with observations, etc)
2. “social sciences are unique; social sciences need more context”
– but Nagel says, even if there are differences, that wouldn’t itself prohibit laws
3. “knowledge of social science becomes a variable itself”
– but this doesn’t prevent laws, and research suggests this factor is slight
4. “social science needs to study internal subjective states”
– then view response as an observable indicator of an internal subjective states
5. “there’s a social influence on our selection of problems”
– topics in all fields are chosen for some reason — that’s not a an argument against subjectivity
6. “social science makes value judgements”
– characterizing value judgements can be scientific (“unstable platforms,” etc)

Fay’s Alternative Argument
1. Finds Causal Laws
2. Gives us the power necessary for control
so social science is ultimately purposed to control the social environment
“only positive social science has the ability to prevent certain events from happening”
3. only scientific arguments are scientifically acceptable (but this is tautological — tdaxp)
4. so we’d argue over means not ends (??????) – HUGE point of departure here
– we all want “good” education, economy, crime-rates — but how to get to “good” (??????)
5. so political leadership becomes meritocratic (????????)
6. efficiency is the best scientific means (???????????????)
7. but “efficiency” is a value
8. and anyway, means and ends can become blurry
9. Positivism is inherently conservative (pro-status-quo)

A Quick Overview of Behavioralism in Political Science
– positivist, but also assumes
1. believe in an individual-level analysis
2. emphasis on quantitative empirical tests
3. Accumulation of Knowledge is slow and painstaking (so research is “boring and tedious”)
4. Humans are naturally social animals, so social, “non-political,” explanations are common
5. All theory is testable and utilitarian
(most of Midwest Behavioralist)

Miniature Political Science Literature Review and Research Design

After last’s semester International Politics class, I posted my literature review on geographical position and post-Communism. In a similar manner, I now post my preliminary lit review and research design for Geopolitics and IGOs.

While the text won’t be too important to anyone, I know at least one student who learned about journal articles from my last bibliography of a political science literature review, so I have included that below.

The weakest part of the research design — I realized I didn’t correctly operationalize my variables as I was handing it on. While it was graded, it was only a preliminary draft, so take it with a grain of salt.

Handed in, the paper was 10 pages, six of which were works cited.

Preliminary Literature Review and Research Design

Mackinder said, “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island.” Spykman Geopolitics is full of dicta, but such statements are unscientific unless they can be tested. This study will use intergovernmental organization (IGO) membership to determine the formal political connections between states, and test whether either of the above two geopolitical statements hold up to scientific scrutiny.

Geopolitical questions have been hampered by normative accusations. Charges of imperialism abound (Semmel 1958, Kearns 1999). Likewise its supposed use to denigrate certain nationalities (Gilbert and Parker 1969). Or more generally, “geopolitical discourse” is accused of being “political from the very outset” (Otuathail 1998). The critics of geopolitics sometimes associate it with racism and eugenics (Tyner 1999).

Yet geopolitics helped make geography a science by focusing it on the geographical dimensions of political science (Unstead 1949). Specifically, geopolitics helped explain human affairs (Dawson 1987). The geopolitician Halford Mackinder 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). Indeed, geopolitical analysis has survived changing constellations of great powers and technologies (Hooson 1962). Stable geopolitical concepts have emerged, even as geopolitical scientists disagree as to the exact nature of their relation (Harkavy 2001). Geography is a “conditioning factor” in many parts of politics (Spkyman 1938). The internal (Williams 1927) and external (Enterline 1998) nature of states are effected by geopolitical position, including in areas as serious as war (Midlarsky 1995).

A geopolitical explanation for international governmental organization building would not discredit, but would merely extend, existing explanations. Indeed, the “appearance of objectivity, rationality, and universality” [can underpin IGO’s] power and utility” (Picciotto 1999), so a function in one dimension for an IGO can underpin its function in another. For instance, take four major theories of integration: domestic politics, neofunctionalism, intergovernmentalism, and supranationalism (Corbey 1995). Domestic political perspectives range from claims that domestic politics leave open certain choices to arguing that nearly all foreign policy actions are reflections of internal politics (Lumsdaine 1996). Neo-functionalism “stresses the individual motives of actors,” which may accidentally lead to a “new central authority” because of a series of small steps (Haas 1970). Intergovernmentalism is similar, arguing that governments pursue their best interests, except that intergovernmentalism stresses the importance of treaties themselves while neo-functionalism holds that “treaty revisions invariable spark ‘spillovers’ that empower actors and generate policy dynamics that were unintended by the governments that signed them” (Garrett and Tsebelis 1996). Supranationalism may be summarized by saying that international organizations can themselves become “pro-integration, supranational entrepreneurs that stretch their authority as far as they can to further their own agendas” (Tsebelis and Garregt 2001).

Geopolitics does not refute any of these theories, but gives them flesh by allowing them to operate in a broader world. Private sector companies can push for, and get, their states to pursue geographic and geostrategic objectives (Hunter 2001). This can be indirect and aggregate (Pollack 1997), changing the nature of choices available to actors (Ruggie 1993) and thus are domestic political. Neofunctionalism clearly draws strength from geostrategic concerns, as one summary of neofunctionalism itself might be “the best way to reach peace is by establishing effective regional institutions” (Miller 2005). Intergovernmental, that is to say between state, politics often is informed by geostrategic views in the Caribbean (Griffith 1995), Central Asia (Khidirbekughli 2003), and Europe (Walters 2004). Likewise, one of the most powerful international governmental organizations, the European Union, is a supranational entity with strong geographic elements (Wood 2004).

It is possible that the enumeration strategy of this paper is misleading. The most powerful international organizations can sometimes have short life cycles (Dickenson 1920). The existence of international organizations can be deceptive, if it is not representative of some underlying regime (Haas 1983). Likewise, the number of international organizations has at times rapidly increased (Alger 1970), making analysis more difficult. In addition, it has often been difficult to even compile accurate lists of what international organizations exist, or of their membership (Wallace and Singer 1970). In short, this study may lack validity if membership in international organization is of questionable relevance to real power structures.

The thesis for this study is that states in the European Rimland are more likely to be in IGOs with states in the Heartland than with other states in the Rimland. The independent variable is the geostrategic nature of a state. For this study, geostrategic position is a categorical variable with two possible values: a state can be heartland, Rimland. States fitting neither value are outside the scope of this paper. Heartland is defined as those states who lay predominately east of the Elbe (Hooson 1962, Treivish 2005). For each, state there will be two dependent variables, both based on IGO membership. The first dependent variable will be the number of IGO-state relations if has with Rimland countries, the other will be the number of IGO-state relations it has with heartland countries.

This will be a quantitative study that uses information from the Yearbook of International Organizations, published by the Union of International Associations. The Yearbook has been used for intergovernmental organization membership questions (Barnett and Finnemore 2004, Willets 2001) before either directly (Onea and Russett 1999) or after modification (Shanks, Jacobsen, and Kaplan 1996). The Yearbook is publicly available for a fee (UIA 2006). It contains information on both IGOs created by governments and IGOs that are created by other IGOs.


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