Category: Publications (Page 1 of 3)

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My long essay reviewing “Against Democracy” in Quillette

If you haven’t read “Against Democracy” by Dr Jason Brennan, then you should. It’s provocative, and thought provoking, and raises some important point.

He also wrote an article about it here in National Interest.

I can see why he is nominally correct in diagnosing the problem of modern democracy. There’s some merit in Brennan’s argument. The comments under his essay are eye opening and somehow validate his thesis, in the sense, none of the commentators perhaps even read his entire essay but went on to opine anyway. To rephrase Churchill, a significant argument against democracy is a five minutes scroll through any online comment board.

Anyway, enough of it. Read my full review, here.

A Palestinian girl bites the hand of an Israeli soldier, as he tries to restrain a boy for throwing stones, during clashes in August, 2015. (Google)

The flaws of Track Two Diplomacy between Israel and Palestine

Review essay: Understanding the methodology and applicability of the Track Two study on Israel Palestine by Maoz, Kellen and Bekerman

(This was part of a paper I was working on, and I write about why and how the track two diplomacy exercises are essentially flawed and lacks validity and reliability.

Citation: Maitra, S. “Review essay: Understanding the methodology and applicability of the Track Two study on Israel Palestine by Maoz, Kellen and Bekerman”, University of Nottingham, 2016)


 

Israeli Palestinian conflict has been judged through the prism of classical IR and diplomatic theoretical framework. While Israel Palestinian peace research has been dealt critically, with case studies featuring the 1993-2000 Oslo peace process, and literature regarding the causes and nature of Israeli Palestinian conflict, methods to establish peace, impact of the peacemaking methods on the conflict, and the role played by outsiders; there has been huge literature devoted to methodological barriers in peace process between the two conflict groups. In this essay I particularly focus on a specific single indepth case study which deals with a recent track two diplomacy exercise in a participant observation framework.[1] It is difficult within the scope, size or ambit of this piece to deal with the details of the entire literature of Israeli Palestinian peace process, but hereinafter I would focus on the track two diplomacy paper by Maoz, Kellen, Bekerman where I would review, analyse and discuss the structural and methodological rigor and debate of track two diplomacy between Israel and Palestine and if it could be applicable to other conflict management processes across the globe.

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Weekly Reading List: So, I got published in War on the Rocks and Nottspolitics

Big week, as I mentioned before, with a couple of major publications coming, other than my regular columns.

To start with, the biggest one till date, my essay on War on the Rocks, where I write a Neo-Realist critique of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s latest revisionist history lesson. And was then called a Neo-Con for some reason, in the comments. But that’s another issue.

The second big one was my guest post at the official blog of the University of Nottingham, Dept of Politics and IR, where I talk about a foreign policy course for Philippines and how it should balance between China and US.

Other than that, here are my weekly columns.

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GUEST POST: What to Look for In a Publisher (and a Contract) – Dr Laura Sjoberg

From the Editor: We at Bombs and Dollars were planning for a while to have academics and policy mavens write guest posts, which we thought will be good for early career researchers.

We present the first post, by Dr Laura Sjoberg, Associate Professor, at the Dept. of Political Science, University of Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @DrLauraEsq


 

What to Look for In a Publisher (and a Contract)

About a week ago, I posted about book publishing in academia. I’ve gotten responses from a number of people, both interested in more information and happy for the first post. If its useful to even one person, I want to answer as many questions as I can with the information that I have – so I’m making this a follow-up post. I’ll focus it around two main question that I got in response to the first post – what should I look for in a book publisher, and what should I look for in a contract.

The bad news is that there’s not one answer to either question. The good news is that there are both some strategic things that it is useful to know and some shortcuts to finding out your answers to the questions.

So, first, what do you want in a publisher? This, of course, depends. Like I talked about briefly in the last post, there are some universals about this. You never want a publisher you have to pay to publish your book, and you always want a publisher that has a genuine interest in your project as a project and you as an author. But beyond that, it depends on where you are, what options you have, and what you need from it.

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Weekly Reading List: All about foreign policy Realism.

Hi everyone, been long we had a Weekly Reading List! Not weekly anymore, unfortunately, as I am busy with my work and research, but as Easter break is approaching, and I will be immersed full time in my PhD thesis, here’re a few articles which I want to leave you guys with, which I wrote in the last one month.

JIR2016_1First, the big one.

My research paper got published, titled “Was Putin Ever Friendly to the West?”: An Expository Study of the First Two Terms of President Vladimir Putin, In Light of the Theories of Realism. (Journal of International Relations, Faculty of International Relations, University of Economics in Bratislava 2016, Volume XIV, Issue 1, Pages 58-92. ISSN 1336-1562 (print), ISSN 1339-2751 (online) Published 15. 3. 2016)

You can download the full paper here.

Aurangzeb_in_old_age_2Secondly, most of you would remember I wrote a comparative piece on how modern Russia is like seventeenth century India under the Mughals? I went a bit further and compared Putin and the medieval Indian emperor Aurangzeb. (Which, incidentally got a nice review here!)

I wrote two articles on Russia-Direct, the first one on how unlikely it is for Russia to actually invade the Baltics, and the second one on the fact that Russia and US is not in any New Cold war, but just a usual Great power rivalry with competition and cooperation happening simultaneously.

I also wrote one long essay for The Interpreter Magazine, on how contrary to popular belief, Obama is not a Realist…infact he doesn’t seem to understand what Realism in foreign policy means.

With regards to my weekly columns, here are they. 

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New Paper : “Was Putin Ever Friendly to the West?” March, 2016.

“Was Putin Ever Friendly to the West?” : An Expository Study
Of the First Two Terms of President Vladimir Putin, In
Light of the Theories of Realism

(Journal of International Relations. 2016, Vol XIV, Issue 1, Pgs 58–92.)

Download the whole paper HERE.

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Weekly Reading List: THAAD and EU MES to China

Apologies, for I have been busy PhD-ing. Some big news will come soon, so watch this space!

Also, we will welcome some big contributors as well.

Meanwhile, here’re some of my pieces. As you know, I haven’t been writing regularly either…I honestly have been busy as hell with my own research. But hopefully everything will be regular again soon!

Here’s the first, a lighthearted read of an Indian celebrating the Chinese New Year.

The second one talks about how an EU MES grant to China might change Euro economy.

And the third one debates why THAAD in South Korea is essentially a waste of money for the United States.

Happy reading!

Weekly Reading List: Brexit and Chinese Economy

I talk about how Brexit would or wouldn’t influence China. Not that I am saying Brexit would happen, but merely inferring that how China sees this entire debate. My piece here.

Also, I am critical of Soros predicting the demise of Chinese economy. I mean, Soros does it occasionally, on Russia and China…and predicting doom about China happens every week…so that might give you an idea of how these predictions are working out. My piece here.

 

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Was Putin ever a friend of the West? — New working paper published at SSRN

Realism and the Rise and Decline of Putin’s Rapprochement with the Bush Administration after 9/11

Sumantra Maitra takes on conventional wisdom with his Working Paper Series for SSRN. Here’s the abstract:

It is a common notion among a lot of analysts, including but not limited to Dmitri Trenin of Carnegie Moscow, that Vladimir Putin was a “friend of the West,” and that due to causal and structural reasons, like Iraq War, NATO expansion, Eastern Europe missile defenses and oil price index, he turned into a revanchist ruler that he is today.

I argue, that was not the case, and this essay highlights that he was always a shrewd Realist, on a tactical alignment with the West, looking to chart his own course at his earliest convenience. The study of this time period, of Putin’s first two terms, highlights the importance and suggests future policy course in dealing with him.

This paper is expository and tests the theory of Realism with Russian actions under the first two terms of Vladimir Putin, which broadly coincides with the George W Bush Administration.

Download the full paper here.

Suggested CitationMaitra, Sumantra. Working Paper Series : “Was Putin Ever a Friend of the West? Realism and the Rise and Decline of Putin’s Rapprochement with the Bush Administration after 9/11” (Dec 16, 2015). Available at SSRN – http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2704623 

Weekly Reading List: China in Africa, and Le Pen wins in France

Apologies, my week was brutal, with conferences, seminars, presentations, and research training. But I managed to write my two pieces somehow…so here they are.

  1. The Far Right march continues in Europe, and France is the third largest country to fall, after Hungary and Poland. With the rise of xenophobia and borderline fascist rhetoric rising on both sides of the Atlantic, it might be an interesting year in 2016. My first weekly column.
  2. However, one good news, for Realists across the world. As Kenneth Waltz stated, power begs to balance itself, it seems China is now firmly and irrevocably being entrenched in Africa, as not just the biggest economic balancer but also a security provider. For a continent which has seen it’s fair share of violence and poverty, it is a welcome development. My second weekly column.

 

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