Mark Blyth: Austerity – The History of a Dangerous Idea

March 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Mark Blyth: Austerity – The History of a Dangerous Idea is one of the best lectures on political economy, explaining the historic role of public debt, that I’ve heard. The beginning is slightly tedious, as it’s hardcore economics, but it gets much better as Blyth explains the economic crisis and the politics behind austerity.

 

Life and Ideas of Amartya Sen

March 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

The following video is a documentary on the life and ideas of Dr Amartya Sen. For more watch his Conversations with History interview.

The Syria Test

March 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

Two weeks back on Radio Open Source I debated Prof. Stephen Walt of Harvard on intervention in Syria. It was 3 am for me, so I wasn’t as coherent or articulate as I’d have liked to be.


With Iraq and Afghanistan bleeding in our rear-view mirror, is there a case still to be made for American intervention with anything more than words in Syria’s miserable meltdown? The news and pictures from Syria are perfectly awful – sarin gas against civilians succeeded by barrel bombs on Aleppo, millions of Syrians on the run, all varieties of torture, targeting of children and doctors, a death toll in two-and-a-half years of warfare approaching 150,000, and no end in sight. But is there anything like a constructive case for American intervention?

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Chris Hedges: The Myth of Human Progress and the Collapse of Complex Societies

March 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist specializing in politics and society, spoke at Moravian College on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. Hedges is the seventh Peace and Justice Scholar in Residence at Moravian College. His talk was drawn from his most recent book, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt.

James Scott: The Art of Not Being Governed

March 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

The author of several books including Seeing Like a State, Professor Scott’s research concerns political economy, comparative agrarian societies, theories of hegemony and resistance, peasant politics, revolution, Southeast Asia, theories of class relations and anarchism. We talk with Professor Scott about his newest book, The Art of Not Being Governed. It is the first-ever examination of the volumes of literature on state-making that evaluates why people would deliberately remain stateless.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

March 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

I am reading Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. It is not only the best book in the space exploration genre, it is one of the best book’s I’ve read generally. On the nature of dreams, determination, wonder, and commitment, there are some wonderful insights. Despite his extraordinary achievements in space, Hadfield remains down to earth. He has wit, a wonderful sense of humor, and a real knack for telling stories. He also delivers his insights on life without sounding didactic. I’m only a quarter of a way in and so far it’s been a pleasure. Check it out: you’ll enjoy it.

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Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask

March 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

The documentary film, Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask, explores the life and work of the psychoanalytic theorist and activist Frantz Fanon who was born in Martinique, educated in Paris and worked in Algeria. Examines Fanon’s theories of identity and race, and traces his involvement in the anti-colonial struggle in Algeria and throughout the world.

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