Saturday, April 10, 2004

another quick post since i haven't posted for a while, other than replying to comments about tea and Windows. (i remain a Windows user, but perhaps not for long...-cue ominous music-) have just emerged from a nice 20-lap swim in our lovely new pool (ok, so it's almost a year old but what the heck, this is only the second time i've been in it) and am killing time in the Reg before having lunch with alex before he takes off to visit fiona, joshua, edward and co at Upenn. (leaving me with a weekend free to wreak havoc with my girlfriends. oh wait. it's Easter weekend. leaving me with a friday night and a saturday free to wreak havoc with my girlfriends.)

week has been a chaotic, but thoroughly enjoyable mess. this quarter's gonna be much better than last, i feel. i really do do a lot better when there is more pressure (external pressure, since i am patently incapable of applying pressure to myself) rather than less, from classes. =) so a full load of reading-and-writing (not problem set) classes is working really well, lots of motivation, plus i really like the professors. Mearsheimer is awesome, as is Jim Leitzel, and i am loving the whole EU thing with Sebastian.

the readings for Sebastian as well as for the East Asian Security class have suggested some avenues for my BA to wander down re: integration. they point out the relative lack of institutionalisation in East (and by extension, Southeast) Asia. ie the alphabet soup is more of a thin gruel, to paraphrase someone -i forget who at the moment. Freidberg, maybe, in "Ripe for Rivalry". so perhaps i might do something on (a) why lack of current institutionalisation in Asia - also something about the thickness and robustness of existing institutions such as APEC and ASEAN; and (b) what's the future for institutionalisation in Asia. is there something intrinsically different about Asia, as some authors like David Kang seem to contend, that make theories based on the European nation-state fail to describe Asian international politics? i don't happen to think so. in part because i believe that people are people are people regardless of skin colour, hair colour, height, so on so forth. ie if it's human nature that drives the IR train, as Mearsheimer puts it, then the IR train is going to be the same wherever there ar e humans. i happen to think that any current differences result from a different socialisation and concept of community -as i wander dangerously close to constructivist grounds- and as those ideas change -become more Westernised- so will the outward expression of our politics.

anyways, just something for me to think about. in the meantime it's lunchtime and i am starving. the after-swim-lack-of-hunger has worn off with a vengeance!


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