James A. Chisem

Freelance Writer 


History. Politics. Football.

Social Science Talks Science Fiction

[031] Social Science Talks: 1984, by George Orwell

"‘It was a bright cold morning in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen…’ After much pressure, and the election of Donald Trump, we finally get round to covering 1984 by George Orwell. How does the book hold up today? Do we use the word Orwellian too much? And is there something distinctively English about Orwell’s writing? It’s a book that has come up a lot recently, so join us as we desperately try to stay on topic and fail miserably."
Mallard

The Case for Realism and Restraint in British Foreign Policy

"Don’t get me wrong, balancing interests in a multi-national, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-faith society is really hard. It takes time and patience. It involves a lot of listening. It means swallowing and digesting hard-truths. It requires folk to sit down with people who they don’t like again and again to hammer out a compromise that falls ten miles short of their personal or collective utopia. Above all, it demands maturity and a willingness to sacrifice. And in the end, it might fail. But one day, if it works, it will have been worth it, and we’ll be glad that we decided to lead by example and not through force."
Ordinary Times

Scientific Knowledge and Power Politics

"[T]he value of this document goes beyond arcane historiographical debates: it highlights the tension which exists between idealism and realism, ethics and exigency, erudition and governance; it gives us a remarkable insight into the role of scientific knowledge in the world of Machtpolitik; and it reminds us that states and governments are not monolithic entities. For these reasons, students of history, strategy, and international relations all have something to learn from the GAC report of October 1949."
Medium

America at the Oil Crossroads: Problems and Prospects

"In order to function effectively, all modern industrial societies rely on being able to continuously obtain vast amounts of inexpensive energy. This is particularly true of the United States as the sole superpower in a uni-polar international system. Oil, as the dominant national and global energy resource, is the pivot upon which American industry, transportation, and agriculture are based and remains essential to the stability of global markets, upon which US domestic and international interests depend."
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