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John J. Tierney Jr. is a Professor Emeritus at IWP and Former Special Assistant and Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
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“A quarrel in a faraway country, between people of whom we know nothing”

The title here is one of the most famous (infamous?) statements ever made in the history of world politics. It was said by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain on September 27, 1938 in reference to the growing British anguish over German Chancellor Adolf Hitler’s ambition to take Czechoslovakia. In retrospect, it characterized the foreign policies…

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Statue of Liberty

Liberty as Foreign Policy

  In 1775, in a Richmond church, Patrick Henry gave the reason for the American Revolution and, subsequently, the explanation for any American political independence in the first place. “Give me liberty or give me death” was described by one man in the audience (Thomas Marshall, father of the first Chief Justice, John Marshall) as…

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World Map

Anarchy vs. Government

From the time “recorded” history began (6,000 BC), all societies on earth have lived in something we call “government,” including aboriginals, tribes, and indigenous groups. “Anarchy,” being “without authority,” is impossible for any form of society and normally refers to a temporary breakdown of order, as in civil disturbance, revolution, protest, strike, etc. Whether society…

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Portrait of Corporal Adolf Hitler during his stay in a military hospital, 1918

Why Study World War I?

In an evaluation of my class “History of International Relations” (taught 48 consecutive semesters at The Institute of World Politics) one student wrote that “Professor Tierney spent too much time on World War I.” This was meant as a “negative” review, as “too much” was literal and, by definition, a complaint. As usual in such…

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Concepts of World Politics

All the “Social Sciences” have certain “concepts” that identify, clarify, or define their social/political boundaries and separate them from their competitors. The world of sociology, for example, will use concepts such as race, tribe, nation, etc. that dominate its own field; economics and political science do the same, etc. This doesn’t mean that the various…

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