take-home exam

Prof du Toit het vir ons hierdie enetjie uitgedeel vanoggend om 8h30. Dit sal ons werk wees vir die naweek. Dinsdag om 16h30 gee ons ons maksimum 15 bladsye in… ek post dit hier want… ek weet nie… omdat ek verstom is deur die scope daarvan!!! Hy haal so half sy skouers op en se “jy’s teen hierdie tyd ‘n expert in een of ander veld… span dit in en beindruk my”.

Tall order vir hierdie jack of all trades.

On the last page (p. 673) of his book War in Human Civilization, Azar Gat concludes as follows:

“People continue to compete vigorously over scare objects of desire… As conditions have changed dramatically and for those for whom they have changed (original emphasis) the violent option – the hammer – in the human behaviour “tool kit”, has become less practical whereas the more peaceful tools have been growing in significance.”

The conditions favourable to the use of peaceful tools he identifies (again on p.673) are “the growth of industrial-technological affluent liberal society going hand in hand with deepening global interdependency and mutual prosperity.”

In the preceding chapters he had already identified the factors that may adversely affect the further spread of  conditions that favour peaceful conduct over violence.

These include:

– The rise of China, Russia and India, as illiberal, authoritarian or even totalitarian regimes with considerable economic power, more or less capitalistic,  but who coalesce into a rical block, a new “second world” to oppose the “liberal democratic zone of peace”.

– The inability or unwillingness of coutnries at the edge of the libral democratic peace to become more democratic, and more liberal, and who then shy away from the liberal democratic zone, and gravitate towards this new “second world”.

– The persistent presence of the forces of ethnic nationalism, in whatever imagined form, that feed on the evolutionary predispositions of kin-based affinity, and the unpredictability of where these forces are likely to emerge.

– The spread and use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, (WMD) by illiberal actors, whether states, terrorist movement, failing/failed states, or even disaffected individuals.

Examine these rival sets of forces within a global context, with a view to the future (short, medium and long term): on the one hand, the pacifying effect of liberal capitalist modernity, and on the other, the forces listed above. In assessing these forces, consider

– whether you would like to add to list of factors that inhibit the growth of the affluent liberal-democratic zone of peace;

– whether you would revise and modify his framework (i.e., the definition of the various rival categories and hwo they will shape and re-shape themselves); and

– identify pivotal countries, regions and events that may impact on the stength of these rival sets of forces.

Comments waarin jy jou perspektief op die vraag gee is welkom vanaf Dinsdagaand! Ek’s bitter nuuskierig om te sien wat julle dink.

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