Political Scientists

Michael Walzer: Political Theory and Social Criticism

Michael Walzer

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Michael Walzer, Professor Emeritus of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, who reflects on his intellectual journey. Topics covered include: the influence of his parents; his Jewish upbringing; his education at Brandeis; Harvard, and Cambridge; his tenure at Dissent and the impact of the protest movements of the 1960's. Walzer compares the work of a political theorist and that of a social critic. He analyzes humanitarian intervention and drone warfare in the context of just war theory. He also discusses the aftermath of the...

Micah Zenko: Limited Military Action in the Post-Cold War World

Micah Zenko

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Micah Zenko of the Council on Foreign Relations for a discussion of his book, Between Threats and Wars. Topics covered include the political goals of US foreign policy after 911, the unique qualities of non state threats to American security, the efficacy of discrete military operations for dealing with these threats,the development, role, and limits of drone aircraft technology, and the conflicting views of the military and civilian officials on the use of limited military action.

KEYWORDS: National Security.

Leslie H. Gelb: Power, Ideas and Foreign Policy in the 21st Century

Leslie H. Gelb

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, for a discussion of his new book "Power Rules: How Common Sense Can Rescue American Foreign Policy." Gelb analyzes what power is, demonstrates how most American leaders fail to understand it, and explains how the demons of ideology, domestic politics, and arrogance lead to its misuse. Gelb also examines two problems--the international economic crisis and the Afghanistan Pakistan crisis and offers suggestions to President Obama about how he should proceed to avoid the pitfalls...

Laurence R. Simon: Global Poverty, Development, and Social Change

Laurence R. Simon

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Laurence R. Simon of Brandeis University for a discussion of the role of non governmental organizations in addressing global poverty. Topics discussed include the conflict between focused aid and national security interests, religion and development, public advocacy and education addressing global poverty, and lessons learned from his three decade career as a practitioner working to address problems of global inequality.

KEYWORDS: Inequality, Development.

Kenneth Waltz: Theory and International Politics

Kenneth Waltz

On this edition of Conversations with History, UC Berkeley's Harry Kreisler talks with renowned political scientist Kenneth N. Waltz, about theory, international politics, and the U.S. role in world affairs.

KEYWORDS: Theory, Power, Realism, State Power.

Kenneth Jowitt: The Individual, Charisma and the Leninist Extinction

Kenneth Jowitt

Conversations with History and Host Harry Kreisler welcome UC Berkeley political scientist Kenneth Jowitt who discusses charisma, Leninism, and democracy.

KEYWORDS: Comparative Politics, Leninism, Democracy, Theory, Revolution.

Wolfram Hanrieder: Germany

Wolfram Hanreider

Conversations Host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor Wolfram Hanrieder for a discussion of German politics during the Cold War and in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

KEYWORDS: Germany.

Trita Parsi: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran

Trita Parsi

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, for a discussion of his new book "A Single Role of the Dice." Parsi analyzes President Obama's intentions toward Iran and how they were transformed by the politics of his tactics with its emphasis on the dual track of engagement and sanction. He discusses the various factors that impacted the negotiations between Iran and the U.S. including the domestic situation in Iran and the influence of Israeli goals. He also places the relationship in the context of the changing strategic...

Theda Skocpol: Obama, the Tea Party, and America’s Political Future

Theda Skocpol

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard's Theda Skocpol for a discussion of America's political future. After reflecting on her intellectual journey, Professor Skocpol focuses on her new books, "Obama and America's Political Future" and "The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism" (co-authored with Vanessa Williamson. Topics covered in the conversation include her strategy in studying political and social transformations, her analysis of the Tea Party and its long term impact on the Republican Party, and the reasons for President Obama's failure to meet...

T.V. Paul: Nuclear Weapons and International Conflict

T.V. Paul

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Professor T. V. Paul of McGill University for a discussion of the non-use of nuclear weapons since the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Paul analyzes the India-Pakistan conflict and possible routes to stabilization. He alo looks at the factors that account for why the great powers have not used nuclear weapons since WW II and examines the changing international environment that lowers the threshold for use.

Key Words: Pakistan.