02 June, 2008

Some Links

In lieu of a substantive post, here are some links:

International Development

My old friend and quaffing partner "wwhyte" discusses international capital flows, based on a chunky PDFed article by Brad DeLong to which he links. With the US economy in trouble, there could be net capital flows to Third World countries. This may or may not be a good thing. Actual capital investment (you know, money coming in to build productive resources etc.) can often be the kind of thing less developed economies need. Hot money (fast moving liquid cash) and portfolio investment (purchasing of shares and bonds) can however be problematic in such environments, as they create instability in a system unable to manage it.

d'Hondt or D'Hondt

Matthew Søberg Shugart ponders The Great Debate – how do you spell the name of the guy who invented the d'hondt system for seat allocation in proportional electoral systems. Like most people in Ireland, I first became aware of d'hondt in the context of government formation in Northern Ireland. During the years of peace process & political paralysis, there kept being a lot of talk of "triggering d'hondt", meaning that the parties would get an allocation of the places in government based on their representation in the Assembly. They then picked the government positions one by one; I'm not sure if d'hondt covers this.

A Sensible Path on Iran

Zbigniew Brzezinski and William Odom talk about Iran, arguing that the more pressure the country is put on, the more likely it is to develop nuclear weapons. This is hardly an orginal argument, but it is well-stated here. Brzezinski & Odon also discuss countries that gave up their nuclear weapons programmes, typically without external pressure. I suppose part of what makes this all interesting is its broadly Realist bent, and its sense of the limitations of US power.

Fringe Thoughts

The brainy sociology blog of people I know. Sociology is an interesting discipline… looking at it from the outside, it all seems very leftist. That's not a bad thing in and of itself, but it might marginalise sociology somewhat. I wonder are there any right-wing sociologists (by which | mean not Nazis but people who aren't leftists - you know, people do not believe in the desirability or possibility of radical social change).

I am basically revealing my ignorance of sociology here, as I have not really engaged with it since I left it behind for the questionable benefits of political science and economics. I don't even know what sociologists argue about with each other. Maybe they have transcended disagreement.


Adam said...

Iran's case needs understanding before they become the monsters which they are currently being made.

These Iranians have more in common with races in India and Russia whom they have seen them develop nuclear related technologies. It's just psychologically acceptable that they also follow their brethrens in order to be on level par with the rest of them.

Just as the Caucasian races followed after one another in the development of nuclear weapons, it should not be surprising that all Asians follow the route of India and Pakistan.

Since Iran is currently seeking such technologies for civilian purposes, it is surprising that they are being pushed to secrecy due to Caucasian threats. These threats will cause them to abandon the civilian program and seek to weaponise themselves with nuclear and respective delivery systems.

Randy said...

Um, "Iran" meaning "land of the Aryans"?

ian said...

Adam, I am not really convinced by your strange racial arguments.