Ep.10: Diplomacy and Anarchism in the 21st Century with Carne Ross



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Episode on Diplomacy, War, and Anarchy

In Episode 10 of the Hidden Forces podcast, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Carne Ross. Carne is the founder of Independent Diplomat, which advises dozens of democratic countries and political groups on using diplomacy to achieve their foreign policy goals. In his former capacity as a British diplomat, Carne worked on the Middle East, the global environment, weapons of mass destruction and terrorism. He served in British embassies within Germany, Norway, Kosovo, Afghanistan and the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York, where he was Britain’s Middle East expert. Carne was also chief speechwriter to the British foreign secretary. Carne Ross resigned from the UK Foreign Service in 2004, after testifying and giving secret evidence to the UK’s first official inquiry into the Iraq war. Author of two books on world political affairs, Carne is a frequent commentator on international affairs on the BBC, NPR, CNN, Al Jazeera and elsewhere. Carne has also written for the New York Times, the Financial Times, The Nation and many other publications.t

In this episode, we explore the world of modern diplomacy from the end of the Cold War and the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, through the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, all the way to the Syrian Civil War and the rise of ISIS. We explore the limits of modern diplomacy and how national politics constrain our capacity for addressing global problems. We address the legitimacy of the state and question our relationship to authority. How much are politicians, technocrats, and global elites responsible for the populism and outrage on display in countries like France, Britain, and the United States? Is there a better way forward, and what can history and technology, teach us about the possibilities for new forms of self-governance and organization in the 21st century?

Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas
Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou

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Reading List on Diplomacy, War, and Anarchy:

Books on Diplomacy, War, and Anarchy:

Independent Diplomat: Dispatches from an Unaccountable Elite by Carne Ross
The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century by Carne Ross
Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell

Diplomacy, Henry Kissinger
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, Paul Kennedy
Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, Dennis Merrill & Thomas Paterson
The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski
America and the World: Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski
The Post-American World: Release 2.0, Fareed Zakaria
Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World, Ian Bremmer
Why Geography Matters: Climate Change, The Rise of China, and Global Terrorism, Harm de Blij

The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle, Robert Fisk
Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, Chalmers Johnson
America’s War for the Greater Middle East, Andrew J. Bacevich
The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War, Andrew J. Bacevich
Stripping Bare the Body: Politics Violence War, Mark Danner
War is a Racket, Smedley Butler
The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet, James Mann
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, Thomas E. Ricks
State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III, Bob Woodward
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Lawrence Wright
Orientalism, Edward Said
Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror, Mahmood Mamdani

Yeltsin’s Russia: Myths and Reality, Lilia Shevtsova
Why Did The Soviet Union Collapse, Robert Strayer
The Soviet Political Mind: Stalinism and Post-Stalin Change, Robert C. Tucker

Articles, Papers, and Videos on Diplomacy, War, and Anarchy:

TED Talk by Carne Ross on Accidental Anarchy (Ted Talks)
The Anarchists vs. the Islamic State (Rolling Stone)
Chilcot Report: How Tony Blair Sold the War (NY Times)
The Kurds’ Democratic Experiment (NY Times)
Power to the people: a Syrian experiment in democracy (Financial Times)
Kurdish women fighters wage war on Islamic State in Iraq (IB Times)
Rojava Alliance: links to articles on Anarchist Experiment in Kurdistan