Interview: Social Science Talks Science Fiction

Matthew Campbell (MC) is a PhD student at Aberysywyth University’s Department of International Politics, where he researches Global Health Security. A well-rounded geek, Matthew is one half of the team that runs ‘Social Science Talks Science Fiction’, a podcast mixing politics with pop-culture. Atlantic Bulletin editor James Chisem (JC) interviewed him on 24th April. JC: ​First off, can […]

Can the Security Dilemma Explain Actual Conflicts?

By James A. Chisem

The concept of the security dilemma describes how it is possible, given the “existential uncertainty” which the condition of international anarchy produces amongst states, for violent conflict to arise between two or more actors even when neither has malign intentions towards the other.[1] Although the idea appears in text as far back as the fifth century BCE in the writings of the Greek intellectual Thucydides, the term only entered the academic lexicon after John Herz concretised it in his 1950 treatise ‘Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma’.[2] In the decades since then…

History, Theory, and the Iraq War

By James A. Chisem

There is a famous scene in the popular television show Family Guy in which the main characters, Brian the dog and Peter Griffin, take time out of a road trip across America to visit Ground Zero in New York City. Since the significance of the location is obviously lost on Peter, Brian attempts to clear things up. “Peter”, he says, “this is the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks”. Slightly less bewildered, Peter replies, “Oh, so Saddam Hussein did this?” Brian responds with a deadpan “no”. “The Iraqi Army?” offers Peter. Once again, Brian answers in the negative. Peter’s questions follow the Iraq route further until…