Saturday, December 22, 2007

A very interesting website: Conversations with History

Conversations with History is a website that contains video interviews of:
distinguished men and women from all over the world that talk about their lives and their work. Guests include diplomats, statesmen, and soldiers; economists and political analysts; scientists and historians; writers and foreign correspondents; activists and artists. The interviews span the globe and include discussion of political, economic, military, legal, cultural, and social issues shaping our world. At the heart of each interview is a focus on individuals and ideas that make a difference.
It is produced at the Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley.

Besides the video interviews, it also provides the text versions. So, I find it pretty useful in getting to know the background and the learning experience of the most distinguished scholars of my field of study--IR, IPE, and Economics. For example, I've found Robert O. Keohane, Joseph S. Nye, Kenneth N. Waltz, Samuel P. Huntington, John J. Mearsheimer, etc, in it's interviews.

Before watching the interviews, these names, although showing up numerously in textbooks or papers, were just names for me. But after watching each interview, the theories and the person connect. The implicit meanings and logics of their theories are clearer(for me) than ever. Furthermore, they talk about the tools, virtues, and advices that are beneficial for students that are interested in their field of study.

I find it quite useful. Therefore, I'll try to introduce some of the academics in the following weeks by order of the top 25 IR scholar list I mentioned before. Basically, I'll point out some interesting background or milestones of the scholars, and make some excerpts from the interviews.

I'll start out with Robert O. Keohane.

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