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C-SPAN Book TV Interview on ‘Living With the UN: American Responsibilities and International Interests’

If you’re interested, I’ll be on C-SPAN Book TV tomorrow, Sunday, February 24, at 1:20 pm, talking about my book, Living With the UN: American Responsibilities and International Order.  It runs about half an hour, and though I have no idea whether I’m especially interesting on the program, I very much enjoyed doing it – I thought the interviewer was terrific (and I can’t seem to find his name on the website) and asked excellent questions.

The book itself has three agendas.  The first is to sketch out an account of international relations in which the US has a dual role in the world system – as both hegemonic actor and biggest player in the UN system.  The UN system of collective security is guaranteed by the US as the hegemon that provides important global public goods – a large part of the world can pay lip service to UN collective security, but at the end of the day depends upon the US.  The book’s second agenda is to give an account of the UN and its deep dysfunction.  The book’s third agenda is to give a critique of the Obama administration’s dealings with the UN – a quite sharply critical one.  The book urges the US to deal with the UN on the basis of its distinct parts and functions – always to engage with the Security Council; selective engagement with particular organs of the UN that work reasonably well; and disengagement with parts of the UN that are always going to end in trouble.

The book came out from Hoover Institution Press in mid-2012, but I think seems surprisingly more relevant in the second Obama administration.  I plan to start blogging on topics related to US-UN relations, of which there are many these days.  Here is [...]

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C-Span’s Video Archives — Another Great Internet Time Waster

Over the last year or two, C-SPAN has been putting its archived shows online. As I understand it, the ultimate goal is to make every non-copyrighted program that has ever appeared on C-SPAN online, available for free whenever you want to watch it. Incredible, isn’t it?

There’s lots of great stuff on there already for the law-geek set. For example, you can watch the confirmation hearings of then-Judge Anthony Kennedy in 1987, with then-Senator Joe Biden presiding over the Senate Judiciary Committee. Or maybe you want to watch the entire Bork hearings a few months earlier? Alternatively, watch Justice Scalia giving reflections on the Constitution in 1988, when he was a pretty new Justice. Whatever your interests, C-SPAN has many hours of law geekery for you.

More great stuff will appear when the rest of the archives are put online. Just sticking to espisodes in 1988 alone, it would be interesting to see President Reagan’s address to the Federalist Society; this post-retirement interview with Justice Powell; and this debate between Charles Fried and Paul Bator on whether the Separation of Powers is dead — a topic then in play in light of Morrison v. Olson, handed down just two months earlier. All of it will be available eventually. There’s a button at the top of each of the pages that you can click to ask C-SPAN to consider making that video available sooner rather than later, so feel free to search the archives and make some requests. [...]

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