Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Belated happy new year

I'm afraid I've been away from blogging and pretty much everything else until this past weekend, when I finally finished up the book ms. I was working on. It will require a lot of rewriting, but I was relieved to finally get a first draft complete and sent off to the editors. That meant working straight through the holidays, I'm afraid. I never did manage to send out holiday cards or anything, although I might try to gird myself up to send out New Year's cards even late, since they are all sitting here. On the other hand, the number of papers and things that piled up while I was writing is terrifying.

The tentative title of the book, to come out from Rowman & Littlefield as part of the Hoover Studies series at year end, is A Politics, Not a Society: The United Nations, Global Civil Society, and the Legitimacy of the International System After Global Governance. My Spies report that it can't possibly fit on a book cover. I'm awfully bad at titles, anyway.

Meanwhile, I'm pleased and honored to say that Opinio Juris blog has invited me to one of its guest respondents this week while it has John Bellinger, the legal advisor to the State Department, as its guest blogger. This is a very cool concept - John has written several illuminating posts, and the responses have been very thoughtful. Eric Posner has written a couple of posts, as have others besides the regular Opinio Juris cast of stars. I'm very pleased to able to join in. Check it out at Opinio Juris.

I am still finishing the grading, I'm embarrassed to say. And classes, of course, have begun - although, I normally do my three big classes in the fall and teach a special seminar in the spring, this time around on theory of the just war. In that class we are reading at the moment a selection from Robert O'Connell's Ride of the Second Horseman, which is his account of the rise of war in human pre-history and history. It is speculative, but very thought provoking. I reviewed it for the TLS when it first came out in the mid-1990s, at SSRN, here. The class relates to the papers I have hanging over my head ... a short piece, mostly done already, on the law of proportionality jus in bello; parts of it have been posted in bits and pieces on this blog back during the Hizbollah war. And I'm also finishing a short essay offering three different readings in moral philosophy of Sherman's famous "war is hell."

Which I've also written about a bit on this blog. So when I think about the relationship between this blog and scholarship, I tend to think of it as what my philosophy teacher, Philippa Foot, used to encourage - a commonplace book for jotting down ideas, some of them just bits and pieces, others half baked, for working out at greater length. Why one would put it in a public blog is a good question. Of course, I'm just as likely to post something related to the family Christmas tree or about electric cello.

One of my new just war theory students told me I knew way too many sci-fi movies. I got a DVD for xmas of the Buffy first season - I'd never seen any of them, ever, since we don't have broadcast TV or cable in the house - don't worry, we're not deprived, my kid has untold numbers of DVDs, and given her mother and her's partiality to chick flicks, if I never hear the theme song to Friends or Gray's Anatomy, it will be too soon - anyway I had never seen Buffy. It's very cute, and my kid is hooked. As, let's be honest, are her parents.

Okay, check out the exchanges over at Opinio Juris. I have to do some more grading and then get some sleep.

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