Mari kita mulai: Selamat hari jadi emas, PERBARA!
Asumsi dari studi hubungan internasional adalah bahwa potensi bahaya itu [konflik, perlombaan senjata – ed.] bisa dikurangi dan kemungkinan untuk menciptakan perdamaian bisa ditingkatkan, asalkan umat manusia mau melakukan sesuatu demi tujuan itu. […] Pengkaji ilmu hubungan internasional sangat merasakan mendesaknya kebutuhan untuk berbuat sesuatu demi menghindari perang dan meningkatkan perdamaian.
– Mohtar Mas’oed (1994: 28).
When I was working on my undergraduate thesis, one of the key concepts that I attempted to define was “Asia-Pacific.” Indeed, this is more than just a name of a region. There are different ways to define this region, and indeed, there are different names used in reference to this very same region. On this post, I will mention some of the definitions that I manage to gather, just to give a comparison on how defining one region may be very different (a form of construction, maybe?).
International Relations has not been very kind to Indonesia lately.
This article, written by no less than my professor (and my thesis advisor) highlights one of the latest problem to Indonesia’s ‘a million friends, zero enemies‘ foreign policy. To add more insult, the problem happens to one of Indonesia’s closest friends: Singapore. In many respects, both countries have excellent relations, not to measure both countries’ status as founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a fact well-known to many.
Basically, I’ve been reading a number of references for the study of International Relations (IR) and IR theories for the past few days. And in these same few days I’ve discovered a lot of things I previously didn’t know about Realism – practically the dominant theory of IR – and sort of ‘converting’ me back to being a realist.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars (Goodreads)
Jerusalem: The Biography is not your ordinary history book. While most history books focus on dates and events, Jerusalem focuses more on the people that build this city. I share Sebag-Montefiore’s fascination on this magical city, yet Sebag-Montefiore drives the fascination to a whole new level. I’ve read other books on Jerusalem, including Karen Armstrong’s Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths and I find Sebag-Montefiore’s Jerusalem to use different approach that may not suit everyone’s taste. You may think that the book lacks in details about Jerusalem’s history, yet again, the approach used by Sebag-Montefiore is not merely the city’s details, but on how Jerusalem becomes Jerusalem, how the people along its history – David, Jesus, St. Helena, Muhammad, Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, Baldwin, Suleiman the Magnificent, Benjamin Disraeli, Theodore Herzl, Chaim Weizmann – defines this city. The story aptly stops at the Six Days War, arguing that to continue means the book will be endless. I can clearly justify Sebag-Montefiore’s approach as unique and somewhat rarely found in history books.
In these few years, I turn myself to the e-book technology, and as what I’ve written before, e-book technology is becoming a very interesting trend. I complete the technological adaptation with the Kindle 3 (now known as Kindle Keyboard), which I purchased in 2011. And of course, a good gadget requires a good case. Last week, I changed my old Kindle case with something beautiful, that looks like a real book, from a company named Pad and Quill.