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News Political Academia

  1. Jun 12, 2012 #1
    With all this recent happening in the world (middle-east) I'm interested to know what's the attitude of academia from all of this? What are political scientists and professors point of views? How do they give advises to decision makers? Because I have a thought... :)
     
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  3. Jun 12, 2012 #2

    Evo

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    Are you wanting comments specifically on the middle east? A lot is going on, what specifically did you want feedback on?

    I am not aware that we have any political scientists here, if there are, they have kept themselves a secret. Why would a professor's opinion mean any more than any one else's opinion? Professors do not randomly give advice to "decision makers" in governments, if that's what you mean.
     
  4. Jun 13, 2012 #3
    Not necessarily ME but since there's more crap happening it would be an ideal place to discuss. Lets say I'm a president of some place and I wanted an advice whether to make a war or attack or impose sanctions...etc. I would call some professors and ask them what to do? or usually presidents and kings are all qualified with high degrees so they can analyze things and make the good decision for the good ppl. For example, I want to protect some ppl of XYZ country so I did some analysis and decided to take some actions to protect the world from bad ppl because I'm in power and can do it. Or is it not like this?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2012
  5. Jun 13, 2012 #4

    Evo

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    No, it's not like that at all. You would have a staff of advisors. Of course it varies from country to country, but rulers always have at least a close circle of advisors on their staff, then a larger network of advisor/specialists in different departments. And cut out the obscene words.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  6. Jun 13, 2012 #5
    Sorry for my bad spelling, these words do really look bad.

    I see. But are not advisors academic and professors specialized in political science? Otherwise how could they do good decisions?

    The reason I'm curious is that many decisions made are just as obscene as my words or worse, preventing bloodshed by creating another bloodshed, to benefit oil and weapon greed and creeps.
     
  7. Jun 13, 2012 #6
    Most governments/big companies (e.g. finance) have political researchers. You should be able to find some reports written on ME events by these researchers. Sometimes, you would come across reports written by professors also. I don't know much about how professors research and these "political researchers" are related. It is likely that professors working as researchers for these government organizations or big companies.

    You can find about the organizations who research on ME issues from this thread:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=555666

    I assure you that everyone has not only one but many many thoughts about ME :smile: You can go search some ME related threads here and add your views in those threads also.

    P.S. If you search you will likely find policy research institutes for almost any country in the world, even Pakistan:
    http://ipripak.org/intro.aspx [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  8. Jun 13, 2012 #7

    Evo

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    No. For example in the US, the President has an appointed cabinet that act as his advisors. He doesn't pick up the phone and call professors to ask if he should invade a country.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_of_the_United_States

    Take our current Secretary of State, she went to law school.

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/115321.htm

    You might want to do some research.
     
  9. Jun 14, 2012 #8

    Ryan_m_b

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    As Evo says it really depends on the government but there's probably not too much variance in western democracies. In the UK there are various appointed government advisors that sit on different panels or are called upon as necessary. They can be from anywhere; academics, industry, religions, charaties etc. When the government wants advice on something (and this is very general, as with any large beaurocracy there are endless different procedures) it tasks some MPs or Lords to lead a committee to do the research. They may take on board experts or liase with existing committees of advisers and they may go on to do some actual research as in literature searches, polls etc. They then finish a report listing everything that they've done and concluding with their advice, they then present this to whoever needs it (generally a department headed by someone on the cabinet). A caveat to this is that there are various special advisers in most branches in government that are the go to people for various problems but they are generally the first and not the last step in the process.

    It seems to me that the way you are thinking is a century or more out of date. In the days of monarchy it was common for a King/Queen to have a handful of trusted advisers within their court that they would ask but ultimately the decision was theirs. In a modern beaurocratic democracy a prime minister or even president is not an elected absolute leader who does everything and can do anything, they massively delegate through an organisation (senate, congress, parliament etc) which in turn delegates to all branches of government. When they want to do something they have to have the majority of that organisation backing them up or else they will be in for a tough time.
     
  10. Jun 14, 2012 #9
    Hmmmmm.... :confused:

    I thought when it comes to critical decisions regarding international affairs they have to consult professors so they can give the right advice. But sometimes other factors play important rules so they decide to not involve professors...anyway

    But lets say a decision made and the ramifications were disastrous, do they punish whomever they consult? For instance give him/her crap, or take them to court?

    Or is it always good because they know whatever the consequences are they are okay with it?

    It seems more complicated than I thought.
     
  11. Jun 14, 2012 #10

    Ryan_m_b

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    They don't have to consult experts but they generally do because if they didn't and it went wrong it would make them look very incompetent.
    As far as I can think of there aren't any ramifications for being wrong or giving bad advice beyond geting a bad reputation. The exception to this is if you lied in parliament or in a legal setting but I doubt this comes up. Besides governments are meant to investigate issues thoroughly so unless a multitude of independent experts from disparate fields as well as all the civil servants conducting the research are lying then they should have a broad picture.
    There are various controversies where experts have said things that oppose government policy and they have been fired because of it;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Nutt#Dismissal
     
  12. Jun 14, 2012 #11
    This is really getting beyond my brain capabilities. I cannot comprehend how complicated the process is...now I can see how it works.
    Thanks all for cleaning my brain from conspiracy theories...
     
  13. Jun 15, 2012 #12
    Are these advisers independent or they just echo current government's opinions?

    Does CIA consults the research institutes? How much political academia contributes to the public foreign affairs office? Or does foreign affair office have their own political research institutes? How much political research work from CIA/Foreign affairs office is used by the politicians? At this moment I cannot find the name of US political research institute. But I have seen high quality work produced by these guys. IIRC they have some articles from early 2000s analyzing the problems in the Libya. But most of us seemed surprised to see how things changed so fast last year.

    These are some generic questions I always wondered about. Sometimes, it appear politicians make decision in complete ignorance e.g. underestimating efforts in Iraq etc or seeing Arab spring as a surprise.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
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