Geopolitics, International Relations, Power, Realism, Strategic thinking

State Power in the International Context: What it is and Why it Matters

I am currently editing some pieces which are too long to put in a normal blog post. To make enable us to distribute these pieces more widely beyond this website, we’re putting these longer pieces out as “Rautaki Books Occasional Papers Series”. The first paper, on “State Power in the International Context” can be downloaded below. We hope you enjoy …


Brain, Cognition, Intelligence, Leadership, Literacy, Reading

Reading and thinking: Some thoughts for professionals

In my last article, originally posted on LinkedIn, I shared some thoughts on digital media, sleep and ‘traditional reading’. In this one I’ll pitch in some thoughts on reading itself: what important activities are happening when we read, and because we read, and how this relates, on a macro level to our whole human-ness, and, at micro, to our minute-to-minute ability to function and thrive …


Sleep

Beyond the obvious, ‘sleep’ is one of the great necessities, and great mysteries, of the human condition. Sleep, books and reading are all interwoven. Before I go to sleep tonight, a post to share from me on “Managing the digital disruption on your brain: read a book!” on LinkedIn. Enjoy!

Strategy in Art #2: The Tomb of Martin Vázquez de Acuña

Continuing our musings on strategy through the prism of art, we here have one of the most famous Gothic sculptures in Spain, the tomb of Martin Vázquez de Acuña in the Catedral de Santa Maria de Siguenza, in the ‘city’ of Sigüenza, Guadalajara, central Spain. While the great military historian and strategist Martin Van Creveld is generally dismissive of the …

Billy Connolly’s Reading List

Recently we reviewed Billy Connolly’s Made in Scotland: My Grand Adventures in a Wee Country on our YouTube channel. As I say in the video, I normally avoid the celebrity autobiography genre like the plague (actually I approach all autobiographies cautiously). There are some notable exceptions, a post for another day, but many of the celeb genre are vacuous, self-serving …

Book-lovers radio: BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time

In 1998, BBC Radio 4 began broadcasting a series focused on the broad notion of ‘the history of ideas’. The series was to have a simple format; host Melvyn Bragg would bring in two academics to discuss and nail down the essentials of a particular topic in history, science, culture, philosophy and religion. Each episode would be thirty minutes and …

“An aura of knowing eccentricity”: James Jesus Angleton, the godfather of mass surveillance.

In addition, the book has a higher-level of knowledge to impart; a contribution to the long and rich contemplation by Mankind on human motivation, power, honour, virtue and duty, right and wrong. In the character of Philby, presented in full depth and nuance by Macintyre, there is much material through which to ruminate on these great themes.

Colonel Bernd Horn, Canadian Forces: Professional Reading and Army Education

Colonel Bernd Horn (Ret), PhD, Canadian Forces (CF), is a true ‘warrior-scholar’. A retired Regular Force infantry officer and military educator, Dr Horn has authored, co-authored, and edited more than forty books, including The Military Leadership Handbook (Co-edited with Dr Robert Walker), Way of War: The SOE and the Canadian Connection and No Ordinary Men: Special Operations Forces Missions in …

Robert Lacey: ‘The Kingdom’ and other works

We’ve uploaded a new video to our YouTube channel celebrating some of the publications by the excellent English historian (and historian of England), Robert Lacey. While the video is mainly focused on Lacey’s English history publications, particularly the superbly accessible and fun Great Tales from English History trilogy, we mention the impact his writings on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia …

Eight Questions on Reading and Leadership for Rear Admiral James Goldrick (Ret), Royal Australian Navy

I had the pleasure some time ago of corresponding with Rear Admiral James Goldrick, RAN on reading and leadership development. At the time I was quite immersed in the subject from an Army perspective so Goldrick’s thoughts, captured here, were a very useful corrective. Before retiring from a distinguished naval career Goldrick was a noted scholar, writes beautifully and with …