Below are several of the papers I have prepared over the course of six years of university and law school. It may be foolish for me to be posting documents that were only proofread enough to be sent in to a professor, but they feature topics I found interesting and, well, maybe visitors who take the leap to sift through my prose will, as well. Enjoy!
In the 1970s, the one indivisible French republic attempted to "federalize" itself, distributing power down from the central government in Paris to the departments, regions, and communes. The idea was to be bring back a democratic spirit to the nation, increase civic participation, and enhance the legitimacy of the state. In the end, the first round of reforms just moved the technical levers of power around without increasing access to the state by the average Frenchman. Most French didn't even feel a difference. Of course, France continued to decentralize after a period of retrenchment, but that's another paper...
My final univeristy paper was one of my favorites to write. For a tragic war, the Falklands War is an astounding interesting topic: the conflict itself was absurd, and the American reaction pure comedy. The Reagan Administration was uncoordinating, working at cross purposes, and probably made the United States the biggest loser in a war it really had no need in which to participate. The Administration managed to mishandle each and every segment of the conflict, and American political ineptitude is always a fun thing to learn about when one is on his way out of school.
Until The West Wing, I was sadly unaware of M. King Hubbert or his oil production projections. The idea that the world could face an oil crisis even with plenty of oil in the ground!?! Hubbert projected that production would follow a bell curve. After the peak, production of oil would be unable to keep pace with demand, ending the petroleum age and sending everyone back to the Dark Ages. Drill, baby, drill?
Georges Sorel's philosophical writings, blending the line between turn-of-the-century Marxism with nascent fascism, reflects how the two ideologies are really something of two sides to the same coin. Sorel began as a socialist, eventually was adopted by the Italian fascists as a something of a founding father, and was ambivalent to both political ideas at his death in 1922.