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The War on Terror Must Not Be Won: Heretical Hypotheses on the Suicide Engine

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It is imperative for the West that the War on Terror not be won, yet it is also certain that the War on Terror will be won, a victory for the West which simultaneously signifies its defeat. This state of

It is imperative for the West that the War on Terror not be won, yet it is also certain that the War on Terror will be won, a victory for the West which simultaneously signifies its defeat. This state of affairs is not paradoxical, but catastrophic, and as is argued in the course of this essay, the War on Terror is the logical and necessary terminus of the Western project and its attendant metaphysic. Beginning with Marx's analysis of the commodity in Das Kapital, it has become increasingly clear that the West (and for that matter, the rest of the world) is succumbing to a regime of simulation, in which reality is liquidated in favor of increased inertia of circulating signs. Using Jean Baudrillard's infamous critiques of the postmodern society as a guide, the following essay examines the emerging forms of terrorism and their relation to Western social structures, ultimately concluding that the West is on the brink of an abyss which is marked by the advent of the anonymous act of terrorism.

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2015-05

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Building an Identity: Exploring the Relationship between Colonial and Georgian Architecture to Colonial Culture in Old Virginia in the Seventeenth Century to Eighteenth Century

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The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important

The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between architecture and history in Virginia from 1607 to the eve of the American Revolution to create a complete historical narrative. The interdependency of history and architecture creates culturally important pieces and projects the colonist's need to connect to the past as well as their innovations in their own cultural exploration. The thesis examines the living conditions of the colonists that formed Jamestown, and describes the architectural achievements and the historical events that were taking place at the time. After Jamestown, the paper moves on to the innovations of early Virginian architecture from Colonial architecture to Georgian architecture found in Williamsburg. Conclusively, the thesis presents a historical narrative on how architecture displays a collection of ideals from the Virginian colonists at the time. The external display of architecture parallels the events as well as the economic conditions of Virginia, creating a social dialogue between the gentry and the common class in the colony of Virginia.

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2015-05

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Is the "Special Relationship" Still Special? The Politics and Role of Anglo-American Relations since 1980

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This research looks at the state of Anglo-American political relations since 1980. By examining the political partnerships between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown,

This research looks at the state of Anglo-American political relations since 1980. By examining the political partnerships between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, and Barack Obama and David Cameron, it explores if the so called ‘special relationship’ remains so special today in a world of growing political animosity and challenges. The thesis argues that the success of the ‘special relationship’ between the United States and United Kingdom has not been just due to similar political ideologies or goals, but also personal friendships which often overcame national interests or immediate personal political gain. Furthermore, it is often the periods of disagreement between these sets of leaders that helped strengthen the relationship between America and Britain, evidenced by episodes like the Falklands War, policy towards the Soviet Union, the invasion of Grenada, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ultimately, the thesis explores how current relations have deteriorated due to problems on both sides of the Atlantic under the Obama, Brown, and Cameron administrations, but the research concludes that the special relationship is, while damaged, alive and fixable.

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2015-12

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The Charismatic Leadership of Abimael Guzmán: The Influence of Charismatic Authority on Peru’s Shining Path

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Abstract

The Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso, is peculiar among Latin American revolutions for a multitude of reasons, ranging from the intensity of its violent tactics to the group’s muddled Maoist ideology. Analyses of the group tend to label it

Abstract

The Shining Path, or Sendero Luminoso, is peculiar among Latin American revolutions for a multitude of reasons, ranging from the intensity of its violent tactics to the group’s muddled Maoist ideology. Analyses of the group tend to label it a mystery or an enigma. The purpose of this thesis is to offer the charismatic nature of the authority wielded by Abimael Guzmán, the energetic leader of the group also known as Presidente Gonzalo, as an explanation for some of the Shining Path’s idiosyncrasies, particularly their relentlessly bloodthirsty rise and sharp decline. Although much of the previous literature on the Shining Path uses the word “charismatic” to describe Guzmán, very little work has analyzed the particular implications of the successful creation of a charismatic leader-follower dynamic as a key part of senderismo. Using the framework established by German sociologist Max Weber, this paper analyzes a number of major characteristics of charismatic leaders and applies them to Guzmán. Not only did he exhibit many of the typical features of a charismatic leader, but it may have been is successful development of this particular style of authority which led to both the bloodthirstiness of Sendero’s military arm and the group’s struggle to find an identity after Guzmán’s capture. The Shining Path followed the power arc expected of a charismatic leader-follower relationship, allowing Guzmán to exploit the peasant population to create chaos and fear in the Andes in his effort to bring about a “popular revolution.” The purpose of this paper is not to discredit other theories regarding Sendero, as it was largely a sui generis movement, but to argue several of its particular qualities can be attributed to the charismatic nature of Presidente Gonzalo’s authority.

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2013-05

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Cultist terror groups: Dividing out a subset of religious terror.

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In this paper, I define a religious-political phenomenon called cultist terror groups. A cultist terror (ct) group is a nationalist insurgent organization which employs extreme, ritualized violence, and establishes a cultist doctrine, commonly borrowing elements from established religions. IS, or

In this paper, I define a religious-political phenomenon called cultist terror groups. A cultist terror (ct) group is a nationalist insurgent organization which employs extreme, ritualized violence, and establishes a cultist doctrine, commonly borrowing elements from established religions. IS, or the Islamic State, is the latest example of a cultist terror group. This paper examines and contextualizes IS by analyzing death cults throughout modern history, and contrasts these case studies with violent, religious, political groups that do not meet the heuristic characteristics of a cultist terror group. Cultist terror groups are so named to drive home the idea that these groups belong to a subset of the broader, religious terror (rt) group category. The paper aims to discern the key components of cultist terror groups that distinguish these groups from other violent, religious groups with political goals (a political theology). These include identity and strategy components. Specifically, it presents a concise set of hypotheses about how cultist terror groups create in-group solidarity (e.g., through synchronous activities), recruit members, prevent defection, select targets, and how these aspects differentiate cultist terror groups from other violent religious organizations with political theologies.

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2016-12