Monday, October 29, 2007

Perestroika and the Israel Lobby

This article [via] about political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita includes a brief overview of the Perestroika movement in APSA, and reminds me how prominent among the Petestroikans were... Steven Walt and John Mearsheimer. At this point I find it a little odd to see both (or either!) of them mentioned in an article that's not at all about The Lobby-- which is of course unfortunate.

I wonder what there is to say about the path from Perestroika to The Israel Lobby. I think that there's something; I don't think this is mere coincidence. But I'm not sure what that something should be. There are cheap things that could be said about rigor, but I don't think they're the right things to say-- and, after all, while I'm no Perestroikan, I'm certainly not a rigorous scientist by BBdM's lights either. (I also don't think that the connection is to be found in M&W's ostensible martyrdom for free speech and intellectual openness about the Lobby, likened to the Perestroikan struggle for openness back then, though perhaps they think so.)

Something to puzzle over. Readers who can squint just right and see what the relationship is between M&W 2001 and M&W 2007 are encouraged to let me know.