Paul Poast Profile picture
Tweeting to teach. International Relations scholarship and Foreign Policy. @UChicago Prof. @ChicagoCouncil Fellow. @WPReview Columnist.
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Mar 26 32 tweets 9 min read
Does International Law matter?

Don't look at the ICC (though we all have lately).

Instead, look at -- and I know this is going to sound very "in the weeds" -- the Montreal Protocol's Multilateral Fund.

[THREAD] Before getting to the Multilateral Fund, I should briefly touch on the ICC.

The ICC's indictment of Vladimir Putin for crimes against humanity has generated a lot of debate about whether international law can be enforced.…
Mar 18 27 tweets 9 min read
Why did 🇺🇸 invade 🇮🇶 in 2003?

It wasn't because Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat. It was to prove a point.

[THREAD] As many are aware, Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

Lots of pieces are being written to mark the anniversary. The range of views in those pieces suggests that debate over the war is far from over.…
Mar 11 16 tweets 5 min read
We all hate switching to "Day Light Savings Time" every year.

So why do so many countries do it?

It's because of "The Great War". Time for a War Economics lesson.

[THREAD] Image Before we talk about war, a bit of background.

We're used to time-zones, all set according to deviations from the "Prime Meridian"... Image
Mar 4 22 tweets 7 min read
The Prisoner's Dilemma shows that cooperation in international politics (and other areas) is hard.

But it's not right, nor is it useful.

That's what Harrison Wagner taught us.

[THREAD] In the 1970s and early 1980s, game theory -- a tool for deriving the consequences of strategic interactions -- became the rage in international relations scholarship.

In particular, LOTS of work was applying the Prisoner's Dilemma...
Feb 27 9 tweets 4 min read
I'm a @UChicago international relations professor and I strongly disagree with John Mearsheimer's views on the War in Ukraine.

Here's why.

[Short THREAD] JJM's been saying a lot about the war from the beginning. And folks have been listening. Most recently 👇

Feb 25 24 tweets 7 min read
A year ago, I identified two conditions that would determine the course of the 🇷🇺-🇺🇦 war.

A year later, let's revisit those two conditions and see what they suggest for the road ahead.

[THREAD] I identified the two conditions in this thread from the first day of Russia's invasion.

Feb 22 13 tweets 5 min read
Interstate War. Armed Conflict. Militarized Dispute.

How are they different? What do they mean for the 🇷🇺-🇺🇦 war?

[THREAD] Many are writing this week about the one-year anniversary of Russia's full invasion of Ukraine.

There are simply too many excellent contributions to summarize, but @ForeignAffairs has a nice collection of essays.…
Feb 21 11 tweets 4 min read
Since "Article 5" is trending, here's a quick overview of what it ACTUALLY means.

[THREAD] Why is it trending?

In his speech today, Biden referred to the US commitment to NATO article 5 as "rock solid".

Feb 18 25 tweets 7 min read
International Relations scholars know that the truth is out there 👽🛸

[THREAD] ICYMI: Last week, 🇺🇸 F-22 fighters shot down three objects flying over North America.…
Feb 11 23 tweets 8 min read
The tragic earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria offers lessons about the value of (and limits to) diplomacy.

[THREAD] I'll start the international politics lesson in the next tweet. But many people are suffering due to the earthquake. If you wish to help, consider donating to one of the many NGOs providing assistance, such as @AKUT_Dernegi.

Feb 4 28 tweets 8 min read
Why are folks freaking out about the China Balloon?

Realism has answers.

[THREAD] ICYMI: yes, there is a big balloon from China hovering over US territory. PRC officials say it's for "civilian research". USA officials says it's for "military surveillance".…
Jan 31 17 tweets 5 min read
The economics of warfare suggests that Biden will eventually approve sending F-16s to Ukraine.

Why? A THREAD. For those not familiar, Biden simply answered "no" when asked if the US would send F-16s to Ukraine.…
Jan 21 33 tweets 9 min read
What book did the most damage to International Relations as an academic discipline and why is it "Clash of Civilizations"?

[THREAD] This 🧵 is my answer to a great question posed by @HistoryNed 👇 (&, based on the comments, "Clash" is the answer of several others as well).

Jan 14 24 tweets 8 min read
Let's talk about tanks.

Specifically, why they will help Ukraine now and why rumors of their "death" were greatly exaggerated.

[THREAD] Tanks have been discussed throughout the entire Ukraine-Russia War. But the debate heated up recently (well captured by the "Free the Leopards" campaign) with various NATO countries deciding to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine.…
Jan 7 21 tweets 7 min read
How do wars end? Must the parties sit down and negotiate?

Big questions with immediate relevance. To begin answering them, no better place to start than the underappreciated work of Berenice Carroll.

[THREAD] Carroll was trained as a historian, with her dissertation (and first book in 1968) focusing on the Nazi War economy,...…
Dec 24, 2022 35 tweets 10 min read
This is your annual reminder that "Die Hard" is the perfect Christmas movie...for understanding how Americans view international politics.

[THREAD] Honestly, the entire "Die Hard" series is great for learning about how American's perceive the world.
Dec 17, 2022 28 tweets 8 min read
What is "Ontological Security" and what does it have to do with Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

Pretty much everything.

[THREAD] Before bringing in the "Ontological" part of "Ontological Security", what exactly is "security" in international relations? 🤔
Dec 10, 2022 31 tweets 10 min read
Yes, European Integration is about peace.

Peace WITH Germany, full stop.

[THREAD] In this clip from a @TimothyDSnyder lecture, Snyder says that the common story of European Integration is that the Europeans, after WWII, realized how "peace was good and war was bad." The solution was to (paraphrase) "trade our way to peace."
Dec 7, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
No "IR Book of the Week" this week because it's time for my "IR Book of the Year!" Candidates are the various "Books of the Week" during 2022.

My "IR Book of 2022" is "A Small State's Guide to Influence in World Politics" by @tomlongphd.… Honorable Mention is "Before the West" by @AyseZarakol.…
Dec 4, 2022 26 tweets 7 min read
Until this past week, I had never heard of "Baloney Realism".

Is "baloney realism" actually "Realism"? Time to #KeepRealismReal.…

[THREAD] The heart of Cohen's piece is to criticize calls for a negotiated settlement/peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

As the piece succinctly states at the end, "pass the ammunition and to stop talking about talking."
Nov 29, 2022 41 tweets 11 min read
Since I'm wrapping up "Intro to International Relations" this week, here is a THREAD of the scholars and writers the students meet throughout the lectures (in the order they appear).

First up, John Maynard Keynes, "Economic Consequences of the Peace"… Norman Angell, "The Great Illusion"…