Introduction

“War is the continuation of politics by other means.”  Carl von Clausewitz (Prussian general and military theorist)

In this series of lectures, we began with England in the ninth century from whence come our cultural and political values. We traced how those values led to the development of the Westminster system of Government. We looked at how that system came to Australia, and how it works in Australia.

In lesson seven we looked at how free trade agreements are used to overcome state sovereignty and transfer economic control to the largest multinational companies. We touched on hidden influencers such as the secret services, and we looked at societal conflict between traditional and liberal views of humanity and nationhood.

We then considered contemporary mass social movements, and the importance of activism in shaping public attitudes; and we noted how activism differs from terrorism.

We move now to the international scene and consider what major forces are shaping international events.

Typically, in the media international events are presented in a disjointed random way – a war here, a terrorist attack there – but is there a coherent backstory? What are the main drivers behind international events? Do they fit into a coherent narrative? What is shaping and shaking the current world order?

These lessons on the international scene will give you both the background information and the analytical tools to understand events as they take place. What you do with that understanding is up to you.

But first some warnings.

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