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07 September 2009 @ 06:34 am
Back into college  
Why, it's rather been a while, hasn't it? This week marks me going back to college after months of being very unproductive. Here's some of my classes for this semester: "Armed Forces and Society", a small series of lectures inspired by the effects that the Afghan war effort has on Dutch society. It will take a look at how past conflicts have influenced society and how this is happening today in different countries. Should be interesting. "Nations and States in Europe". A comprehensive look at the development of the nationstate with lots of guest lectures from different areas of expertise. "Brazil Global Power". A special course on the political process of Brazil from the nineteenth century onward to global predominance. And "From Sail to Steam" (a bit of an awkward translation, it sounds better in Dutch), a history of Dutch sea power, which, you might know, was mostly based in trade.

Also, I'll be writing my Bachelor essay (for lack of a better term) the next two months. I'm not sure if this works the same in the English-speaking world but over here, one has to conclude the Bachelor degree with a lengthy essay. I've chosen to write about the First Anglo-Afghan War for which I'm currently reading Malcolm Yapp's Strategies of British India. Surprising fact so far: up until the late 1830s, the British had thought about using Iran as buffer against the presumed territorial ambitions of the Russians (who, really, weren't all that into conquering India). Only when the Persians sided with the Russians to invade a little piece of Afghanistan did the British turn their focus to the latter to use to halt Russian expansionism. I haven't decided yet what I'll be focusing on specifically, the actual military endeavour or the diplomatic efforts, or, do as Yapp does, placing the invasion of Afghanistan in the broader perspective of British Middle Eastern policy. That might be slightly too ambitious for the essay though. I'll try and keep you updated!