Interests & Concepts

Interests & Concepts by Nayef Al-Rodhan


Interests

  • Geostrategy and Sustainable National and Global Security
  • The Role of Science, Aerospace and Strategic Technologies in Geopolitics and Human Destiny
  • Global Strategic Cascading Risks
  • Global Justice, Human Dignity and Transcultural Synergy
  • Philosophy of Good Governance, Philosophy of Human Nature, Philosophy of History and Collective
  • Civilisational Triumph
  • The History of Ideas
  • The Neurochemical and Cellular Foundations and Predilections of Human Nature and their Implications for Global Discourses and Moral and Political Cooperation

Blogs have impacted numerous facets of international politics including elections, media reporting from zones of conflict and corporate and congressional policies. They also have potentially significant implications for policy making of the future and for national and global security. This has led to the claim that blogs deserve the title of the “fifth estate”, following an analogy with the other four estates that influence modern policy shaping: executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the state and the media.

(see The Emergence of Blogs as a Fifth Estate and Their Security Implications by Nayef Al-RodhanReference of my work on blogs as a fifth estate for the movie TheFifthEstate 

 


COLLECTIVE CIVILISATIONAL TRIUMPH

The triumph of all geo-cultural domains and sub-cultures.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)


 

 

 

 

CULTURAL VIGOUR

Cultural resilience and strength resulting from mixing and exchanges between various cultures. Since human beings have by-and-large the same genetic make-up, all of humankind is motivated by the same things and arrogance, injustice, exceptionalism and exclusion are not only unfounded but misguided and hinder humankind’s potential for synergistic progress and prosperity. Indeed, cultural and ethnic diversity, which contributes to what I call cultural vigour, is an advantage to humankind’s future survival, strength and excellence in a similar way to molecular/genetic diversity in nature, which produces “hybrid vigor” and thus strength, resilience and the potential for a problem/ disease-free future. Cultural and ethnic diversity needs to be thought of as benefiting humanity’s future, survival, strength and excellence. It promotes what I call cultural vigour similar to the way in which molecular/genetic diversity promotes “hybrid vigour” in nature and thus strength, resilience and a higher potential for a problem/disease-free future.

(see “emotional amoral egoism” and Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)


DEFINITION OF GLOBALISATION

Globalisation is a process that encompasses the causes, course and consequences of transnational and transcultural integration of human and non-human activities.

(see Pillars of Globalization by Nayef Al-Rodhan)


 

 

 

 

EMOTIONAL AMORAL EGOISM

A theory of human nature that views human nature as largely influenced by neurochemically mediated emotional self-interest.
 

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 

EMOTIONAL SELF-INTEREST

Self-interest driven by neurochemically mediated emotions. Human behaviour is governed primarily by emotional self-interest focused initially on survival and, once achieved, domination. These facets of human nature are a product of genetically coded survival instincts modified by the totality of our environment and expressed as neurochemically-mediated emotions and actions. Reason, reflection and conscious morality are comparatively rare. What I call emotional self-interest constitutes a major driver of human nature. Measured self-interestmay, of course, have a number of positive consequences, including cooperation under some circumstances. However, excessive general self-interest risks leading to deception, criminality and conflict. In order to minimise its harmful effects, mechanisms need to be put in place that check unregulated general self-interest. Good governance should, for example, include adequate checks on government powers and effective law enforcement, as well as the defence of human rights and their extension to include basic physiological needs.

(see “emotional amoral egoism” and Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

FEAR (SURVIVAL) -INDUCED PRE-EMPTIVE AGGRESSION

Aggression prompted by survival instincts in situations where basic needs are not met. History has shown repeatedly that humankind is capable of unthinkable brutality and injustice. This is often a result of what I callfear(survival)-induced pre-emptive aggression, which may occur no matter how calm the situation appears, although it is not necessarily inevitable. Moreover, where there is injustice that is perceived as posing a threat to survival, humankind will do whatever necessary to survive and be free. In such instances, “might” (military or otherwise) may not prevail or be the optimal solution. Since we cannot rely on human beings to be moral, anarchy and situations of near-anarchy should be prevented at all costs. The sense of fear that such circumstances engender in people will result in fear(survival)-induced pre-emptive aggression, brutality and injustice, and these eventualities must be prepared for. Even in nonanarchic situations, survival instincts are very powerful and may be incited instantaneously. The risk of aggression and brutality needs to be minimised through confidence-building measures and inclusiveness.

(see “emotional amoral egoism” by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

FIVE DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL SECURITY

Human, environmental, national, transnational and transcultural security.

(see The Five Dimensions of Global Security by Nayef Al-Rodhan

 

 

 

 

 

GENERAL THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE

A theory of human nature called “Emotional Amoral Egoism” that views human beings as primarily motivated by survival instincts that are emotionally based, pre-disposed through genetic make-up, mediated through neurochemistry and affected by personal, societal, cultural and global states of affairs.
(see “emotional amoral egoism” by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 INCLUSIVE PEACE AND SECURITY

While state, regional, and multilateral institutions are vital actors in the fight against transnational threats, the belief here is that their approaches could be made more effective if closer collaboration at a number of levels was sought. Herein eight factors are introduced that perhaps deserve greater emphasis in policies and practices. They are: (1) awareness; (2) empowerment and sustainable development; (3) respect and tolerance for diversity; (4) good governance; (5) global justice; (6) transcultural synergy; (7) multilateralism; and (8) cosmopolitanism.

(see A Proposal for Inclusive Peace and Security by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

JUST POWER

The employment of a state’s soft and hard power tools in the service of justice. “Just Power” argues that the promotion of justice should be the aim of modern statecraft, not for altruistic reasons, but because it is the only sustainable way that states can promote progress and stability in a globalised world. The concept of just power holds that state power needs to be employed in accordance with basic principles of justice at all times. This needs to be done not necessarily for moral reasons, but because it is the only sustainable way to promote national interests and achieve national security. By promoting justice and thus the interests of the international community as a whole, a state will be able to make its influence over others sustainable and achieve its own national interest.

(see Neo-statecraft and Meta-geopolitics by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

META-GEOPOLITICS AND THE SEVEN CAPACITIES OF STATE POWER

A substrate of neo-statecraft that takes into account seven interconnected capacities of state power: (1) social and health issues; (2) domestic politics; (3) economics; (4) environment; (5) science and human potential; (6) military and security issues; and (7) international diplomacy.

(see Neo-statecraft and Meta-geopolitics by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

MINIMUM CRITERIA OF GLOBAL JUSTICE

These include: (1) dialogue; (2) effective and representative multilateral institutions; (3) representative decision-making structures; (4) fair treatment; (5) empathy; (6) accountability; (7) transparency; and (8) adherence to international law.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 

MINIMUM CRITERIA OF HUMAN NEEDS AND DIGNITY

These include: (1) reason; (2) security; (3) promotion and protection of human rights; (4) accountability; (5) transparency; (6) justice; (7) opportunity and innovation; and (8) inclusiveness.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 

MINIMUM CRITERIA OF INCLUSIVE, EFFECTIVE AND GOOD GLOBAL GOVERNANCE

These include: (1) effective multilateralism; (2) effective multilateral institutions; (3) representative multilateral decision-making structures; (4) dialogue; (5) accountability; (6) transparency; (7) burden-sharing; and (8) stronger partnerships between multilateral organisations and civil society.
(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 

MINIMUM CRITERIA OF INCLUSIVE, EFFECTIVE AND GOOD NATIONAL GOVERNANCE

These include: (1) participation, equity and inclusiveness; (2) rule of law; (3) separation of powers; (4) free, independent and responsible media; (5) government legitimacy; (6) accountability; (7) transparency; and (8) limiting the distorting effect of money in politics.
(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

MULTI-SUM SECURITY PRINCIPLE AND JUSTICE AS A PREREQUISITE TO GLOBAL SECURITY

“In a globalized world, security can no longer be thought of as a zero-sum game involving states alone. Global security, instead, has five dimensions that include human, environmental, national, transnational, and transcultural security, and, therefore, global security and the security of any state or culture cannot be achieved without good governance at all levels that guarantees security through justice for all individuals, states, and cultures.”

(see The Five Dimensions of Global Security by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

NEO-STATECRAFT

A new form of statecraft comprising four substrates: (1) meta-geopolitics; (2) sustainable national security; (3) just power; and (4) reconciliation statecraft. Neo-statecraft embraces all the innovative concepts developed inNeo-Statecraft and Meta-geopolitics: meta-geopolitics, sustainable national security, just power and reconciliation statecraft. These new concepts have been developed to address the deficiencies of traditional statecraft, geopolitics, national security and the use of state power. They seek to reflect the rapidly changing international landscape – a landscape defined by the increasing interdependence and interconnectedness of states. Neo-statecraft takes this new international landscape into account and describes how statecraft needs to be adjusted to be effective in furthering a state’s interests in the 21st century.

(see Neo-statecraft and Meta-geopolitics by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

NEUROCHEMICAL MAN

The nature of man as well as his code for survival is emotionally based and mediated through neuro-chemicals that are found inside and in-between brain cells. These are the substrates for all of our thoughts, memories, emotions and actions. They are genetically coded for but are also alterable by our environment.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

NEURO-RATIONAL PHYSICALISM (NRP)

A theory of knowledge that recognises the role of interpretation, sense-data and reason in the acquisition of knowledge. Therefore, knowledge is to some extent indeterminate. It may also be temporally, spatially and perhaps culturally constrained. All energy and matter are physical, even if unobservable, making their existence “possible truths subject to proof”. Thought processes too are physical and, as such, material.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 


OCEAN MODEL OF ONE HUMAN CIVILISATION

Civilisation conceived as a single human civilisation containing geo-cultural domains that encompass sub-cultures. If we conceive of civilisation as an ocean into which various geocultural domains add depth whenever a particular historical conjuncture provides conditions under which the most advanced forms of human enterprise can thrive, then civilisational triumph refers to a situation in which all component geo-cultural domains can flourish, albeit to varying degrees.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

OCTAGON OF EDUCATION AND GLOBAL SECURITY

This includes: (1) empowerment and development; (2) global knowledge of histories and cultures; (3) cultural respect and understanding; (4) communication, exchange, and exposure; (5) global citizenry through responsible media and political statements; (6) global values and equality; (7) abuse of knowledge; and (8) other truths and views.

(see The Role of Education in Global Security by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 


POSSIBLE TRUTHS SUBJECT TO PROOF

Ideas that are believed to be logically true even if today we do not have the scientific methodologies to prove them.
(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREDISPOSED TABULA RASA

The human mind is predisposed to certain basic instincts as a result of both our genetic heritage and the totality of our environment.

(see “emotional amoral egoism” by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

PREREQUISITES OF SUSTAINABLE HISTORY

These include: (1) triumph of all individual geo-cultural domains; (2) minimum criteria of human needs and dignity; (3) minimum criteria of global justice; (4) minimum criteria of inclusive, good national and global governance; (5) the multi-sum security principle; (6) symbiotic realism; (7) neo-statecraft and meta-geopolitics; and (8) transcultural synergy and universal axiology.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

PREREQUISITES OF THE TRIUMPH OF INDIVIDUAL GEO-CULTURAL DOMAINS

Success of individual geo-cultural domains through: (1) good governance; (2) cultural borrowing; (3) innovation; (4) more reason; (5) less dogma; (6) respect and tolerance of diversity; (7) inclusiveness; and (8) the success of other individual geo-cultural domains.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 


PREREQUISITES OF TRANSCULTURAL SYNERGY AND UNIVERSAL AXIOLOGY

These include: (1) dialogue; (2) agreed upon rules and ethics of dialogue; (3) mutual understanding; (4) tolerance and respect; (5) mutual learning; (6) identification of a moral minimum; (7) reduction of the technological gap; and (8) fair representation.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 

PSEUDO ALTRUISM

Seemingly altruistic behaviour driven by emotional self-interest.

(see “emotional amoral egoism” by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 

RECONCILIATION STATECRAFT

A dimension of statecraft devoted to the reconciliation of eight levels of interests: (1) individual; (2) group; (3) national; (4) regional; (5) cultural; (6) global; (7) planetary; and (8) moral.

(see Neo-statecraft and Meta-geopolitics by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

SPECIFIC THEORY OF HUMAN MOTIVATION

A sub-theory of the General Theory of Human Nature that identifies the major factors that motivate human beings.

(see “emotional amoral egoism” by Nayef Al-Rodhan)
 

 

 

 

 

 

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST IDEAS / NATURAL SELECTION OF IDEAS

What I call a natural selection of ideas, which is comparable to nature’s way of selecting genetic traits, will result in what I term the survival of the fittest ideas in the long run. Thus, in the end, the best ideas and ideologies will prevail because they are the most “just” and the most likely to appeal to “egoism”, which are powerful motivating factors for humankind. The result is likely to be a hybrid of a number of ideas and views as has been the case throughout human history, although this process is now likely to be accelerated due to the instantly interconnected nature of toady’s world. Measures such as the promotion of awareness of other people’s histories, past and present pain and fears as well as cultural symbolism are also relevant at this level for preventing fear(survival)-induced pre-emptive aggression. Governments should promote basic rights, human dignity and shared human values through the education system, entertainments and arts communities, an independent media and information and communication technologies.

(see “emotional amoral egoism” by Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan)

 

SUSTAINABLE HISTORY

A durable progressive trajectory in which the quality of life on this planet is premised on the guarantee of human dignity for all at all times and under all circumstances. This sustainable history is propelled by good governance paradigms that balance the tension between human nature attributes (emotionality, amorality and egoisms), on the one hand, and human dignity needs (reason, security, human rights, accountability, transparency, justice, opportunity, innovation and inclusiveness), on the other.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef R.F. Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL SECURITY

National security premised on the recognition that mutually advantageous security relationships between states and positive exchanges and interactions between cultures are critical to long-term, sustainable security.

(see The Three Pillars of Sustainable National Security in a Transnational World by Nayef Al-Rodhan)
 

 

 

 

 

SYMBIOTIC REALISM

A theory of international relations based on four interlocking dimensions of the global system: (1) interdependence; (2) instant connectivity; (3) global anarchy; and (4) the neurobiological substrates of human nature. This theory allows for absolute rather than simply relative gains, based on cooperation and non-conflictual competition.

(see Symbiotic Realism by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 


 

THE GRATIFICATION PRINCIPLE AND SUSTAINABLE NEUROCHEMICAL GRATIFICATION (SNG)

Neurochemical gratification linked to behaviour that is not detrimental to one’s own existence or the existence of others. This notion forms the basis of the Theory of Sustainable Neurochemical Gratification that argues what makes our existence meaningful is highly individualistic and ultimately based on durable neurochemically mediated gratification.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)
 

 

 

 

THEORY OF THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE: SUSTAINABLE NEUROCHEMICAL GRATIFICATION (SNG)

A theory of the meaning of existence that argues that whatever meaning we may attribute to existence, life is rendered meaningful by those things, activities, beliefs or relationships – that provide sustained neurochemically mediated gratification.

(see Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 


 

TRANSCULTURAL SECURITY

The notion that the security of any culture depends on that of all other cultures.

(see The Five Dimensions of Global Security by Nayef Al-Rodhan)

 

 

 

 

 

TRIPWIRE PIVOTAL CORRIDOR (TPC)

The world’s most volatile geopolitical area: a corridor that runs from north to south between 30 and 75 degrees east. The corridor includes countries from three continents: Africa, Europe and Asia. In the east, it incorporates the disputed territories of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as China’s Xinjiang province. At its western edge, it includes the Horn of Africa and the entire east coast of Africa. The corridor also includes the Arctic Circle in the north and Antarctica in the south. This corridor is called the “Tripwire Pivotal Corridor” (TPC). It is argued that, without stability in the TPC, there can be no stability at the international level.

(see Neo-statecraft and Meta-geopolitics by Nayef  Al-Rodhan)

 

 


THE META-GEOPOLITICS OF SPACE POWER

I define Space Power as "the ability of a state to use space to sustain and enhance its seven state capacities as outlined in the Meta-geopolitics framework, namely (social and health, domestic politics, economics, environment, science and human potential, military and security, and international diplomacy). In addition, the governance and sustainability of space power will need to employ a 'symbiotic realism' approach to global relations and a 'multi-sum security principle' approach to global security. Ultimately, space will either be safe for everyone or for no one".

(see Meta-Geopolitics of Outer Space by Nayef Al-Rodhan)