Writing Excerpts


          At the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the master's degree thesis is known as the MALD.  Candidates for the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy degree have the option of writing one full MALD or two half MALDs.  I chose the option of two half MALDs. The topics (and a short description of each) are as follows:

"Change and The Nation State:  Outmoded Concept or Enduring Entity?"     The main thesis of the paper was that for the near future states would continue as the core analytic structures of the international political system, though in an increasingly crowded field of "actors."  Barring major system transformation, the most significant changes for now will be found in what (James) Rosenau refers to as "the core phenomena of states. . . the norms governing relationships, the habits of voluntary and coerced compliance, and the practices of cooperation through which large number of people form and sustain a collectivity that possesses sovereign authority with respect to them."*

        *James N. Rosenau, "The State in an Era of Cascading Politics" Comparative Political Studies 21 (April 1988): 15

"The New International Economic Order and the International Commodity Regime, 1974-1984"   In the content of this paper the origins of the New International Economic Order (NIEO), both historically and economically, were explored.  Discussions of the NIEO were used to examine the role of Third World commodities and commodity policy in development and in the international commodity regime. Measures undertaken in commodity control from 1974-1984 were then reviewed, and the role U.S. commodity policy played in the international commodity regime was analyzed.

     Other topics of research at both the Fletcher School and the Harvard Business School focused primarily on technological change, international trade and issues concerning sovereignty.  These topics included:

Technological Change:  Implications for the International System


Commodity Report:  Manganese (Including Deep Sea-Bed Mining)

The New International Sea Regime:  Implications for U.S. Ocean Policy

Peking and the Potola:  Modern Sino-Tibetan Relations

At the Crossroads:  COMSAT and the U.S. Satellite Communications Industry

International Trade in Services           


     This was a study completed and published in 1991 for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Japan by the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.  Although I was a primary author of the study as an A.T. Kearney consultant, I do not hold any copyright privileges for the document, so I will not provide any segments here.  Please contact either of the organizations mentioned if you are interested in a copy.  For your information and clarification, a view of the cover of the report is provided below.


     To read news coverage about the release and content of this study, please refer to the front page of the New York Times for Wednesday, June 12, 1991 ("U.S. Companies in Japan Say Things Aren't So Bad"), the business section of the Los Angeles Times for the same day, and Page D3 of the Los Angeles Times for September 16, 1991.

To return to the top of the page, click here.


     This was a short-lived newsletter focusing on the impact of technological change on our lives.  In the October 1993 issue, which concerned changes in communication, information and transportation, I wrote:

     "In many places on this planet, a person can walk out the door of the most sleek, modern jet plane, take a few steps past the runway, and find himself or herself deposited in a world far different than any he or she has ever known.  Take the country of Nepal, for example.  Once a person goes beyond a certain point outside of a small number of main cities, there are few roads of any sort.  Passage for humans is strictly by dirt path and on foot, while goods are transported to distant villages on the backs of animals. 

    It is not uncommon to come across signs [such as the one included in the newsletter] offering the visitor a brief word of welcome, directions and travel times  to certain destinations.  In a way it is like stepping back hundreds of years in time to a period and place where the conveniences of modern transportation and communication do not exist.  High in the mountains there are no cars and no phones, and there is no faxing ahead for reservations at the next rest stop.  A person walks as fast and as far in a day as his or her legs will travel, then stops for a night's rest before beginning the journey again in the morning.  There are few, if any, detailed and grid-lined map guides to the trails.  Instead, trekkers rely upon experienced guides (sherpas) to navigate the routes and point them in the right direction. . ."

     ". . . No one can say with any great certainty what new discoveries or developments may come 100, 50 or even 25 years from now, or how they might affect human lives.  As a result, the 'sherpas' of our institutions may face territory which is uncharted at best, or at least resembles little of what had been seen in the past.  If so, the signs by the road will be welcome, but they will be able to provide only a partial idea of what lies on the journey ahead."


     This book was designed to be a quick introduction to issues of technological change  for people who might not be inclined to read something on the subject that they couldn't finish in a few hours or a day or two.  In the introduction, I said, "This book makes no attempt at being an academic treatise.  It is not a book of numbers, and there aren't pages of charts and statistics to pore over.  It could take a half-dozen or so good-sized volumes to thoroughly discuss all of the changes everywhere which have been brought about by technology, but many of those already exist.  That is not the purpose of this book, either. Instead, it is designed for anyone seeking some type of understanding of the trends and dynamics which have shaped and continue to shape the world today.  It includes a brief look at aspects of technological change in business, government and society.  If the material piques interest or gives cause for further reflection, all the better.  There area dozens of topics and concepts presented which the reader could explore easily in greater depth [on his or her own].  The dynamics of technological change are complex and uneven, as are its effects on human lives."


Corporation as "Person" and State as "Person"

     The notion of sovereignty is frequently cited in discussions of two particular issues: immigration and international trade.  Because such a large portion of international trade is conducted by large corporations, it is perhaps easiest to illustrate some of the complexities and differences between domestic and international by looking at differences between states (nations) and corporations as legal "persons" on the global stage.  This does not mean small companies are insignificant, for they are not.  In countries such as the U.S., they are dynamic engines of opportunity and often rapid expansion.  However, most of the discussion in the chapter centers around large multinationals with extensive business dealings in many sites around the world.

     The earlier definition of the criteria for statehood began by saying, ". . . the state as a person of international law. . ."  Similarly, another "person" in domestic and international law is the corporation.  To carry the analogy a bit further, these two persons are "endowed" with different "features" and are empowered to carry on their missions and duties in different ways.  Using the United States and U.S. corporations as examples, one might first say of America as a "person" that it is a democracy.  The legitimacy of its leaders is derived through popular election by a vote of its citizens.  The leaders are then empowered to act based on the principles of government established in the Constitution, codified in a set of laws, adjudicated through a court system and administered and enforced through the executive branch [and law enforcement].  At minimum, the role of this government is to protect the well-being and safety of its citizens and shores.  The methods through which the government is allowed to carry out its duties include enacting and enforcing laws, levying taxes, entering into treaties and declaring war.

     The corporation gains its existence and legitimacy at first by being incorporated within a particular state, and it is subject to the laws governing commercial activity.  It is also subject to the laws and regulations of the cities, counties, states and countries in which it does business.  Its equivalent of a constitution might be its articles of incorporation, and its power is derived through the marketplace by providing good and services desired by its customers.  These goods are often identified by brand name or trademark, all of which are considered property when properly used or registered with the government.  If the company ceases to generate profits in the long run it cannot exist as a viable entity, regardless of its brand names or articles of incorporation.

     The corporation's leaders are chosen by criteria determined within the organization (i.e. length of time with the business, revenue generated, track record, special skills, or personal talents or proclivities).  These people are generally not subject to vote or verification of the entire employee base of the company.  Their corporate mission is to provide goods or services in a manner which maximizes profits and shareholder value.  In order to do so the company must provide goods or services to the marketplace.  It does so by marketing or selling them to the public, government or other companies and organizations.

     In a legal sense, the state has jurisdiction over its citizens and within its boundaries.  It can apply its law to all those on its soil, be they citizens or foreign visitors.  It can tax both people and businesses, but if more revenue is needed, it cannot go to a foreign country and tax the citizens of that country.  A business or corporation, on the other hand, can seek its profits in nearly any location, assuming it meets the legal and operational thresholds of other countries.  While each sovereign nation will act to protect its own "national interest" (which can be broadly or narrowly defined), each business will act to protect its own "corporate interest."  Perhaps at the intersection of these two interests is the best illustration of where the lines of sovereignty, or the lines between [purely] domestic and international, begin to blur.

Overseas Influence and Activity

     Not to belabor the point, but a nation and its government, at least as currently conceived, exists and enacts laws for a particular population within particular boundaries.  The only means through which a government has an official presence in another country is through its embassies (and consulates) and the people who staff them.  These embassies are considered pieces of sovereign land on foreign soil.  States such as California or other government organizations may set up overseas offices with permission.  These offices, however, are generally not considered sovereign territory.  A diplomat's personal expression of sovereignty is represented by diplomatic immunity, or freedom from prosecution under foreign laws (although this may be waived under certain circumstances).  Although countries can and do send spies into other lands, or pay informants for information, the only legally-recognized national government representation is its embassy system.  A company can obtain a "piece" of a foreign market by providing consumers with products they choose to buy, but the only way a country can obtain a "piece" of another nation's land is through voluntary secession or war.

     A nation such as the United States may have influence over another country and its people by other non-official means, however.  The strength of military forces or stockpile of weaponry could influence another's thinking or decision-making in regard to war.  Its culture or values, as seen or heard through radio, television or motion pictures, or read in print, might affect the thinking of other governments or peoples.  This is especially true if the materials are available in the country's native (local) language.  Some non-democratic non-Western governments, however, have traditionally blocked access to information not in agreement with official state teachings or policies.  During the course of the Cold War, radio broadcasts from the Voice of America to countries such as those behind the Iron Curtain frequently were jammed.  Foreign magazines or other non-native materials were often confiscated, if found, at international borders.  Finally, sources of influence might be exerted through the advanced nature of a country's industry or technology, by the moral strength of its people, or through mutually shared customs, traditions or religions, to name a few.

     Unlike a government, a business or corporation can have a legal presence in most nations, given that the rules and regulations set forth by those nations are followed.  That is not to say that certain countries do not maintain policies or practices which protect domestic industries or restrict foreign competition, for they do.  Some mechanisms which have been used by government to protect their "national interest" from foreign business include: import restrictions, tariffs (which make the cost of foreign goods higher than prices of comparable domestic ones), threats of nationalization (businesses being taken over by foreign governments) and restrictions on profit repatriation (returning profits made in an overseas market to a home country), to name a few.  More commonly, though, governments have sought to further the national interest by seeking trade or other policies breaking down barriers for their country's companies in foreign markets.

To return to the top of the page, click here.


     This is a yet-unfinished novel begun in 1999.  It chronicles the story of Ashley, Marco, some software and a tree at a place called the Corrigian Institute.  In essence, it is a tale of ideology and its impact on people's lives.  The following is an excerpt from draft material submitted to the Copyright Office in 2001.

*           *           *

     Like a fleet of lost souls docking at an ethereal netherworld harbor, the ghouls, goblins, ghosts and gremlins of that Halloween evening gradually made their way to the atrium.  A thin layer of manufactured fog swirled around the room's floor, some spilling out in billowing puffs into the igloo-like corridor as the doors opened and closed.  Several of the tables had been cleared from the back area near the stairwell leading to the classrooms in order to make room for a band and small dance floor, which was already packed by the time Ashley arrived.  The lights in the room had been dimmed to near crypt-like levels, enhanced only by the glow of the electric candles in the pumpkins and the occasional flash of a strobe light.

     At first it was difficult for Ashley to see when she entered.  Then, as her eyes became accustomed to the interior lighting, she gradually made her way around the room.  The spectacle around the tree had the same effect on almost all who entered.  It was visually stunning.  While some of the costumes were simple and their occupants easily recognizable, many others were more detailed and wildly creative than any they'd ever seen.  Ashley stood still for a few minutes eyeing the ongoing parade of figures streaming in and out of the shadows, but then her heart sank a little.  How would she ever find Marco amidst all of the characters if she didn't know what he was wearing?  She did know she would never find him by standing still, so she began walking around the room.

     The first people she recognized were Richard and the woman he now called his girlfriend.  They were both dressed in matching Viking outfits, complete with hats adorned with big horns.  Richard recognized Ashley right away.

     "All hail Queen of Egypt," he said to her as she neared the table where they were sitting.  "Would her majesty care to join a couple of lowly Scandinavians for some hearty grog?"

     Ashley laughed and sat down on the chair which Richard pulled out for her.  She'd already come to know his girlfriend, Gwen, quite well, and she also greeted Ashley warmly.  "What a great [Cleopatra] costume, Ashley.  It's so elaborate.  Quite beautiful, actually."

     "Thank you," Ashley replied.  "A friend and I went to a big Halloween party last year and I bought it then.  It's actually quite comfortable."  She was about to continue when she felt a tap on her shoulder.  When she turned around, there was a figure standing behind her who looked like a cross between a monk and the grim reaper.  The person was dressed in a thick robe which had the texture of burlap and was dyed a deep blackish-brown.  A large hood of the same material was attached to the top of the robe, and its rim extended so far out in front of the face so as to keep the face totally hidden from the viewer.  An additional black mesh face plate made all the wearer's features indistinguishable.  The robe was tied with a thick, braided black rope sash, and the person, whoever it was, held one hand behind his back.  When Ashley turned around, he stood still for a second.  Then he pulled his hand from behind his back and handed her a beautiful red rose.

     Ashley had no idea who the person was, nor did anyone else at the table.  She politely thanked him, and in a split second he turned and almost glided away.  They tried to watch where he went, but the dark color of the robe quickly blended into the dark background and the shadows.  She hoped it was Marco, but she had no way of knowing for sure.  After a few more minutes of quiet conversation, she stood up and excused herself.  "If you don't mind, I think I'm going to go and mingle a bit."  She stood up and looked at the dance floor, still wondering where the cowled figure had gone.  "Who's that with the - what is it - a motorcycle?"

     "Oh, that's Karina as Evel Knievel," Richard said.  He added, "See those two roly-poly figures at the table right next to the motorcycle?"  Ashley nodded.  "That's M.L. and Ilana as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee."

     Just as Ashley looked over at the table Richard had pointed out, the person in the hooded robe stepped directly into her line of vision and stopped for a second.  The opening in the hood was facing in her direction, but she couldn't tell if the person underneath was looking at her or not.  The strobe light flashed and distracted her for a second as she picked out a couple of other people in the room.  When she looked back to where the hooded figure had been standing, he was gone.

     The bright red of Lucretia's cape had stood out against some of the other darker colors in the room as the strobe light flashed.  Ashley recognized her immediately.  Thinking she'd have as good a chance of finding Marco with her as with anybody else, she walked toward the woman's table.  She didn't quite make it all the way before she heard her name being called.

     "Ashley?  Ashley, is that you?" the voice said.

     Ashley spun around in the direction from which the voice had come.  What she saw made her jaw drop, then she chuckled in amazement.  The man, complete with rubber drumsticks and fully padded royal regalia, was a most jovial and realistic looking King Henry VIII.

     "Bartholomew?" Ashley asked.

     "Your highness," he replied with a slight bow.  "You may have predated me on a throne by a couple of thousand years, but I must say you still look stunning.  You'd be welcome in my court anytime."

     "Ah, yes - but I've always been told I have a good head on my shoulders, and I'd prefer keeping it that way," Ashley joked back.

     "Would you like to dance a bit?" he asked.

     "Sure, I'd love to," Ashley replied.

     The two of them danced for at least the next five songs, stopping only once to talk to another couple who'd stood next to them on the dance floor.  Ashley continually scanned the room for Marco, but she couldn't spot him.  As she looked in one direction, she didn't notice that Karina had maneuvered her way across the floor until her motorcycle was directly next to them.

     "Well, hello, you two!" she said.  The visor on her makeshift helmet was up, so it was easy to see her eyes and facial features.

     "Hello, Karina," Bartholomew said, and Ashley greeted her likewise.  "What an interesting outfit - and props, too," he said pointing to the motorcycle.  "How ever did you decide on Evel Knievel?"

     "Oh, well, someone I used to know back in Greece was a fan, and . . ."

     "You lived in Greece?" Ashley asked.

     "Oh, it was a long time ago," Karina replied, sidestepping the question and quickly changing the subject.  "But I was making my way over here, Ashley, to tell you how stunning you look.  That's a really super outfit.  Absolutely.  And Bartholomew - Henry the Eighth?"

     "My idol," he joked, and both women rolled their eyes.

     As Ashley stood looking at Karina, the strobe light flashed again.  In the brightness of the burst of light, she saw the hooded figure standing about fifteen feet away, directly in her line of sight over Karina's shoulder.  She wanted to point him out to Bartholomew, but by the time the light flashed again, he was gone.  Just then one of the members of the band took to the microphone and made an announcement.

     "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please?  We're going to take you back a little bit with the next couple of songs.  And in order to help us, we've brought someone special along.  Back from the dead by special request, here's the man himself.  Let's give it up for the one, the only, ELVIS!!"

     The crowd backed off to form a semi-circle around the dance floor.  Ashley glanced briefly at her watch.  It was after ten, and she still hadn't found Marco.  She was beginning to get a bit worried.  Still, she didn't want to miss enjoying the entertainment, and she laughed along with the others as the person in the Elvis suit jumped out onto the floor.  As the band began their rendition of "Blue Suede Shoes," the person in the white jumpsuit, bushy black wig, fake sideburns and dark glasses began gyrating his hips.  It was clear that he was lip-synching while another member of the band did the singing, but it was still amusing to watch.  Then, as the music continued, the impersonator grabbed what looked like a stack of autographed pictures and began going around to the women in the group.  He started with the edge of the semicircle closest to Ashley.

     The vocal imitation he did wasn't great, but it wasn't bad, either.  "Hello, ma'am.  Pleasure to meet you," he said to the first woman, shaking her hand and then giving her a picture.  One by one he continued with the women as the music played.  When he reached Ashley, he said, "Hello, ma'am.  They call me the King.  We must be a match."  He laughed a hearty laugh, and she rolled her eyes.  He shook her hand, but when he pulled it away, she realized there was something he'd stuck in her palm.  He handed her a picture as well.  That she shared with Bartholomew while at the same time keeping the other item in her palm hidden.

     "Oh, look, it says 'Happy Halloween from the King' on it," she said, and they both watched as he continued his way around the semicircle.  The band was now playing a rendition of "Jailhouse Rock."  The Elvis impersonator stepped back into the center of the area just briefly to gyrate his hips a bit, and he did so to the hoots and catcalls of many in the group.  Ashley quickly, but inconspicuously, looked down at what "Elvis" had placed in her palm.  She recognized it immediately as one of the keys to the residence building, but she was even more surprised when she read the note taped to it.

     The note said, "Ashley - it's me, Marco.  Meet me in this room, on the bottom floor of the residence building near the side entrance, at eleven."  She smiled to herself, then cupped her hand securely around the key and looked at the "King."  Never in a million years would she have guessed that it was Marco.  Nor, more importantly, would anyone else.

     As the song finished, Marco as Elvis made his way to the end of the semi-circle, not far from where Karina was standing.  As the group had split apart, she had ended up on one side of the area while Ashley found herself on the other.  Ashley saw him hesitate for a split second as he neared the motorcycle, but he quickly regained his composure and swiveled his hips to the last few beats of the song.  As the music ended, he turned around and waved, then disappeared up the stairway behind the band platform.  He didn't stop climbing until he reached the fourth floor.  When he was sure there was no one coming up the stairs behind him, he sat down on the top landing and held his head in his hands.

     It was then that he realized how badly his hands were shaking.  His costume was soaked in sweat, but it was not the perspiration of just a few minutes of hip gyrations.  It had become a cold sweat, and with the realization of his trembling hands, a gradual feeling of nausea.  He didn't know why it hit him so suddenly; he did know it began when he saw the motorcycle.  All of a sudden memories of Greece - bad, painful memories - came flowing back into his mind.  And then there was the lifeless face of Julian, eyes closed, covered with blood as he laid dead among the rocks.

     "No!" he screamed, realizing where he was only after the words flew from his mouth.  He jumped to his feet, glancing in every direction to make sure no one had seen or heard him.  Then he rushed around the corner, hoping that the gym bag with his regular clothes was still tucked away in the corridor where he had left it.  It was.  Marco pulled open the bag's zipper and pulled out a sweatshirt and pair of jeans.  Piece by piece he pulled off his costume and threw everything into the now-empty duffle, then slipped on his pants.  As he looked at the shiny moist skin of his bare chest and arms, he wanted desperately to take a shower before he saw Ashley.  There was a clock above him in the corridor, and it read 10:35.  He knew he'd be a few minutes late to meet Ashley, but he decided to go back to his apartment and clean up anyway.

     Ashley, still in the atrium, waited for a few flashes of the strobe light to check her watch.  It was 10:45.  She stuck her hand in one pocket of the costume to make sure the key was still there.  It was, and she decided to gradually make her way toward the igloo-like exit.  She'd made it about half-way to the door when she heard Jane calling her.  Jane was sitting at a table with Steppen and two others she recognized but didn't know.

     "I saw you over in the circle when Elvis went around.  I was wondering where you were.  Turn around - let me see.  What a great outfit!" Jane gushed.

     Ashley spun around, then returned a compliment.  "What a great Snow White costume."  She was about to say something else when she looked more closely at the group and realized all four of the people had something in common.  "Hey, this must be the fairy tale table - Snow White, Cinderella, Prince Charming, Alice in Wonderland.  Did you plan it that way?"

     "No, but we were just commenting on the same thing," Steppen said.  "Would you like to pull up a chair and join us?"

     Ashley hesitated.  She didn't want to be rude, but she also didn't want to be late for Marco.  "You know, this costume with all this decorative stuff gets a little heavy and warm after a while.  I was about to step outside and get a breath of fresh air.  Would you excuse me?"

     "Oh, no problem," Jane replied.  "It was nice seeing you."

     The fog was still swirling around the doorway as the first set of double doors opened.  She watched it curl up around her feet, then gradually drift away as she reached the doors to the outer courtyard.  As she stepped into the cool evening air, it was more than the breeze that sent shivers down her spine.  Ashley turned around to catch one last glimpse of the fog but was surprised to see that the inner door to the atrium was still open.  In the dim glow of the corridor lights, she could see the hooded figure standing at the portal.  Although she couldn't tell for sure, she assumed he was looking in her direction.  She practically jumped away from the outer door so that it closed, then before going much further checked to see that no one was following her.

     After a few seconds passed and no one else came through the door, she hurried down the brick path toward the side entrance of the residence building.  As she neared the glass door she glanced at the number on the key.  Quickly she made sure there was no one else around.  She opened the door to the corridor just a crack, peered inside, then rushed in and stuck the key in its slot.  She stepped in the room and waited to hear the door latch behind her.

     "Marco?" she said quietly, then a little louder.  "Marco?  Are you here?"

To return to the top of the page, click here.