In Memoriam 2020

On Professor Tim Lynch, Dr Vamik Volkan, Emeritus Professor Jerrold Post, Emeritus Professor James Flynn and new articles

In this issue:

  • Professor Timothy Lynch

  • Dr Vamik Volkan and strategic culture

  • Emeritus Professor Jerrold M. Post and political psychology

  • Emeritus Professor James Flynn and the Flynn Effect in intelligence studies

  • New Articles

  • Roy Christopher on Substack

Professor Timothy Lynch

Congratulations to Professor Timothy Lynch of the University of Melbourne on his promotion to full professorship. Professor Lynch sponsored my 2020 McKenzie Fellowship application - on strategic culture and the United States administrations - before the University of Melbourne rescinded funding for the 2020 cohort due to COVID-19 pandemic impacts. You can follow Professor Lynch on Twitter. Here are details of Professor Lynch’s most recent book In The Shadow of the Cold War (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Dr Vamik Volkan and Strategic Culture

The recent OCSIS 2020 conference hosted by the Australian National University featured a session chaired by Dr Gregory V. Raymond on the Cypriot psychiatrist Dr Vamik D. Volkan. Dr Volkan has focused on large-group mechanisms for ethnopolitical conflicts, genocide, terrorism, and most recently, racialist extremism. His work provides some of the psychological mechanisms that might shape and influence national strategic cultures on the use of force. Dr Volkan has been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize. The OCSIS 2020 session also featured a screening of the 2020 documentary Vamik’s Room and a Q&A with its director. I have several of Dr Volkan’s books and will be looking further into his research.

Emeritus Professor Jerrold M. Post and Political Psychology

The George Washington Emeritus Professor and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) political psychologist Dr Jerrold M. Post passed away on 22nd November 2020 from COVID-19 complications. His career achievements are detailed in Washington Post and Brookings Institution euologies. Emeritus Professor Post developed the political psychology tool of leadership profiling for the CIA and used it to help United States decision-makers understand Middle East negotiations and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Post broke the American Psychiatric Association’s Goldwater Rule to warn about United States President Donald Trump. Post also co-authored a book on Trump called Dangerous Charisma which is highly recommended. I wrote about Post in my PhD as the first person to link the first generation of strategic culture theorists (roughly, 1977 to 1990) to the profiling of terrorist leaders and terrorist organisations. I have several of his books and will be looking further into his research, and expanding on it.

Emeritus Professor James Flynn and the Flynn Effect in Intelligence Studies

The University of Otago’s Emeritus Professor James Flynn passed away on 11th December 2020. Emeritus Professor Flynn is best known for the Flynn Effect of generational increases in intelligence which are debated in the psychology sub-field of intelligence studies. I learned of Emeritus Professor Flynn’s work whilst researching the background to the debates on Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s 1994 book The Bell Curve and its influence on the contemporary Alt-Right and ‘race realists’. Several months ago I read that Emeritus Professor Flynn had written an autobiographical memoir of his life and the intelligence subfield’s debates that his academic publisher rejected due to defamation fears. I planned to contact Emeritus Professor Flynn about his University of Otago coursework - but didn’t. Flynn’s book Does Your Family Make You Smarter? (Cambridge University Press, 2016) is highly recommended.

New Articles

The journal Futures invited me to contribute an article on the Foundation Professor of Foresight, Richard A. Slaughter. I studied with Slaughter in the 2002-04 cohort of Swinburne University’s former Strategic Foresight program and interned at the Australian Foresight Institute in 2003. I wrote about Slaughter’s books and his development of Critical and Integral schools of thought in Futures Studies. This article is currently under consideration for publication.

I am currently working on new articles from my PhD: (1) a think tank history of the first generation of strategic culture scholars from 1977 to 1990 for the Journal of Strategic Studies; (2) an analysis of the fourth generation of strategic culture scholars (which I define as post-2002 onwards) for Contemporary Security Journal; and (3) an analysis of deplatforming and free speech debates in the Alt-Right, target journal still to be determined.

Roy Christopher on Substack

Disinformation alumnus and collaborator Roy Christopher is now on Substack - highly recommended to keep up to date with Christopher’s books, writing, and teaching.

Keep up to date with my regular links updates at Vega Theory, my professional academic website, and my profile.