Calling All Martyrs: Recruitment Incentives & Terror Attack Casualties

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Graig R. Klein. Graig is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at Binghamton University. His research focuses on domestic conflict, protest, and terrorism. This post is based on his article entitled “Ideology Isn’t Everything: Transnational Terrorism, Recruitment Incentives & Attack Casualties,” which is forthcoming in Terrorism and Political Violence. Since the al-Qaeda attacks on September 11th, 2001 and the subsequent War on Terror, much of the media, policy makers’, and, academics’ attention has focused on the increase in religious motivated terror groups and attacks since the 1990s. Prior to 1993, there Continue reading

Journal Acceptance Rates, Trends and Strategies


I was recently reflecting on Political Science as a discipline as I attended APSA along with many of you this past week. In particular, I had many discussions surrounding the seeming impossibility of placing certain articles in certain top journals compared to the relative ease of placing otherwise-comparable articles, but in different subfields or with well-known co-authors in similar journals. In the interests of full disclosure, I would like to note that I also do not have any publications in top-3 Political Science journals. John Conley’s recent study in Economics (here) shows how journal acceptance rates are dropping, whereas submission rates Continue reading

The Prisoner’s Dilemma in Introductory International Relations


This semester marks my seventh time teaching the introductory course to international relations and my seventh time incorporating strategic games into the course.  A staple game for any political science course is the Prisoner’s Dilemma and a typical introduction of the material to students may have students explain the concept or, perhaps, play it with a partner.  However, this introduction is incomplete as part of the major lessons from the game (for IR anyways) is how we can use it to modify our institutions, behaviors, or norms to overcome prisoner dilemma-esque situations.  Having played this in class that range from very small Continue reading

Term Limits, Polarization, and Party Leaders

I recently published an article about the effects of US state legislative term limits on legislators’ behavior. The findings of the article suggest that in the presence of term limits, state legislators in more professionalized legislatures spend less time on constituency service and more time fundraising with their caucus. In the article, I argued that since term limited legislators do not rely on their constituents to maintain a long term career in politics, they are less likely to spend time on constituency service than their peers in non-term limited legislatures. Instead, term limited legislators spend more time on fundraising since it helps them get Continue reading

Recent Lessons from Games for Political Science


The board and video game world this past week have at least two compelling reports that offer some lessons for political science. First, David Hill did both a write up for Grantland and a segment on This American Life about the Diplomacy (the game) world championships. Players in this game have to focus on territorial control and creating/maintaining alliances. This strategic game from the 1950s lacks a true randomization component (dice, coin flips, etc.). However, the game is not Chess either.  Instead, the components that makes the interaction dynamic from game to game are the relationships between the players (up to seven) and the Continue reading

Gay Marriage, Abortion and the Moral Foundations of Political Issues

Americans are becoming progressively more accepting of gays and lesbians.  According to polling from Pew Research, a majority of Americans now support legalizing same sex marriages.  This is a dramatic reversal from the public’s attitudes towards gay marriage just 15 years earlier, where a solid majority (57 percent) of Americans opposed same sex unions.  On the surface, this shift in public attitudes regarding whether homosexuals have a legitimate place in society seems to provide evidence that Americans are becoming increasingly socially liberal.  This view is bolstered when you look at Americans’ attitudes towards the legalization of marijuana, which like same Continue reading

Cantor’s Trojan Horse?

I have a question for someone who is an expert in election law in Virginia. Eric Cantor announced that he will be stepping down from his Congressional seat on August 18. He asked Governor McAuliffe to hold a special election in November so that the candidate who wins his seat will automatically be able to fill the seat. Cantor stated that he wants the special election so his constituents have a representative they want in Congress. My question: Due to Virginia’s sore loser law, Cantor cannot officially run for re-election because he lost his party’s primary election. More specifically, his Continue reading

So You’re on the Job Market, Part III: Coping

In two previous posts (see here and here) I’ve discussed some issues related to being on the political science job market. In the first installment I wrote about some basic organizational steps graduate students can take to prepare for being on the market. The second installment dealt with how graduate students can attempt to evaluate their prospects for getting a job. In this entry I’ll focus more on how you can cope with the stresses of the job market. Again, I’ll stress up front that these posts are written primarily on the basis of my own personal experiences, and are Continue reading

Fictional Political Scientists

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Carla Martinez Machain. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University. In having a recent conversation with one of my colleagues in the English department, she noted (with much regret), that the most common characteristic of English professors in fiction is a wish (fulfilled or not) to sleep with their students.  I ran through a few examples in my head (here and here, just to name two); she clearly had a point.  Soon after that, I spoke with someone in the Anthropology department, who decried the Continue reading