Summer Reading List?

This is a partial bleg post. While finishing up some weekly chores in the laundromat I realized that my kindle was quickly running out of content and needed some fresh additions. Summer can be a good time to catch up on reading that we intended to do during the semester or to check off some divergent topics that we had not had time to get to earlier.  As such, what is everyone reading this summer and/or what do they recommend?  I am generally looking for books that are in international relations or methodology and can be bought for the kindle, but any discussion on any summer reading would be desireable. If you already have a blog post with a reading list for the summer or create a new one, leave a note in the comments. Below is my partial list.

Books I have completed so far:

Dawkins, Richard. 2009. The Greatest Show on Earth: the Evidence for Evolution. This was the subject of a recent post and was a wonderfully fascinating book.  Beyond providing overwhelming evidence for evolution as a causal fact, it provides a plethora of intriguing examples (lab experiments, geological and biological evidence, etc.) as well as analogies that are useful for political science.  A great read for someone who is interested in research on evolution but would prefer not to go to the source scientific articles.

Watts, Duncan. 2011. Everything You Know is Obvious (once you know the answer). I picked this book up not too long after Andrew Gelman recommended it over at the Monkey Cage. He has a long review of the book and I will not go into detail here, but it does some decent work at shoring up Social Science as a worthy exercise even if it is testing otherwise obvious implications.

The next two items on the list:

Gary King et. al. (editors) 2011. The Future of Political Science. The title seemed compelling enough to download.  I have yet to crack it open and see what is inside.

J. Samuel Barkin. 2010. Realist Constructivism: Rethinking International Relations Theory. This book was recommended to me in a conversation after it was noted that my constructivist-fu was weak.  Since this particular theoretical approach to international relations is a weak point for me, I am partly reading it to see if I could usefully assign it to an introductory level graduate course on international relations.

This list, of course, are in addition to the books I am using for my courses next semester and may exclude some of my non-fiction indulgences as well (Doyle's Holmes is looking a bit tempting right now).

About Michael A. Allen

Michael is an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Boise State University with a focus in International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Methodology (quantitative and formal). His work includes issues related to military basing abroad, asymmetric relations, cooperation, and conflict. He received his Ph.D from Binghamton University in 2011.

2 Replies to “Summer Reading List?”

  1. The Barkin book is an expansion and perhaps reworking of an article he published in ’03 in Int’l Studies Review, which was followed in a later issue by a symposium. (I didn’t particularly agree with the article but haven’t had a chance to blog about it.) There are lots of ‘constructivist’ books of course, but if you’re looking for short ones (always a plus), might try one of Martha Finnemore’s, e.g. The Purpose of Intervention.
    There was also a good review-essay of several constructivist books (including hers) in Perspectives on Politics a few years back, for which I don’t have the cite handy, unfortunately.

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