The Military and Competitive Sports

I missed my last post, but thankfully I'm on top of this week's edition.  Kyleanne Hunter and Oliver Kaplan have a piece at Political Violence @ a Glance discussing some of the military roots of the biathlon. I've never known much about the sport's history, but it certainly makes sense that its origins are so closely tied to the kinds of security needs that Hunter and Kaplan cite. This was particularly interesting to me as both my wife and I grew up close to Lake Placid, New York. Lake Placid hosted the winter Olympics twice—once in 1932 and again in 1980—and continues Continue reading The Military and Competitive Sports

The Conversation on Political Science & Public Engagement

As I'm sure most of you are aware, Nicholas Kristof believes that American academics (especially political scientists) don't do enough to engage with the public.  Political scientists have responded: Steve Saideman discusses how Kristof's complaints are oddly out of date, the importance of academic journals, and his role in the ISA blogging dustup; Erik Voeten points out that we're doing a lot of relevant research and more outreach than ever before;  Will Moore reminds us that professors are already getting their ideas out to the public by teaching them to the next generation and sheds some light on the reasoning behind the ISA blogging Continue reading The Conversation on Political Science & Public Engagement

The Private Provision of Security

One of the basic functions of government in the modern era is to provide security for its citizens. Sometimes governments are unwilling or incapable of producing enough security, and so instead they will delegate the use of force to private citizens so they can provide security themselves. Here are two recent examples: Although the Mexican government has made some progress with its fight against drug cartels, drug related violence still plagues certain regions of Mexico. In response, some Mexican citizens have formed vigilante groups to help fight back against the cartels. For a while the groups have been helping the government officials fight Continue reading The Private Provision of Security