The strategic use of restraint in internet arguments

Sometimes, I like to argue. I spent eight years engaged in competitive debate in high school and college and the activity prepared me for scholarly research in ways that my classes in both of those settings could not. Early on, in the early frontier days of the internet in the 1990s and early 2000s, it was only natural for me to take my co-curricular skills and use them in earlier versions of social media—IRC, messaging services, public forums, listservs, and other budding spaces. Of course, conversations and heated debates online were a much different beast than academic debate (even when Continue reading The strategic use of restraint in internet arguments

So You’re on the Job Market, Part II: Expectations

In a previous post I outlined some of the steps graduate students can take to prepare for their time on the job market. I want to emphasize again that much of this really reflects my own set of experiences and training (i.e. three years applying for tenure track jobs at research universities). Much of what I’ve written is also the product of spending time on a search committee myself, but also speaking to several other people with much more experience on search committees than I have. That said, I suspect teaching programs and smaller liberal arts colleges are often looking Continue reading So You’re on the Job Market, Part II: Expectations

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 Dark Knight Rises and the Economic Impact of Bane’s Occupation of Gotham

I started working on this post a long time ago and, for whatever reason, never got around to finishing it. So please keep in mind that this was largely written shortly after the film first came out. I should also disclose at the outset that this post will contain spoilers, so if there is some sort of unbelievably powerful force that has kept you from seeing this fantastic movie, please be warned. For those still interested, there’s more after the jump.

How Do You Review?

I’ve been sending articles out for review for a few years now, and I’ve also had the opportunity to review several papers for journals. Having been through each side of the ordeal, I’ve begun to form some opinions on the peer review process as a whole. This is something other political scientists have written extensively about. For example, Michael Allen recently addressed the issue on this blog, and Nathan Jensen recently wrote an interesting piece about one of his paper’s journeys through the political science peer review process.  However, some of my recent experiences have prompted me to think about the process from the vantage point Continue reading How Do You Review?


Just a quick update. Three months ago I said we would resume posting later in the spring. Naturally, deadlines are made to be pushed back. It's been a pretty big and glorious summer, though, so I hope our reader(s) will excuse us for the prolonged absence. I'm happy to say that I got married in June (at a zoo, no less) and have just turned in the final copy of my dissertation to the Graduate School, and most of us are in, or have recently completed, the process of moving to new jobs. I could do without the packing, but the road Continue reading Update

Links from the Weekend

Peer Review of the Internet – “It will enable sentence-level critique of written words combined with a sophisticated yet easy-to-use model of community peer-review. It will work as an overlay on top of any stable content, including news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and regulations, software code and more-without requiring participation of the underlying site.” h/t – orgtheory South Korea launches an online “Unification Channel” to educate younger generations about the dangers of reunification.  What 7 billion people look like Graphic Dispatches from a Recent College Grad Still Living in a College Town – Gift prices for Continue reading Links from the Weekend

Maps Maps Maps, Part Deux

I posted a few days ago about, a website that will convert your csv files into fancy thermal maps.  One problem with our initial attempts to map out the presence of American military forces abroad was that the data are highly skewed.  Some countries host upwards of 50,000–60,000 American military personnel in the year we’re looking at (2005).  In the past this figure was even higher—Germany at one point plays host to roughly 250,000 members of the American military during the Cold War. As you can imagine, we don’t have that many soldiers in most countries.  The original map Continue reading Maps Maps Maps, Part Deux