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?

History vs. Political Science? Temporally Constrained Studies and Generalizability.

So this is my first post back from a prolonged break. As I mentioned in a previous—albeit brief—entry, I’ve had a busy but enjoyable summer. I got married, defended my dissertation at the beginning of July, and my wife and I have since relocated to Tuscaloosa, Alabama where I’ve accepted a position as a post-doc. We’re both pretty excited about the move and we’re really enjoying ourselves. Having grown up in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, summers that extend beyond a two month window have a certain appeal. And now that we’re getting settled in down here, I’m slowly Continue reading History vs. Political Science? Temporally Constrained Studies and Generalizability.

Update

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

“Kountry” Package for STATA

I may be late to the ball on this one, but in discussing a project that we're working on, fellow QP blogger Michael Allen recently pointed me to the "kountry" package for STATA. The package was created by Rafal Raciborski for the purposes of facilitating the creation of country codes and switching between codes provided by different sources (e.g. COW, IMF, etc.). The cite for the STATA Journal piece corresponding to the package is below: Raciborski, R. 2008. kountry: A Stata utility for merging cross-country data from multiple sources. Stata Journal 8: 390-400 Anyone that has worked with country codes knows Continue reading “Kountry” Package for STATA

NSF Funding Amendment, Part II

Erik Voeten at the Monkey Cage with an update on the amendment that cuts NSF funding for political science programs. A version of the amendment passed the House with a vote of 218-208. You can see the breakdown of the votes here (thanks for Erik for so conveniently providing the link to the votes). Erik also notes a couple of important points: 1) This is not the end of the issue, and 2) No other discipline was singled out in the same way as political science.  Other interesting facts: Jeff Flake has a BA in International Relations (see his official House Continue reading NSF Funding Amendment, Part II

Stuff is still happening in (the sequel)…

I really don't know how many times I'll be able to use that title, but given that the American audience has become so distracted by the Washington debt ceiling battle, I decided to check on some old favorites and post a quick update on goings on elsewhere.   Libya:  Apparently Libyan rebels have made "significant" gains in the past week, taking control of some key cities on the way to Tripoli.  NATO planes have damaged or destroyed over 150 targets in the past week alone.  However, who really knows what qualifies as a "military target" for these purposes.  Sources in Continue reading Stuff is still happening in (the sequel)…

War Songs

Blogging has been lite lately, but in response to Phil's subtle nudges, I've decided to offer up my own list of war songs.  I'm approaching this from a more general angle of "war songs" as opposed to songs that are strictly anti-war.  These songs are not necessarily supposed to reflect any particular personal views of war–they just happen to be drawn from the general body of music that I grew up listening to.  That said, there are most certainly some common themes.   As a general rule I will list songs by song title and then artist.  Some of these Continue reading War Songs

Evolution, Secrecy, and Bureaucracies

This sort of reminds me of this.  Really one passage in particular, I suppose: We tend to marvel at the Darwinian perfection of organisms now, saying 'this must have been highly selected for, it's a tuned and sophisticated machine'.  In fact, it's a mess – there's so much unnecessary complexity. Bear with me.  The preceding passage is from an article I found on the BBC regarding flaws in proteins that are believed to be linked to more complex biological structure emerging.  While not directly related to Walt's post on bureaucracies, the passage quoted above just sort of struck me as Continue reading Evolution, Secrecy, and Bureaucracies