I remember reading Michael Tomz's book Reputation and International Cooperation: Sovereign Debt Across Three Centuries for a seminar a couple of years ago, and someone having made a remark about how Tomz was probably just really interested in the time period or the subject matter, but had to frame the research in such a way as to justify its relevance beyond what might be the author's more narrow interests. Since then I've had a few discussions with some of my advisers on the topic of how we frame our research–essentially how we sell a line of research as relevant to our Continue reading Lessons From the Past? Or Justifying an Idiosyncratic Research Agenda?
As the opening of the Olympics in Beijing nears, NPR is running a few series on the foundations and future of China’s global power within the context of the country’s history and economic position. Today’s installment, “China and Sudan: A Marriage Sealed in Oil, History,” is the first of stories that will outline China’s influence in Africa. The story recounts the tale of Major General Charles Gordon of Great Britain. He worked to secure trading lines with China, and later to manage Britain’s colonial possession at the time, Sudan. The relationship between Sudan and China is widely believed to be Continue reading China, Sudan, and the British Empire