Incorporating Blog Consumption into the Classroom

There is currently a proposal before ISA to prevent blogging by the editorial members of ISA journals.  While there are a few posts discussing how this is professionally problematic and limits some real discussion that is happening via blog, there is one other arena such a mandate would also hurt: My classroom.   During the 2013-2014 academic year, I have been part of a teaching program at Boise State (Boise State Teaching Scholars) that aims to help early-career professors develop a more robust classroom while incorporating what we know from the scholarship on teaching and learning.  Part of my work through Continue reading Incorporating Blog Consumption into the Classroom

Updating the Introduction to International Relations Syllabus to 2.0

Note: We are returning to a weekly blogging schedule. As such, if you still have us on your RSS reader, new content will be regular! ___ I am about to begin my fifth semester teaching introduction to international relations and it will be my third such offering at Boise State.  We are elevating the course to serve more advanced political science students and we now offer it at the 300 level instead of the 200.  Given this elevation in designation, prerequisites, and a new year of teaching the course, I am working to revamp my syllabus as well as make Continue reading Updating the Introduction to International Relations Syllabus to 2.0

Mapping Leadership Tenure

Confession time.  One of my favorite subreddits on reddit is r/mapporn; a subreddit dedicated to the most visually appealing maps from all historical periods and dealing with a variety of topics.  We, at QP, cannot get our fill of maps as we (especially Michael Flynn) have blogged about it a few times (see here, here, and here). Yesterday, this map of leadership tenure was posted from The Economist: The cutoff date of 1945 seems like a controversial choice and the single image of the map did not come with clear coding rules as how to decisions were made.  Being familiar with Continue reading Mapping Leadership Tenure

(Mis)Understanding Political Science and Some Other Stuff

Let me preface this by saying that I started writing this post a little while ago, so some of the content is a bit dated at this point. That said, over at the Duck, Steve Saideman has a post up that continues the ongoing discussion on political science, its utility, and its relationship with the broader public. Steve* also links to some research on the subject done by fellow Binghamton University PhD, Conor Dowling.  You can check out either post for more details on the content/findings of the research. For now, I wanted to focus on a couple of points. Continue reading (Mis)Understanding Political Science and Some Other Stuff

Hunger Games: Civil Wars, Victory, and Repression

The movie version of the book The Hunger Games (Paperback, Kindle) is being released this week; the movie is expected to draw a large crowd and is already drawing superb ratings from critics. As such, given that there are both political and economic themes that run in the book that are ripe for political scientists and economists, I figured I would touch upon at least one of those interesting threads related to the study of international relations. Now, what I am drawing upon is purely from the first chapter of the book and can be easily gleaned from the trailer of the Continue reading Hunger Games: Civil Wars, Victory, and Repression

The Danger of Online Articles

I listen to several podcasts each work during my daily commute to and from the office.  One podcast, the Skeptics Guide to the Universe (SGU), has several segments each week, with a few discussing scientific findings.  My favorite is a game for the panel where three scientific research findings are offered and the panelists guess which one is false. That is, a finding is made up by the host; often, it is in the opposite direction of a recent study. The other two findings are "science;" a result that has been published in a recent journal. Two episodes ago (#330, 11/12/2011), Continue reading The Danger of Online Articles

Music and Academia: The Role of Colons in Titles

This post is written by Ben Farrer whose account is currently down. I’m starting to strongly dislike academic titles that take the form: “Metaphor For x: Actual Description Of x”, or similar, and am venting my frustration with a game. As an example of the type I dislike, one of my own undergraduate essays was entitled: “Holding out for a Hero? The Roles of Lincoln and of Slaves in Emancipation”. A poor effort on my part, but you get the picture. I’ve been guilty of using this template regularly myself, but I’m beginning to believe that it falls down on Continue reading Music and Academia: The Role of Colons in Titles

Quick Link: The Top 10 Worst Graphs in Science

Karl Bowman offers a list of the top 10 worst graphs in the scientific literature. Bowman not only critiques each graph, but also offers suggestions to improve the graph in the future. For this list, the social sciences were not included. I imagine that we have some relatively uninformative displays in our articles, but I have not seen a comparable list for our discipline—perhaps due to the obvious disincentives that exist for compiling such a list together.     

Two Comics for Friday

If you are not subscribed to these two comics, then this will be new to you.  If you already have them on your RSS feed, well, you get to suffer their propagation.*  The ever-linkable XKCD offers the rational incentives on leaving reviews for hotels (and other places). Poor reviews may drive demand down, which should lower the price of your consumption. SMBC, often delving into philosophy, science, and economics, has offered two economics-related comics in the past two days. Yesterday's comic posits the economists value of humans versus other objects and today's comic offers a, perhaps obvious, comic on the incentives Continue reading Two Comics for Friday

The Future of Political Science (summary, short discussion)

I have mentioned, in a previous post, all of the books that fill up my summer reading list. As of now, I have at least one book completed and several more have been added to my list.  I have recently finished The Future of Political Science: 100 Perspectives, a collection of 100 short articles aimed at discussing what has not been properly analyzed or should be analyzed in political science.  The book ended up being more oriented towards the fields of American and Comparative than I had originally anticipated (mostly by the title); however, this is more my own fault than anything else. Quickly Continue reading The Future of Political Science (summary, short discussion)