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 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)


I will be flying for Chicago early Wednesday morning for the Midwest Political Science Association Conference.  This is my first co-authored paper with Julie (another contributor to his blog) and we will present the following paper Thursday morning: The contemporary rise to infamy of Blackwater Worldwide and the private corporation's misdeeds in the Iraq War has historical precedents. That is, it is not unheard of for a state to employ non-state actors to carry out traditional state activities such as the use of force – something the modernstate is supposed to have a monopoly over. In this paper, we build Continue reading MWPSA Paper

Leadership Age and Experience

I am currently finishing up some slides at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton “International” airport on my way to the Annual Peace Science Conference.  However, given the recent airtime given to Biden’s comments about Obama being tested during the first six months, it worth mentioning two political science articles that have addressed this. First, Horrowitz et. al. (2006) argue, looking at Militarized Interstate Disputes, that as the leaders age increases, they are more likely to start and escalate militarized disputes.  It is only in personalized dictatorships that have the young increase the propensity for conflict: The results show that, in general, as the Continue reading Leadership Age and Experience