On Hegemons and Trade (Part I): Origins

I am currently in the process of entirely rewriting and redesigning one of my earliest academic papers that I want to update with the context of better data and methods in evaluating the hypotheses I initially proposed. That is, I am writing the same paper a second time.  As part of this process, I am revisiting some classic works on the topic of Hegemonic Stability Theory. Consequently, this is part one of a multi-stage blog post series.  Part 1 of the project deals with the origins of Hegemonic Stability Theory, Part 2 will dig into the advancements in the theory Continue reading On Hegemons and Trade (Part I): Origins

Did Data Kill Theory?

Thanks to Geoff McGovern for pointing us toward a fascinating essay in Wired.  Chris Anderson posits that the accessibility of information has vaulted us into what he calls the Petrabyte Age, in which information is not a matter of simple three- and four-dimensional taxonomy and order but of dimensionally agnostic statistics. It calls for an entirely different approach, one that requires us to lose the tether of data as something that can be visualized in its totality. It forces us to view data mathematically first and establish a context for it later. Given how much data is readily available, Anderson Continue reading Did Data Kill Theory?

Interviewing Theorists

While browsing for more distractions in the world of blogging that would add to my understanding of political science, I happily came across Theory Talks, a website devoted to promoting discussion about political science by interviewing prominent writers in our discipline.  For example, the latest post includes a lengthy question and answer with Robert Keohane.  I do enjoy this short snippet on the nature of our science: Do you think it is possible for a theorist who has conceived a “big idea” to change his stripes? Sociologically and psychologically, it would be too much to expect a theorist to renounce Continue reading Interviewing Theorists

Pax Corleone

I could not pass up this article posted on The Monkey Cage yesterday.  Hulsman and Mitchell use the movie The Godfather as an analogy for post-9/11 America and each one of the Vito’s potential heirs represents a different theoretical path for America.  The article is an interesting treatment of the subject, though not entirely novel.  My advisor, for example, has assigned it in the past as intro to international relations course to dissect these similar themes.  However, it is good to have it as a formal analysis of the topic and offers a decent bridge between popular media and academic Continue reading Pax Corleone