Given that there is a hurricane that is currently headed for the city of New Orleans—a city which also happens to be hosting the 2012 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association—this poll at the Monkey Cage may be of some interest to many of you out there. There currently seems to be a lot of uncertainty regarding whether or not it is worth attending. From my limited personal experience thus far, it seems that many panels are probably no longer meeting as individuals are opting out. In any event, this might be helpful in shedding some light on the worth of traveling at this point.
I've been working recently on quite a few projects that deal with human rights and NGOs, and today's BBC podcast has quite a bit of material that is relevant to these topics.
First, there's a story regarding a new law that is being debated in Russia that would require NGOs receiving funding from external sources to label themselves as "foreign agents" in all of their state documentation and internet materials. The law would also increase the amount of bookkeeping required by the Russian government to allow NGOs to operate within Russia. Failure to abide by the new law's requirements would result in fines and a possible two-year jail sentence. This measure comes on the heals of more of Putin's shenanigans (see here and here). The BBC segment has some interesting interviews with Russian MPs, who justify the legislation on the grounds that NGOs are acting at the behest of Western and US interests in an effort to undermine Russian democracy.
The second segment of interest concerns the disappearance and execution of people during the 1970s by the military government in Argentina. I've just spent a bit of time reading Keck and Sikkink's 1998 book, Activists Beyond Borders. It just so happens that the authors have a nice and concise account of the role played by NGOs in exposing the activities of the military government during this time period—one that I found myself drawing upon only yesterday. The BBC segment expands a bit upon the details concerning disappearances involving young pregnant women, and the details are both interesting and appalling. Essentially, women were kidnapped, but the authorities often waiting until the women gave birth before executing them. The babies were subsequently handled in a variety of ways, but apparently many children were dropped off at hospitals, while many others were adopted by military families.
For the Midwest Political Science Association annual convention this year, I have only one paper. I will present a paper co-authored with Sam Bell and Chad Clay looking at the impact rivalry has on dispute escalation in asymmetric dyads. Friday (4/13) at 4:35 pm, on the panel 18-22 Rivalry and Conflict, we will present the paper "Deadly Triangles: The Implications of Regional Competition on Demands between Asymmetric States." Our abstract:
Asymmetric war continues to be a puzzling occurrence for international relations scholars across multiple theoretical approaches. According to realists (and other unitary-state rationalists), asymmetric war should not happen as the outcome of war is known in advance and a bargain can be struck instead. However, asymmetric war does happen despite the obvious bargaining alternative. While there have been some recent attempts to recover these problematic cases by looking at issues such as alliances and power (Huth 1998), demand types (Allen and Fordham 2011), and war aims (Sullivan 2007), we argue that previous research has missed a vital piece of bargaining dynamics in dyadic research: third party influence. We posit that weak states with rivals and neighboring rivals are conditioned in their likelihood of resist the demands of powerful states. Utilizing spatial modeling techniques for the Correlates of War data, we determine that characteristics of rivals and neighboring rivals do decrease the likelihood that demands by powerful states are resisted by weak states.
While I am not attending ISA physically this year, I have two different papers being presented by co-authors. As such, a bit of shameless self-promotion.
The first paper is being presented by Matt DiGiuseppe on Tuesday (4/3) at 8:15 AM in Hospitality Suite 2201 on the Economics in International Processes panel. Our paper, "Austere Alliances: Sovereign Credit and Asymmetric Alliance Formation," is a continuation of a research project that we had accepted at ISQ recently (expected 12/2013) and seeks to understand how sovereign credit relates to defense budgets and alliance formation. The abstract:
The funding of military ventures through borrowed money has been practiced for centuries. Sovereign debt enables states to maintain stable tax rates while increasing expenditures to confront sudden budgetary needs such as economic downturns or wars. Affordable access to credit, then, serves as both a source of power and an important buffer between security and the political consequences fiscal policy. The alternatives to debt (taxes, monetary expansion, and social spending reduction) have consequences for the aggregate economy and salient domestic constituencies. We suggest that as governments lack access to affordable credit they will substitute military capacity with alliance formation. Alliances provide a means for leaders to offset the flexibility provided by credit without disturbing the domestic political economy. This influences both a state’s willingness to join an alliance and their potential alliance partners. Our examination of minor-major power dyads indicates that states with lower credit ratings or that have recently defaulted are more likely to form an asymmetric alliance than those states with affordable access to credit markets.
On Wednesday (4/4) at 8:15 in Hospitality Suite 2301 on the War Preparation and War Outcomes panel, Michael Flynn will present a paper, also co-authored with Julie VanDusky-Allen, titled "Supplementing Security: US Troop Deployments and Host-State Defense Spending." The paper estimates the impact foreign deployed troops has on defense spending by other countries. The abstract:
Since the end of the Second World War hundreds of thousands of US military personnel have been deployed to overseas locations. Such deployments often add an additional level of security and can create incentives that have the potential to influence a host-state's foreign policy decisions in a variety of ways. In this paper we analyze how the deployment of US troops both in and around the host-state has affected the degree to which states contribute to their own security and defense capabilities. Using data on US troop deployments since 1951 through 2003, we test this relationship by looking at how the deployment of US military forces has impacted defense spending in several different types of states, including NATO members, US allies in general, non-allies of the US, and all states. We also utilize dynamic spatial measures of US troop deployments in order to analyze how regional and neighborhood concentrations of US military forces contribute to shaping host--state policies. We analyze the data using both traditional panel methodology as well as incorporating a simultaneous equation model for the deployment of troops. Our results indicate that larger US troop deployments are associated with a smaller defense burden across several of our sub--samples--including non--NATO US allies. NATO allies, however, appear to consistently increase their defense burden in respond to the presence of US troops. Our results shed new light on both the guns versus butter dynamics, as well as the role played by alliances in defense spending.
Also, congratulations to Michael Flynn who decided that San Diego, on April Fool's Day, while attending ISA, was the right time and place to propose and is now engaged.
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 two counts.
Firstly it’s maybe a bit patronizing? It assumes the reader needs to be ‘hooked’ with some sly pop-culture reference before they’ll be interested in reading any further. Second, it absolves authors of the responsibility to find one phrase that both communicates what the piece is about and encourage the reader to continue. Ideally I don’t think there has to be a separation of what’s ‘interesting’ about an article from its bare-bones description.
However, in my mind the most glaring argument against these titles is that nobody else uses this template.
And perhaps with good reason. Below are some examples from the world of music as it could be after imposing this template. Regardless of how you feel about this title structure, I think it’s possible to have fun coming up with these, so feel free to add your own examples in the comments.
“Can’t Get No Satisfaction”: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Masculinity, with Evidence From Contemporary Advertising Media. Jagger, Mick, et al 196x.
“Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”: Intersections of Conspicuous Consumption and the Weberian View of Work Ethics. Brown, James. 197x. Journal of Getting Down With Your Bad Self.
“Waterloo”: An Oral History of Relationship Violence From The 19th Century Onwards. Lyngstad, Anni-Frid ‘Frida’, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Agnetha Fältskog, (henceforth ABBA). 19xx.
“Imagine”: Preference Homogeneity and a Proposed Reconciliation Between Populism and Ethical Philosophy. Lennon, John. 19xx.
“It’s Oh So Quiet”: The Role of Emotional Imbalance in Sonic Perception in Human Subjects. Bjork, 19xx.
“Five Years Time”: Risk Aversion and the Shadow of the Future. Noah and the Whale, 20xx.
“Over and Over”: Replication and Popperian Science with Applications to Dance-Floors. Hot Chip, 20xx.
“Common People”: Participant Observation and Moral Quandaries in Class-Based Ethnography. Cocker, Jarvis, et al 199x.
“You Give Love A Bad Name”: Reputation Effects In The Field of Cardiac Trauma Jovi,Jon Bon, et al. 19xx. The American Epic Hair Review, Special Issue: 80th Anniversary of the Perm.
I may add any more that I feel are particularly good ones, as they occur to me. But, I hope to do a lot better with my own titles in the future.
The entire country of Liechtenstein is now up for rent. Yes, you read correctly, the entire country! It costs $70,000 a night, with a two night minimum, and there are accommodations for 900 guests. Some of the perks include being presented with the symbolic key to the state by parliament, renaming the streets and the town square, and printing your own currency with your picture on it.
Even though renting the country of Liechtenstein sounds like fun, there are limits to what you can do. Unsurprisingly, you do not get to determine what type of government it has, get involved in politics, or make laws. If you could, the potential for social experiments would be endless.
Although Liechtenstein cannot be rented to conduct social experiments, it would be an oddly appropriate venue to hold a political science conference. Therefore, we should petition APSA to hold a conference there. If they could get 900 attendees, it would only cost $156 a person. That is on par with the cost of going to most conferences- and they get to rent a whole country with it!
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 modern state is supposed to have a monopoly over. In this paper, we build a game theoretic model that determines the prospects for using non-state actors in combat on behalf of the state. From this model, we hypothesize that despite the risk of agency loss by these private combatants, certain conditions increases the likelihood of their use. Specifically, autocratic polities are predicted to have a positive influence on the employment of non-state combatants while their democratic peers will prefer to abstain from such activities. We test these hypotheses using a censored probit model for all bilateral wars from 1816-2002.
For many, I will be seeing you at the conference. Feedback on the paper is welcomed.
My teaching style, as well as my presentation style, is marked by a relatively rapid delivery. I had favored such a style quite awhile ago for many public speaking formats as the general perception of the speaker by the audience is favorable (generally heighten perceptions of intelligence and mastery of the material).
However, now I can justify such approaches beyond my own perceived benefit and claim that I am doing my audience a favor. That is, those who engage the presented material will tend to be happier thanks to my public service:
In six experiments, researchers at Princeton and Harvard
universities made research participants think quickly by having them
generate as many problem-solving ideas (even bad ones) as possible in
10 minutes, read a series of ideas on a computer screen at a brisk pace
or watch an I Love Lucy video clip on fast-forward. Other participants performed similar tasks at a relaxed speed.
Results suggested that thinking fast made participants feel more
elated, creative and, to a lesser degree, energetic and powerful.
Activities that promote fast thinking, then, such as whipping through
an easy crossword puzzle or brain-storming quickly about an idea, can
boost energy and mood, says psychologist Emily Pronin, the study’s lead
I, unfortunately, will be leaving ISA and NYC this morning and will be missing a bloggers get together of sorts tonight. However, for those of you here at ISA and reading blogs instead of attending panels, this gathering may be of interest.
Just in case you were not subject to the barrage of email reminders, the deadline for Midwest Proposals is today:
Call for Papers for the 67th MPSA Political Science Conference April 2-5, 2009, Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Chicago ******************************************************************************* Deadline to submit a proposal: October 10, 2008.
Please forward this email to faculty or graduate students who may be interested.
Submit a proposal to present a paper, or serve as a discussant/chair. With 900+ sessions it is one of the largest in the discipline. http://www.mpsanet.org/~mpsa/Conference/submit.html
The conference is held in the recently renovated Palmer House Hilton. To insure you have a room, make your reservations now! http://www.mpsanet.org/~mpsa/Conference/travel.html
There are many receptions and opportunities to network throughout the conference. Your group can also host a meeting or reception: http://www.mpsanet.org/~mpsa/Conference/meetings.html
Midwest Political Science Association, founded in 1939 320 W 8th Street, #218, Bloomington, IN 47404 www.mpsanet.org
Sorry for any cross postings. If you received this email in error, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org