This is a guest post by Carrie A. Lee, an Assistant Professor at the US Air War College. The opinions and recommendations offered in this piece are those of the author do not represent the official policy or positions of the U.S. Government, U.S. Air Force, or Air War College.
On the first evening of June 2020, President Donald Trump used National Guard military police units to fire tear gas and rubber bullets on peaceful demonstrators in front of St. John’s Episcopal church in Washington, DC. The move, which was largely perceived to be an intentional and excessive show of force to clear the way for a photo-op, sparked outcry amongst observers from across the political spectrum, including those of us who study civil-military relations and remain concerned about the increasing use of the military for partisan political purposes.
This is a guest post by Elizabeth Radziszewski, Assistant Professor at Rider University and author of forthcoming book Private Militaries and Security Industry in Civil Wars: Competition and Market Accountability (Oxford University Press) and Jonathan M. DiCicco, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Middle Tennessee State University and a Senior Fellow with the TransResearch Consortium.
While the world has
been coping with the disastrous COVID-19 pandemic, India and Pakistan have
experienced the worst cross-border fighting in two years. Unfortunately, this
fight is not against the virus. Instead, it is a continuation of the two enemies’
rivalry over Kashmir, a disputed territory each claims as its own.
* I have changed the title as I got plenty of pushback on twitter–that there is plenty of IR on Pandemics, not just in the major journals. And I will add an update at the bottom later to address the criticisms later.
People are wondering why there has not been much scholarship on the international relations of pandemics in the mainstream journals.
out of curiosity, looked at how many times the term “pandemic” has appeared in top IR journals
Not a scientific survey of the literature, but it gives you the basic idea. I can’t really name any scholars that come to mind that are the pandemic experts, except strangely enough Dan Drezner thanks to his book Theory of International Politics and Zombies (the origin of that book was the blogging community reacting to a study by public health types who were wondering if countries would cooperate in the face of a pandemic and they used zombies as a placeholder for … something like this) Which really is about IR theory and cooperation and not really about pandemics. It is just the closest we got. Which ain’t much. Why?
This is a guest post by Richard W. Maass, an Associate Professor at the University of Evansville. His research focuses on international security, US foreign policy, terrorism, and diplomatic history. He has a forthcoming book on how democracy and xenophobia limited US territorial expansion (Cornell UP, May 2020).
This crisis has us all having a lot of feelings. I am feeling a bit nostalgic for Hegemonic Stability Theory. While Comparative Politics will have much to say about why countries varied in their responses (also see Max Brooks’s World War Z [the book, NOT the movie] to get a taste of the comparative politics of pandemics), it is the job of IR (and epidemiologists) to discuss why the disease spread as it did and why the international community largely failed. While there are many theories that may apply, I think that HST applies quite well.
Sunday mornings are for tenure reviews.
Huh? I am reading stuff to evaluate a scholar for whether he/she is
worthy of tenure. This is a standard part of the tenure process–to
have outside scholars read a bunch of a candidate’s work and then
indicate whether they have made a significant contribution and whether
they are likely to continue to do so. As I have written elsewhere, this is a fair amount of work, almost always unpaid. So, I have gotten a bit cranky when I do it these days.
I love this tweet as it puts the usual dynamics on their head:
for students going off to college: study 80s/90s pop culture.
Particularly Ferris Beuller, Princess Bride, Simpsons seasons 2-5. Your
gen x/early millennial profs will try to connect with you through these,
and will be confused/sad when you stare blankly at them. Not joking.
A key part of the tenure process is for outside experts to evaluate
the candidate’s research (hard to evaluate their teaching and service
from outside). These letters can be quite handy for getting a less
biased perspective that a department might have (in either direction).
It is especially useful for providing insights in cases where the
candidate’s subfield is under or unrepresented among the senior faculty
evaluating tenure (a real life example: no tenured political theorists
and the candidate is a theorist).
Today, I learned that I am out of touch. Ok, that is old news. I got into a twitter conversation about embargoed dissertations. A friend was trying to access and then cite a dissertation that has been out for a few years, and she could not because the dissertation was embargoed. I then raised this on twitter, and got a whole lot of push back. So, let’s take a look at this.
I just came back from eight days in Israel and Palestine, as I participated in a program, Academic Exchange, that has already taken something like 600 scholars (mostly IR but also other political scientists, lawyers [including my brother-in-law], and some economists) to learn more about the place, the conflict and the politics. The experience was pretty intense, so I blogged my daily experiences at saideman.blogspot.com starting with this one (go to my blog for pics since blogspot is cludgy for pics but wordpress–the system here–is far worse). I am blogging here to write about the larger issues–what was the purpose of this trip, what are the take home lessons, and what can we make of this very problematic place.
Folks have been picking on the last Game of Thrones episode for a variety of unrealistic or unearned developments. Here’s my take on the secessionist element. Folks have been picking on the last Game of Thrones episode for a variety of unrealistic or unearned developments. Here’s my take on the secessionist element.
I enjoyed @mchorowitz on GoT Dragon airpower, but it’s time for @RyanGrauer to give the people what they want- an analysis of how Westerosi alliance politics will affect military command structure and battlefield effectiveness.
An amazing series of tweets must be re-posted here so that IR profs everywhere can use them for syllabi and for the first day of class. A grateful nation owes Herb Carmen, former naval aviator, a tremendous debt. Continue reading
My post on citation got far more engagement than nearly all of the things I have posted over the years, so I thought I would return to the scene of the crime/post. While many academics agreed whole heartily with my take, more than a few did not including folks I respect a great deal. What were their perspectives?
Citations are a lousy measure, one with much bias, of academic relevance/achievement, etc.
People would rather be contacted so that they can provide the latest
version of the paper, rather than something that might be half-baked,
wrong, or incomplete.
Put “do not cite, do not circulate” on your paper. I received a
paper for the upcoming ISA which had that instruction on it. I yelled
at (ok, I mocked) my students last week for doing the same thing. In
the olden days, folks would put “do not cite” on their papers because
they wanted to polish them before submitting, that they didn’t want to
have errant results widely circulated. Perhaps there is a fear that if a
paper is circulated, it might get scooped.
I teach a 3rd year PhD workshop that is mostly focused on getting students through their dissertation proposals (a roadmap for their dissertation research). Along the way, we cover other topics, like how to get on conference programs, what kind of non-academic employment there is, and, yes, social media. Last night, we covered the latter category, and I was surprised at the response: why don’t I make money off of it?