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.
How do we communicate ideas to our audience? What steps can we take to introduce advanced concepts to our students or the general public? Scholars work for decades on the content of their arguments but spend very little time thinking about how to translate their ideas for specific consumers of information.
In Phil Arena’s review of Braumoeller’s new excellent book, he makes a baseball reference, later noting that he does not even like sports. This is a typical tactic in Political Science, if not all of academia. We often make sports metaphors and analogies in order to push our point across. No matter if you have never played an inning of ball in your life, most American academics are apt to make at least one baseball reference in class. Most British academics are apt to make at least one reference to football, even if they hate the sport.
There is an ongoing debate questioning if and how reputation matters in International Relations. The question is important right now in relation to the red line the United States setup regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria. I am not sure how reputation can matter if Russia is being held up as the mediator in striking a deal with Syria, Russia, and the West.