Tag: status

Why are Egypt&Turkey sending medical equipment to the US? International Status and lazy explanations in IR

Like so much else in international relations, the answer to this question seems “obvious.” But, like so much else, it gets trickier when we really investigate the situation, and it reveals nuances to international relations that many scholars and policy analysts overlook.

About a week ago, Egypt sent medical equipment to the United States to help in the fight against Covid-19. The packages were printed with “From the Egyptian People to the American People.” This prompted many dark jokes, as Egypt is currently suffering a major Covid-19 outbreak it is struggling to contain. Then Turkey followed suit. Turkey sent a plane with medical equipment to the United States, despite also suffering a Covid-19 outbreak.

The “obvious” explanation is economic: Egypt depends on US aid, so they want to keep us happy. Turkey doesn’t, but its economy is struggling so maybe they want to ensure the United States will help them if needed.

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Status, Cliques, and the Political-Science Job Market

There are many things I find unsurprising about Robert Orisko’s claims in the Georgetown Public Policy Review about hiring patterns in academic political science. Among those are the disparate reactions produced by its summary in Inside Higher Education.

In brief, Orisko argues that academic political-science hiring displays dynamics more associated with status-conserving cliques than an efficient market. This tracks with (more sophisticated) comparative studies of hiring patterns which suggest variation across different disciplines. As Kieran Healy discussed of the earlier study back in 2003, “placement is deeply embedded in systems of departmental status that bear little resemblance to a properly functioning market.”

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Thought of the day

If the late Roger Gould was right… then we’re all completely screwed.

Of course, it isn’t hard to guess who would win in a non-virtual confrontation between a high-status World of Warcraft player and a high-status basketball player. Just sayin’.

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