3. Intellibriefs. In case you don't have enough sources for commentary on current events.
4. Israel and Turkey mending ties. Not unexpected in itself, but at least to me, it's a little surprising that it looks like reconciliation will be brought about by Israel lobbying against UN criticism.
5. Hezbollah moving missiles from Syria to Lebanon. If Turkey asking Israel to protect it from UN criticism isn't strange enough for you, surely Lebanon being seen as a safe haven to which one might gravitate when fleeing upheaval elsewhere is a sign that this ain't your father's Middle East.
There's lots of good advice out there for new faculty, including tons of books that are supposed to be really good (such as this one and this one). But one of the best pieces of advice is to use time wisely, and reading self-help books didn't seem consistent with that one, so I didn't bother.
Self-help books may or may not be worth your time, but you'll find most people who've gone through it all already are glad to share their thoughts with you, often unprompted. Listen to them. And, at least at first, make a point of asking for advice. Ask the same questions of the advanced APs and the tenured folks. They'll almost certainly have different, though equally valuable, things to say.
In response to David Lake's recent piece condemning the -isms of IR theory, Brian Rathbun points out that all of the problems with that apply equally to rationalism. Moreover, he contends, these days the rationalists have established a hegemony that refuses to acknowledge its own existence, which is even worse than the old debates between realists and their various critics.
I'm sympathetic to much of what Rathbun writes. But I take issue with some of his points.
Reports the NYTimes. This article gives the impression that the only debate is when the 30k "surge" troops will come home. There is no question that they will be withdrawn before 2012, also no question that the other 70k (roughly double the fighting force present in Afghanistan when Obama took office) will remain past that time.
Dan Drezner poses the question here. He's mostly weighing in on events at HuffPo, but I thought I'd use the opportunity to talk about why I enjoy blogging, and why I think the field benefits from having academics blog.
I recently discovered Jay Ulfelder's excellent blog, Dart-Throwing Chimp. I wish I'd stumbled across it sooner.
I'd like to draw your attention to two recent posts in particular, though there's lots more worth reading than what I'm going to focus on below. So go check it out. This post will still be here waiting for you when you're done.
1. New Lebanese government dominated by Hezbollah and its allies. Government vows to end Israeli occupation. But I'm sure they don't mean by force. I mean, this is a democratically elected government, and democratically elected governments don't contemplate using force against other democratic governments, right? And I'm sure the same goes for Israel.
This post continues the gradual shift towards discussing general issues associated with formal modeling rather than issues specific to "rationality".*
I've said some of this before. But, hopefully at least, this will be the clearest statement I've offered of my views on what we can and cannot ask of theoretical models. This will also, hopefully, help to set up future discussions, such as some posts on addressing specific criticisms of common modeling assumptions in IR (like the focus on dyadic crises) and a post comparing the use of game theoretic models to computational models.
I'm still really backlogged with various things, so I won't be picking back up with the posts on rat choice or Europe for a little while yet. But I thought some of you might find the following to be amusing.
I didn't want to admit in public that I expected this (forget the misleading headline and note that support is up 12 points since March), having already made some statements that were too hasty (some of which I later felt were at least partially vindicated) in the wake of the capture of OBL. But with the safety of this new poll being released, I'm now comfortable saying I did in fact have serious doubts about claims that his capture would open up a window of opportunity to accelerate the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
7. Libyan rebels retake Western town. Things are going great, as long as you don't read between the lines. Like when British Foreign Secretary Hague insists the rebels are committed to democracy, but at the same time is pressing the rebels to clarify what a post-Qaddafi Libya would look like. Not that anyone is worried about that, of course.
2. UN accuses both sides of Libyan conflict of war crimes. But only Qaddafi's count. The opposition's crimes are "less numerous", so it's all good. I mean, Qaddafi's the bad guy, and we're fighting to replace the bad guy with the good guys. Like usual. Simple enough, right?
4. What is Hugo Chavez up to? (H/T Kindred Winecoff). Former diplomat Pineda sums it up quite well, “Russia and China are closer to the U.S. than they are to Venezuela, but Chávez thinks he can move them against the United States—it’s absurd."
5. Debating the value of education in America. (H/T Matt Zimmerman). I wish the author made at least some attempt to distinguish normative theories about what role education should serve (e.g., what he calls Theory 2) from those that purport to explain the role that, for better or for worse, it does serve (e.g., Theory 1). But still an interesting read.
I am an assistant professor of political science who studies international relations. My interests include international conflict, domestic politics, bargaining theory, formal theory, and the empirical implications of theoretical models.