Blog Archives

International and Area Studies in the Era of American Greatness

I have a new essay out in the Chronicle of Higher Education on what are likely to be devastating effects of President Trump’s budget proposal on international and area studies. Subscribers can read here. I make the case that now is the

Posted in Current Affairs, Politics, Research, Teaching

Learning from Marginal Effects Plots

I really enjoy thinking about how to present quantitative information in a visual format rather than in boring tables of digits. However, at the same time, I think that many common ways to visualize quantitative results in political science are actually misleading. How

Posted in Research, Uncategorized

The Long Arm of Western Crises

What seems a lifetime ago, I wrote a short essay for the newsletter of the International History and Politics section of the American Political Science Association. Here is how it begins: The events of 2016 represent no less than a

Posted in Current Affairs, Politics, Research

An Interpretive Ethnography of Interpretive Ethnography

While reading Lisa Wedeen‘s “Reflections on Ethnographic Work in Political Science” I was struck by this description of ethnography due to my grad school friend Tim Pachirat*: Ethnography as a method is particularly unruly, particularly undisciplined, particularly celebratory of improvisation,

Posted in Research, Teaching

This Is the Best Time Ever to Study Political Science

Here are ten questions that might be interesting to Americans these days. 1. Is the Trump administration’s immigration executive order constitutional? 2. Is the United States a democracy? How do we know? 3. How does presidential leadership style affect U.S.

Posted in Current Affairs, Research, Teaching

Democracy is not Government by Democrats, and Authoritarianism is not Government by Authoritarians

In a post from October 2015, “Democratic Disappointments, Authoritarian Reformists, and Political Equilibria,” I mused about a seemingly ironic feature of contemporary Malaysian politics. The former dictator Mahathir Mohamad, a staunch defender of ruling party hegemony who happily jailed opponents

Posted in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Politics, Research

International Relations Theory and the Trump Administration

Yesterday afternoon, a student asked me in office hours what International Relations Theory has to say about the new Trump administration. There has been some discussion of realism and Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, and some musings about the Trump administration’s

Posted in Politics, Research

Interests, Ideas, and Identity

Nothing is more productive for stale academic debates than a momentous yet unexpected political event. 2016 has seen at least two such events: Brexit and Trump. As a sometime-participant in a stale political debate on ideas versus interests in political

Posted in Politics, Research

Inferring Whether the Polls Were Correct

Let’s say we want to estimate a quantity . We form an estimate of that quantity , with a 95% confidence interval of . Let’s say we form another estimate , with a confidence interval of . And then it

Posted in Current Affairs, Politics, Research

A Job Talk Talk

One of the best things I ever did in graduate school was to attend a presentation by a new assistant professor about what the job talk is, what it is for, and best practices. It was critical for me to

Posted in Research, Teaching
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