Blog Archives

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

Comparative Methods: New Syllabus

This spring I am teaching Cornell’s Comparative Methods course. The near-final syllabus is here (PDF). (To those Cornell PhD students reading this: hi! I’ll see you next Wednesday.) Compared to the previous time that I taught this course, I am

Posted in Teaching

Comparative Politics and the Trump Administration

Last week I wrote a silly post about international relations theory and the Trump administration. The purpose of that post was to poke some fun at the dozens of paradigms employed to make sense of the field of international relations,

Posted in Current Affairs, Politics, Teaching

Transactions Costs in Strange Places: Geertz on the “Bazaar Economy” of “Modjokuto”

Today I teach the Coase Theorem in my undergraduate Politics and Markets class. In a directed grad reading on Indonesian political economy, we are covering Clifford Geertz’s Peddlers and Princes. I did not anticipate that the two would have much

Posted in Economics, Indonesia, Politics, Teaching

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

Methods Debates for Humanists

One of the benefits of working in an interdisciplinary field is the opportunity to witness how different academic communities view one another. From the position of a political scientist, I commonly hear say, historians or anthropologists summarize what they understand

Posted in Research, Teaching

On the Cuts to Asian Studies at ANU

By now, many readers of this blog will be familiar with the recent decision to restructure Asian studies at the Australian National University, in particular through the elimination of professorial positions in the School of Culture, History, and Languages. These

Posted in Asia, Research, Teaching

The Legacies of the “Boat People” in Asian America

I always struggle to express to undergraduates just how important it is to understand Asian American experiences from the community collectively known as the “Boat People.” Thanks to IPUMS-USA (Ruggles et al. 2015), though, I can make this figure. It

Posted in Asia, Teaching

Syllabus Ideas: The Politics of Violence in Southeast Asia

I am in the process of putting together a syllabus for a graduate-level half-semester course on the politics of violence in Southeast Asia. The goal of such a course would be to make sense of the micro-dynamics of conflict and

Posted in Asia, Teaching
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