Wednesday, February 12, 2003

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A brief introduction, in the form of a Q&A:

Q: Who are you?

A: I’m an assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago. I’ve previously taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Donetsk Technical University in the Republic of Ukraine for Civic Education Project. I’ve also served as an international economist in the Treasury Department, a research consultant for the RAND corporation, and as an unpaid foreign policy advisor for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign (they didn’t need the help).

I’m the editor of Locating the Proper Authorities: The Interaction of Domestic and International Institutions (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003), and the author of The Sanctions Paradox: Economic Statecraft and International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 1999). I’ve written a fair number of articles in both policy and scholarly journals. I’m in the middle of a book-length project on globalization and global governance, under advance contract from Princeton University Press. I have a B.A. from Williams College, an M.A. in economics and a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. I’ve received fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard University. I'm a monthly contributor to The New Republic Online, and have also published essays in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New York Times, Slate, Tech Central Station, and the Wall Street Journal. This weblog has been in existence since September 2002.

Q: What do you know?

A: I can claim some genuine expertise on the utility of economic statecraft, the political economy of globalization, U.S. foreign policy, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. However, as my wife is fond of pointing out, this narrow range of expertise does not prevent me from discussing with false confidence everything else under the sun.

Q: What’s your political affiliation?

A: I’m a small-l libertarian Republican who studies international relations, which means I’m frequently conflicted between my laissez-faire instincts and my clear-eyed recognition that there is no substitute for nation-states in world politics. Just keep reading the blog, you'll get a pretty good sense of what I believe.

Q: You don’t have tenure – why are you wasting valuable hours blogging instead of writing peer-reviewed academic articles?

A: I will admit to some apprehension about this perceived tradeoff. However, blogging and academic scholarship are like apples and oranges. I love the academic side of my job, i.e., the researching and writing about international relations theory. But I’m also a policy wonk. And since the New York Times op-ed page mysteriously refuses to solicit my views, the blog lets me scratch that itch.

Q: What do you mean by wonk? How much of a policy geek are you?

A: I wrote my first op-ed -- about the Reagan Doctrine -- for the Hartford Courant when I was 17 years old. I’m pretty damn geeky. Of course, the University of Chicago does pride itself on being a magnet for people like me.

Q: I want to learn more about international relations in today’s world; what should I be reading?

A: Go to my book recommendations page and find out!!

Also be sure as well to check out both Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy on a regular basis.

Q: Isn’t it pretentious to have your middle initial in the byline for all of your publications?

A: The first time I ever published an article, my mother complained about the absence of my middle initial in the byline. Between looking pretentious and getting Mom off my back, it was an easy call. [UPDATE: My mother, after reading this, e-mailed to say:

Using your middle initial is not pretentious. It is your name. The W stands for your great grandfather, William Pauls, my mother's dad. He was much loved as you are as well!

So there].

Q: I’ve perused your blog, and I’m noticing an annoying editor guy pops up on occasion. What’s the deal? Are you schizophrenic?

A: This is a tic I’ve shamelessly borrowed from Mickey Kaus. I find it useful as a way of dealing with counterarguments, as well as the occasional humorous aside [So that’s all I am to you? An outlet for cheap laughs?—ed. Go bug Mickey for a while.]

Q: Why do you have such a God-awful picture on your department’s web site?

A: It was a bad hair/skin day and I’m too lazy to replace it. By the way, this is my standard response whenever I'm asked why I haven't done something. The good news is that I have a slightly better picture on my main web site.

Q: I still want to know more.

A: Then you clearly have too much time on your hands. However, feel free to check out the rest of my web site, which includes my academic cv and some more biographical material. Also, go check out my answers to Crescat Sententia's Twenty Questions.

posted by Dan on 02.12.03 at 12:42 PM