Sunday, November 21, 2004

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Oh my, that does feel good

While Eszter Hargittai and others might debate whether blogging should or should not "count" as scholarship, one thing most scholar-bloggers probably agree on is that at this point it doesn't count. So, for those of us aspiring for tenure, what matters are the old standbys -- university press books, book chapters, and refereed journal articles [What about essays in Foreign Affairs or The New Republic or the New York Times?--ed. A former colleague once labeled this stuff as "ash & trash," and I fear he's probably correct.]

For the past several years I've been working feverishly -- and, well, OK, sometimes not so feverishly -- to finish my second book manuscript, about economic globalization and the variance in the global coordination of regulatory standards. My original goal was August 2003. Then, when I realized I had some problems with the theory section, my new goal was August 2004. Then, when I realized Erika wasn't kidding when she said being pregnant was completely sapping her strength, I foolishly thought I could still wrap it up by September. In other words, like every academic project, there were cost and schedule overruns.

Well, it's finally done, and has just been sent to my publisher for external review. Which is great -- because now I can't even look at it for several months. There's no point. Any revisions I make now would not be apparent to the referees, so I might as well wait until I receive their thoughts before I take another crack at it. Furthermore, there is a real benefit to be gained from putting a project like this away for a spell and then coming back at it with a pair of fresh, detached eyes. It allows a writer to excise those bits and pieces of prose that might have taken days or weeks to polish, but in the end are extraneous to the core argument. To close to the writing, and one is reluctant to engage in this kind of essential triage.

From a work perspective, it will be wonderful to start and/or complete other projects. Even better will be the temporary surfacing from my little submarine to see what in the dickens everyone else in my field has been working on.

This is only a temporary reprieve -- come spring, I'll be back at work on the revisions for a few months. But if this is not the end, it's the beginning of the end -- and that's a very good feeling.

[What if your readers want to read it?--ed. Then I feel nothing but pity for them. However, here's a link to the .pdf file. Read it and weep.]

posted by Dan on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM


Congratulations, Dan! To fully enjoy the period of not thinking about it, I suggest blogging only on topics unrelated to your book for the interval. Become a leading Tasmanian botany blog or something.

We'll all still read. Honest.

posted by: Jarrett on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Dan, I second Jarrett above. You need something totally unrelated to poli-sci, yet germane to your blog. Something that can be summed up in just two words. Something like:


posted by: fingerowner on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]


I've skimmed through the book - which I like a lot, but will have to leave aside while I finish Democracy in America - and I notice that you're casting aspersions on my beloved homeland's environmental record. This paper on the Environmental Kuznets Curve in Ireland might interest you:



posted by: Peter Nolan on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Y'mean, like, book stuff? That is so totally WAY kool - y'no? When's the movie?

(sorry. its the daughters. congrats dan)

posted by: wishIwuz2 on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

grat's, Dan! Looking forward to setting aside some time to take a gander at it.

posted by: Kyle on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Nice work, Dan!

posted by: Laura on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Jesus tap-dancing Christ. Nice. 305 pages await some reading.

posted by: Mark Lupida on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Congrats on your book completion and your tyke daughter again. Finishing a big work is something not easy to do.

However ... I tend to disagree with the framework you've chosen is not exactly accurate. I agree that NGO's view corporations are corrupting the state regulatory system. I also agree that the great powers have great power in setting the global agenda through regulatory and political demands.

However I do not agree that they are mutually exclusive much less that the latter is the correct view.

The real issue is that the political leaders of the great powers accept as the authentic representative of societies interests as being advanced by the multilateral corporations. The corporations do not own the governments. However they do define what the governments consider the best means of advancing social welfare.

Therefore it is not an issue of corporate corrupted regulation as is so often presented, but that the political and economic policies of the great powers coincide with those of the multilaterals because it is these giant corporations that the political and economic leadership define as advancing the betterment of all.

This is the argument, that yes individuals will suffer, but by advancing regulation favorable to the capital market action of the multilateral corporations will in the long run benefit everybody. This is why the leaders of the great powers always show sympathy with those who protest, and then pass legislation favorable on the whole to the capital markets.

The collusion is not one of personal financial transaction but between fundamental paradigms. As long as world leaders believe that the capital markets can do no wrong, they will always come down on the side of the capital markets.

posted by: oldman on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Congrats on what looks to be an excellent piece fo work. I'm working my way through it whenever I have a spare moment. Thus far, it seems good (but why are you hatin' on Mr. Friedman?)

Again, great job.

posted by: David Schraub on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Thanks for giving us an opportunity to see the book. I've finished seventy or so pages and find it very insightful. One request, however; is there any chance you could make a single-spaced version available? I know double-spacing is the rule for proofreading and referee submissions, but it's quite difficult to read.

Thanks for a great read - I look forward to seeing the final version.

posted by: davidoff on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Congratulations, Dan. I look forward to reading your work.

posted by: Zathras on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Just started reading. Very cool topic; you're like the Robert Dahl of the entire world!

posted by: praktike on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Wow, that is really wonderful, congrats! I'm glad you didn't say anything in this post about how your blogging may have interfered with the writing. If anything, do you think it helped in any way? Oh well, I realize it's really hard to tell, but at least no obvious adverse effects?;-)

posted by: eszter on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

I really liked your article titled "Outsourcing Bogeyman" in the "ash and trash" tabloid Foreign Affairs.

posted by: John on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Does your publisher not have a problem with you posting a draft for free on the web?

posted by: Arpan on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Congrats! I think your blogging prolly helped in keeping you writing, and energized.

I'll be looking at it your book -- since you supported Kerry, you don't have to accept any blame for any bad consequence of Bush's policies. (Did you plan on this absolution?)

Um, in your VERY first post, you wrote:
"way to much to be pithy", wrong first to - too.

And you did it in this post, too:
"To close to the writing".

I know, spell checkers don't catch to too two errors, but they always bother me. (Especially when I read that I've done it! all too often.)

posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

Call me dull, but what what does "Ash and Trash" mean.

posted by: Greg on 11.21.04 at 04:00 PM [permalink]

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