Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It rivals Buckley vs. Vidal, I tell you

My latest bloggingheads diavlog is up. This one is with The American Prospect's Ezra Klein. Topic include Todd Purdum's Vanity Fair essay on Bill Clinton, why Ezra hates political science, and the state of public intellectuals in America.

Go check it out (warning: the sound quality is a bit erratic)!!

posted by Dan at 08:49 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bloggingheads 911: Miami!!

What happens when Bloggingheads.tv has three planned diavlogs collapse at the last minute? Why, they break the glass and call on the most reliable media whore in the business -- and Megan McArdle!!

Go check it out. Topics discussed include the recent Israel-Syria negotiations, the uber-lame-duckness of George W. Bush, Black Lieutenant Syndrome, and the difficulties women can face trying to get the top job.

posted by Dan at 11:41 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

So Tuesday was a pretty good day....

Earlier this week I received official word that I've been promoted to full professor, after a remarkably transparent and stress-free process.

So how does it feel? Pretty damn good. After all, this happened just two and a half years years after the late unpleasantness. Despite that, it happened before I turned forty (I was genuinely surprised how pleased this last fact left me).

The real reason this is great news, however, are the benefits that come with being a full professor. The benefit of being promoted to associate professor* -- tenure -- is pretty friggin' obvious. What's the difference between associate and full?

Unless you're actually a full professor, you would never know. Now that these fools esteemed colleagues have let a full-blooded blogger into their priesthood, however (suck on that, Ivan Tribble!!), I shall fearlessly reveal the great benefits of this kind of promotion.

By some interesting quirk of fate, there are exactly ten benefits that emanate from the promotion to full professor.....


10) You get to pig out. More attractive professors tend to do better in student evaluations and other metrics to rate professors. This is not surprising -- after all, the attractive receive a similar dividend across professions.

There's no rank beyond full professor, however. So, that's it for me. My fight against my expanding waistline was rapidly turning into a quagmire anyway. From now on, it's not going to be an either/or choice with me -- I'm going to both Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks whenever I see one on the road!!

9) Cameo appearances in bad science fiction movies/television shows. You know those scenes where a protagonist must make some appeal to a futuristic "Council" of some kind? All those council people are full professors -- it's the closest most of them come to exercising actual power.

This perk used to be a well-kept secret, but Cornel West ruined it for everyone.

8) Free Awesome Blossoms at Chili's. This makes #10 that much easier to achieve.

7) Superdelegate status in the Democratic Party. Well, them or the Greens -- curiously, those appear to be the only possible choices.

I'm also holding out for $20 million for my endorsement, by the way.

6) Something better than that stupid f@#%ing pen ceremony. As this site observes, "The scene in the movie A Beautiful Mind in which mathematics professors ritualistically present pens to Nash was completely fabricated in Hollywood. No such custom exists."

In the actual ceremony, colleagues ritualistically present signed and notarized statements in which they confess that they were in error when they labeled your research as "putrid swill" back when you were a post-doc.

5) I can now pursue my hobbies with a vengeance. Some colleagues write about UFOs when they get promoted to full. Others write novels or musical careers. Me, I'm finally going to indulge my hobby of collecting refrigerator magnets with a resoluteness that would scare a Clinton.

4) When required to wear full academic regalia, full professors get to wear swords. Nobody better mess with me at commencement.

3) I'm now gently encouraged to -- on occasion -- publish in more widely read outlets. Apparently this will let me acquire "a public voice" or something.

2) Bobblehead night in my honor at next faculty meeting.

1) When the moon is full, I get to kill a student.

UPDATE: This list should have gone to 11, as Tyler Cowen points out. Also, apologies to everyone trying to post a comment -- they're still down. Now that I'm full, however, I promise to blow off important committee work and get cracking on fixing the problem.

*For the purposes of this post, we're just going to ignore the rather bizarre Ivy League system of being assiciate without tenure.

posted by Dan at 12:39 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bitter academics, tenure, torture, and pie

These are all topics for conversation in my latest diavlog with Megan McArdle. Go check it out!

For a dissent on the pie-throwing question, click here. Apparently I'd understand it -- if only I had a soul.

posted by Dan at 06:50 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Because The Atlantic is trying to diversify beyond Ivy League bloggers

I'll be guest-blogging over at Megan McArdle's Atlantic blog for this week. The comments section there actually works, so blogging at this site will likely be minimal during this time period.

posted by Dan at 12:05 AM

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Eagle soaring... for the moment

International relations scholars are/should be familiar with a series of edited volumes on U.S. foreign policy entitled Eagle ________. Eagle Entangled, Eagle Defiant, Eagle Resurgent, Eagle in a New World, etc.

With all the talk of lost hegemony, my latest column for Newsweek International points out that even if U.S. power is waning, it hasn't exactly disappeared. It's called, "The Eagle Still Soars." The take home point:

There is a difference between forming expectations about future trends and believing that the future is now. If anything, recent events reaffirm the primacy of American power....

Longtime observers of international relations will have a sense of déjŕ vu in reading about America's decline. Two decades ago international-relations scholars were enmeshed in a debate about American decline. Replace China with Japan, and the current gnashing of teeth sounds like a replay of debates from the 1980s. Over the long term, however, the demographic and economic vitality of the American economy is difficult to dispute compared with possible peer competitors. For decades to come, the United States will be first among equals. So don't believe the hype. By most measures, the United States is still the hegemon.

This does not mean, of course, that the declinists don't have a point. Power is a relative measure, and the robust growth of the BRIC nations guarantees that U.S. influence will decline in the future. The really important question for America—and the world—is how Americans will manage this adjustment.

Go check it out.

posted by Dan at 08:18 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A polite and civil bloggingheads

My latest bloggingheads diavlog is with National Security Network executive director Heather Hurlburt. Most of the chat is about whether it will be possible to have a reasonably civil debate about foreign policy during the general election campaign (Heather is more pessimistic than I on this front).

In this segment, however, I use my political science training to devise a Machiavellian scheme that would guarantee large State Department budgets in perpetuity:

Go check it out -- including my excuse for not doing the dishes!

posted by Dan at 10:22 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A hegemonic bloggingheads

My latest bloggingheads diavlog is with Rob Farley from Lawyers, Guns, and Money and the Patterson School of Diplomacy. Topics include the Super Bowl, waning hegemony, Republicans who like Obama, and bold Super Tuesday predictions. Go check it out!!

There's also this challenge to listeners:

posted by Dan at 05:44 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Crime.... it's not just for smart people

I can corroborate every detail that Megan McArdle recounts in this blog post, although, in my memory, the potential criminal shuffled away only because he saw me give him the Clint-Eastwood-in-The-Good-The-Bad-And-The-Ugly-Death-Stare.

No, no, that's not true -- he was just a very inept criminal.

posted by Dan at 11:00 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The nine lives of autocrats

My latest column for Newsweek is now available online. It's about how authoritarian leaders have innovated at keeping themselves in power. The opening paragraphs:

Ten years ago the autocrat was an endangered species. According to the conventional wisdom, authoritarian regimes were incapable of adjusting to a world of globalization and global civil society. Autocrats recognized the need to exploit the economic benefits of globalization, but how could they keep out intrusive NGOs and censor the Internet? Policymakers also jumped on this bandwagon. Soon after George W. Bush delivered his second inaugural address, his administration exulted in a wave of democratic uprisings. By the spring of 2005, "color" revolutions took place in Georgia (Rose), Ukraine (Orange), and Lebanon (Cedar). Even totalitarian societies like Belarus faced unrest. Freedom seemed to be on the march.

These hopes now seem quaint. The democratic aspirations articulated by so many in the past decade overlooked some important facts. Democracy, for instance, is easy to demand but hard to sustain. The color revolutions have faded quickly. Last month Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili declared a state of emergency for nine days. In Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko's election has been followed by fracturing and squabbling within the reform coalition.

A more important overlooked fact is that nondemocratic regimes have proved themselves adept at perfecting techniques to cement their hold on power.

You'll have to read the whole thing to find out why. Go check it out.

UPDATE: One point I should have made but couldn't shoehorn into the essay because of space constraints (yes, they exist in cyberspace). Many of the regimes (though not all) discussed in the article are genunely popular in their countries, because they've been seen as delivering various economic, social, and political benefits. These regimes are still not democratic -- but democracy is not the only source of political legitimacy.

posted by Dan at 06:42 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Lost Weekend of Facebook

On Friday, at the gentle prodding of a friend, I faced the inevitable and took the Facebook plunge.

For a few dizzying hours, I had the same experience that Maria Farrell observed about the social networking site: "Facebook is an opportunity to play the social game again – and lose."

Indeed, setting up the site I felt a uniquely dreadful mixture of high school-level social anxiety combined with a keen awareness that I was wasting hours upon hours looking for old friends on the site.

Longtime readers will be relieved to hear that I've regained my equilibrium now, thanks in no small part to Reihan Salam's Facebook advice.

[So can I be make a friend request for you?--ed. Since we've never actually met, not bloody likely.]

We'll now continue with regularly scheduled blogging.

posted by Dan at 10:49 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Behold my multi-multimedia strategy

My master plan to dominate all most some media came to fruition today.

First there was the bloggingheads diavlog with the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler.

Next came my commentary for NPR's Marketplace in which I do the unthinkable.... I defend the right of superagent Scott Boras to exist:

If baseball is the national pastime, then bashing agents for greed comes in a close second. Before declaring Boras guilty, however, consider the following figures. This year Major Lleague Baseball announced that it had topped $6 billion in revenues for the first time ever. At the same time, the share of those revenues going to player salaries has declined over the past six years, from more than 56 percent to less than 42 percent. In contrast, the National Football League paid their players more than half of its total revenues. At a time when baseball is economically flush, its players are getting a smaller slice of the pie.

A key goal for agents is to get as much money for their clients as possible, and everyone acknowledges that Boras excels at this task. Blaming him for trying to get market value for his players is like blaming Will Smith's agent for getting him over $25 million per film.

For some background on the Boras commentary, check out Ben McGrath's profile of Boras in The New Yorker, David Pinto's excellent analysis of how baseball was keeping down its costs in The Sporting News; and Tyler Kepner's New York Times story on Boras' corporation.

Finally, and most important, the special issue of Public Choice on the politics blogs -- co-edited by Henry Farrell and myself -- is now available online.

That's enough media for today. I'm turning in.

posted by Dan at 10:12 PM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

All about Condi

My latest bloggingheads diavlog is now online. This time my partner is Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler, to discuss his new book, The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy.

Topics discussed include Rice's tenure at NSC and State, Dick Cheney's brain, a defense of Karen Hughes (also available at the New York Times website), and Condi's future outside of government.

Go check it out.

posted by Dan at 03:45 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Defending Angelina Jolie and other debatable issues

This blog has a long and distinguished tradition of defending celebrities. This tradition continues in my latest installment of bloggingheads.tv with Henry Farrell. I had to defend Angelina Jolie. It wasn't easy, but somehow I mustered the necessary willpower.

We also bit the hand that feeds bloggingheads by debating the New York Times op-ed page, as well as one of November's Books of the Month.

Go check it out!

posted by Dan at 10:26 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This will come as no surprise to my wife
You Are a Boston Creme Donut
You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.
But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.
You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.
You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.
posted by Dan at 11:36 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

For the record....

I fall into the second category in Brad DeLong's typology of Prius drivers: "I have spent a fortune on a fuel-efficient car, and now I am going to get some of that back by saving time!"

Of course, I'm not the one who's apparently blogging and driving at the same time.

posted by Dan at 09:40 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Really, this post is just for the family

Various friends and relations have castigated me for not advertising my media whoredom with sufficient rapidity.

Sooo.... just to catch up:

1) Tyler Cowen says nice things about this blog in the pages of Foreign Policy.

2) I was interviewed for yesterday's edition of NPR's All Things Considered, on the new round of sanctions against Iran.

3) Evan Goldstein has a subscriber-only article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the whole Israel Lobby business. My cameo appearance:

Walt and Mearsheimer's critics... insist there must be a more-compelling explanation for why two scholars with deeply entrenched intellectual inclinations would push such an argument at this juncture in their careers. And so a parlor game of sorts is under way within the discipline to explain what many find so inexplicable. The theory enjoying the most credence holds that their crusading zeal against the Israel lobby is fueled by lingering resentment from the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq, when Mearsheimer and Walt were high-profile critics of the Bush administration's policy of militarized regime change.

In addition to writing a major article in Foreign Policy decrying the 2003 invasion of Iraq as an "unnecessary war," they published a flurry of op-eds and led the effort to place an open letter in The New York Times with the headline "War With Iraq Is Not in America's National Interest." Yet by all accounts, those efforts barely made a ripple in the broader public conversation. "I think this flummoxed the living hell out of them," says Daniel W. Drezner, an associate professor of international politics at Tufts University. "I think it was inconceivable to them that no one listened."

When asked about that analysis, Mearsheimer concedes that the debate over Iraq policy was "very frustrating." As he rehashes that period, it is evident that he continues to be irritated by the uncivilized terms on which he feels the debate was conducted. "Critics of the war were called all sorts of names — you were called soft on terrorism, you were called an appeaser, you were accused of not being very smart," he says. But both he and Walt emphatically reject the suggestion that Iraq is at the root of their recent work on the Israel lobby.

And Iraq does seem to be only part of the story.

I'd agree that "part of the story" is a fair assessment.

[Um... why wasn't your past history disclosed in the story?--ed. It's the Megan McArdle problem... the "full disclosure" of everyone quoted in the article would require, er, another article.]

4) Gideon Rachman was kind enough to mention a forthcoming article of mine in his Financial Times column. [What's the article about?--ed. That's the subject of my next post. Tease!!--ed.]

I believe I'm all caught up now.

posted by Dan at 11:01 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

There's nothing like spotty wireless and the great outdoors

Blogging will be light over the next few days, because I am here.

Imagine about forty political scientists and policymakers surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, staring into their laptops and occasionally cursing their erratic wireless connection [UPDATE: In response to the polite urgings of other conference-goers, let me add that I'm guilty of this sin as well).

This place is awesome, but I keep looking around expecting to see Fredo get clipped.

The conference topic, by the way, is "New Challenges to International Regimes." Any readers who have bright ideas about how to reform either the UN system, or the nonproliferation regime should let me know ASAP.

In the meanwhile, loyal readers will have to be sated with mentions of me elsewhere.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a funny blog post about blog citations.

And I'm quoted in this Economist story on Operation Divest Terror, a movement sweeping state governments who are ordering pension fund managers to divest their holdings of companies doing business with Iran. I'm not terribly optimistic about it having any effect.

That should be enough media whoredom for the weekend.

posted by Dan at 10:53 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Meet your kinda touchy-feely blogger

This is the weirdest cognitive test I have ever taken. Click first, and then click back.

Like Kevin Drum, I was initially unable to see anything but the dancer turning clockwise. When I went back to the site a few hours later, however, I was able to get her to go counter-clockwise. At this point I can -- sort of -- get her to go whichever way I want. On the whole, however, my natural inclination is to see a clockwise rotation.

Take the test youself and report back!

UPDATE: Some commenters have suggested that this is merely a software trick -- i.e., the image will rotate in one direction and then randomly switch rotation. To test this, the Official Blog Wife, Official Blog Son and I all looked at the image at the same time. Two of us saw it going clockwise, one of us counter-clockwise. So it's not a software trick.

posted by Dan at 12:01 PM | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Getting back into the op-ed game

In my last bloggingheads with Matthew Yglesias, we agreed that it is tough to excel at the op-ed format.

Naturally, I have now agreed to contribute to Newsweek International on a monthly basis.

My first effort, "Calling Miss Manners," is now online. Go check it out. The concluding paragraphs:

It would be a cruel irony indeed if rising powers learned the wrong lessons from Bush's mistakes. The United States has received more flak for its diplomatic mistakes than other countries because the glare of the spotlight is at its harshest for the hegemon. As these countries acquire more power, however, they will also garner more attention. So far, their behavior is worrisome. Russia, for example, has had some prior experience with being a great power. Their current diplomatic style, however, makes the Bush administration's first term look like a paragon of propriety and decorum.

Power and interest drive most of what happens in world politics. Diplomatic style does matter on the margins, however. And if these recent events are what passes as diplomacy from rising powers, then world politics is going to start looking like a bad episode of reality television. "The Real World: Turtle Bay" might make for good entertainment, but it's going to be a lousy way to address global problems.

The column has its roots in this blog post from a few weeks ago.

posted by Dan at 05:34 PM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

You want guilt? You can't handle the guilt!!

The Chronicle of Higher Education asked several academics, "to share their secret (or not so secret) guilty pleasures" outside of the classroom."

Cosmic Variance's Sean Carroll provided an answer, but is thoroughly unimpressed with the entire exercise:

Seems like a potentially amusing parlor game, no? Well, as a moment’s reflection would reveal, no. Because you see, what could they possibly say? Most academics, for better or for worse, basically conform to the stereotype. They like reading books and teaching classes, not shooting up heroin or walking around in public dressed up in gender-inappropriate undergarments. (See, I don’t even know what would count as a respectable guilty pleasure.) And if they did, they certainly wouldn’t admit it. And if they did admit it, it certainly wouldn’t be in the pages of the Chronicle....

As it turns out, compared to my colleagues I’m some sort of cross between Hunter S. Thompson and Caligula. Get a load of some of these guilty pleasures: Sudoku. Riding a bike. And then, without hint of sarcasm: Landscape restoration. Gee, I hope your Mom never finds out about that.

Henry Farrell chimes in:
I’m as bad as any of the respondents if not worse – my guilty pleasures are nothing more exciting than science fiction and fantasy novels with garish covers – but if anyone else has more interesting pleasures to confess in comments (anonymously or anonymously), go ahead.
Some of Henry's commenters comes up with some good ones, but my personal fave is: "snorting meth off the flesh of naked people using a rolled up Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

I have no shortages of guilty pleasures, but there are limits to sharing.

Still, to make Sean feel better, here are links to my guilty blog pleasure du jour and my ridiculously guilty TV pleasure from last fall (in my defense, the official Blog Wife was also transfixed by the latter).

posted by Dan at 11:19 PM | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why B+students are the worst

My latest bloggingheads diavlog is up, in which Matthew Yglesias and I discuss the following:

1) The death of TimesSelect

2) The Iran "rollout" that hasn't happened;

3) Wonkery vs. wankery

4) Grenspan's memoirs;

5) The legacy of Bush appointees

6) The trouble with B+ students

Go check it out.

posted by Dan at 11:08 AM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Political scientists are anti-dowdy"

That's just one of the many brilliant insights I come up with in my latest bloggingheads diavlog with Megan McArdle -- who is "the world's tallest female econoblogger" according to her new Atlantic site.

Among the topics discussed -- the foreign policy community, the netroots, imperialism, New York under Giuliani, Wall Street jitters, and why everyone hates Megan (something to do with white jeans).

Go check it out!

UPDATE: Laura McKenna weighs in on several topics covered in the diavlog. "Pointy sling backs" are involved.

posted by Dan at 11:48 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A man of the relative left

My latest bloggingheads.tv diavlog is up, with Byron York of the National Review. Among the topics discussed:

1) The latest Gallup poll about the 2008 race and what it means (a segment during which I become a human graphic);

2) Why I deserve tenure;

3) The latest turning-of-the-corner in Iraq;

4) Why Republicans don't seem tolike YouTube all that much.

Go check it out. I still like the idea I proposed in the first minute of the exchange, which is to shoot a film noir version of bloggingheads. But only if Megan McArdle plays the gun moll.

posted by Dan at 08:33 AM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In honor of great aunt Shirley

The White Plains Times runs a story about my great aunt Shirley Rodkinson, who celebrated her 106th birthday last month. My favorite part of the article:

It’s clear that Shirley has always lived her life by her own terms. According to Richard, his grandmother has “rode life at a very even keel,” and has always been both independent and “firm in her opinion.” He added, with a laugh, that “Shirley’s not your typical Jewish grandmother; she never tried to tell you how to live your life.”

[Her daughter] Florence also makes note of her mother’s strong spirit, recalling when Shirley was first admitted into White Plains Center for Nursing Care. Her first reaction? “When do I get out of here?”

Aunt Shirley is my late grandfather's older sister. I'm very fond of her -- despite her New York Yankee loyalties.

posted by Dan at 09:18 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, July 20, 2007

A dose of the old bloggingheads

My latest bloggingheads diavlog is now online, with DLC Ed Kilgore (who blogs now at Democratic Strategist). Among the topics under discussion:

1) The Senate sleepover;

2) What will Bush do about Iran?

3) Why do the GOP candidates like war so much?

4) Why is Michael Gershon putting the hate on Rudy?

5) Edwards vs. Obama on poverty;

6) The Democrats and economic populism

7) More mockery of The Elders.

I'll just apologize now for the fact that my face is much closer to the camera than prior bloggingheads. They actually wanted this, believe it or not.

posted by Dan at 12:19 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A long overdue Salma Hayek post

Many, many fans (at least four) of danieldrezner.com have inquired about how my wife copes with my fondness harmless obsession with Salma Hayek (who, according to pollsters, is officially the hottest woman on the planet). Here's a two-part answer:

a) The Official Blogwife does not really read the blog (she is constantly amazed that there are people who regularly read it);

b) I'm not as dumb as Dalton Ross

Over at Entertainment Weekly's web site, Ross writes about how Salma Hayek has invaded his marital bliss:
[B]ack in 1997, not long after Christina and I had started dating, a TNT movie version of The Hunchback came on. ''Oh, I think Salma Hayek is in this,'' I said. Talk of Hayek as the new hottest woman on the planet was just starting to bubble over everywhere but I had never actually laid eyes on the woman. I was curious about all the Hayek hype. Naturally, Christina was curious as to why I was curious about an actress she had never heard of in a made-for-basic-cable movie. ''What, is she supposed to be hot or something?'' she inquired.

''Well, she is hot,'' I replied, merely repeating what every horny male had led me to believe.

That innocent four-word comment has caused me more grief in the past 10 years than every other marital miscue since. First came the accusations that I was a skeezy horndog obsessed with clown boobs. Then came the inevitable ''Who's hotter, me or Salma?'' queries. Finally, we came to the incessant sarcastic apologies, things along the lines of ''Well, sorry I'm not Salma Hayek!'' and ''Sorry I don't have a EE-cup size like your girlfriend Salma Hayek!''

You think all this would have died down after a while, but you would be thinking wrong. Another round of Hayek harassment blew through recently when my college buddy Eric Mabius told me all about the love scenes he got to shoot with Salma in an elevator on Ugly Betty. I made the mistake of relaying the conversation to Christina (because that's just the type of open, honest guy I am!). Her reaction was somewhere between ''Whoa, bet you're jealous!'' and ''Did you warn Eric to get his hands off your girl?''

The point is, if I could just learn to keep my mouth shut, we'd both be better off.

posted by Dan at 09:57 AM | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Clearly, I haven't been posting about Salma Hayek recently

I'm pleasantly surprised about my blog rating:

Online Dating


[That's f$%#ing awesome!!--ed.]

This result, on the other hand, is thoroughly unsurprising:

68%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?


posted by Dan at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My latest bloggingheads throwdown

My latest bloggingheads diavlog was supposed to be with the lovely Megan McArdle, in which we revealed various clothing and other indiscretions from our past. Scandalous information about the both of us was revealed.

Alas, there was a technical glitch, and so that diavlog will now not be seen again until Bob Wright releases the DVD version of "Bloggingheads: The Lost Tapes."

As a substitute, go check out my diavlog with Bob Wright. Topics include:

1) Should a blogginghead be monogamous or play the field?

2) The depressing situation in Palestine;

3) The depressing situation talking about Palestine in the United States;

4) How can the U.S. regulate Chinese industries?

5) What will technology do to China?

6) The globalization of American sports

7) Why everyone will like Knocked Up and why no one should see the Fantastic Four sequel.

Oh, and along the way Bob cajoles me into issuing a public challenge.

posted by Dan at 01:52 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

My self-promotion cup runneth over

A few links by or about your humble blogger that I've been remiss in mentioning:

1) In the Fletcher newsletter, Timothy R. Homan profiles me, my blog, and my hatred of cellphones going of in class.

2) I gave a talk about All Politics Is Global at the German Marshall Fund a few weeks ago. Richard Salt wrote it up on GMF's blog. Click here for a brief podcast.

3) In the Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review section, I have a brief article, "The Power of the State in a Global Economy" which is a precis for All Politics Is Global. Here's how it opens:

When I began working on my latest book, I also began regularly reading a news source greatly undervalued in international relations: The Onion. The timing was serendipitous because I soon stumbled across a mock headline that crystallized one of my central themes: "Correct Theory Discarded in Favor of More Exciting Theory."
This link should be good for a few days.
Well, that should be sufficient overexposure for a few days.

posted by Dan at 10:19 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Short-shorts, Jello wrestling, and a good word about Tom Friedman

Yes, it's all there on my latest bloggingheads.tv episode, with the Economist's Megan McArdle.

Topics include: MySpace vs. the workplace, our favorite subways, the libertarian preference for president, Hugo Chavez, and unmitigated delight at the farm lobby's demise.

[Ahem, the title promised Jello wrestling and short shorts!!--ed. Oh, those are there -- but you'll have to watch the whole thing to find them.]

The occasional squeaks you will hear in the background? That would be my two-year old daughter, who is 98% cute and 2% pure concentrated evil.

posted by Dan at 12:44 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm a bad, bad man....

... for thinking that this picture brings sexy back way better than Justin Timberlake.

posted by Dan at 11:57 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

A DVD extra for World News Tonight

If you watch ABC's World News Tonight tonight, there's a 50-50 shot I'll be in a story about President Bush's decision to impose additional sanctions against Sudan for its actions in Darfur. The point I tried to get across -- sanctions are unlikely to work in this instance because (in increasing order of importance:

1) The United States doesn't a large economic relationship with Sudan, and with pre-existing sanctions in place, there's not much left to cut off;

2) Conflict expectations between Sudan and the United States are already pretty high, so even if the sanctions were costly, Khartoum would be reluctant to concede anything substantive;

3) Sudan has a "white knight" (or "black knight" if you will) in the form of China. With that country pumping billions into the Sudanese economy, the U.S. financial sanctions are little more than a hiccup in their economic trajectory.

We'll see how well this gets communicated in seven seconds.

Here's some info that won't be in the story: whenever news networks do these stories, there's always a "b-roll" in which they show the professor walking across campus or working at his computer, etc.

I bring this up because if they show that footage tonight, I was typing this very sentence!!!!!

Exciting behind-the-scenese stuff, eh?

[Hey, how did that copy of All Politics Is Global get into the corner of the shot?--ed. Because I am that shameless.]

UPDATE: The good news is that I did indeed appear in the story. The bad news is that the b-roll did not. Curses!!

posted by Dan at 02:25 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, May 25, 2007

That's one fragile marriage

The most interesting sentence I read this week comes from Slate's "Dear Prudence" column:

I know of one marriage that collapsed on the honeymoon because the couple got in a power struggle over who would be responsible for the one room key they were issued.
Whereas, in the case of my marriage, it was the minibar that almost did us in. Not.

posted by Dan at 02:56 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, May 21, 2007

So this week I'll be playing the part of Tocqueville

For this work week, I'll be guest-blogging over at the Economist's Democracy in America.

My first post is already up, asking readers a question that puzzles me about the Bush administration's management style.

The blog here will not be neglected, but all my American politics-type stuff will be over there.

posted by Dan at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's a small, small world

Skipping through the blogosphere, I came across this Mark Thoma post about a Commonwealth Fund story comparing health care across the world.

In an odd coincidence, today I shared a cab to Reagan National airport with the head of this club, and heard her repeat these points to a Bloomberg reporter. To her credit, she apologized profusely after finishing.

Mark also has a post about how economists think about globalization that is worth checking out.

posted by Dan at 11:52 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The incredibly loud Hawaiian shirt edition of bloggingheads.tv

My latest bloggingheads debate is up, with Matthew Yglesias. As a special treat, I'm wearing a Hawaiian shirt loud enough to wake Don Ho from the dead. It's... arresting.

Topics include:

1) The Jon Chait netroots article.

2) Our place in the wonkosphere (and, yes, Henry, you should feel bad for that neologism).

3) Is Alan Blinder on crack or is he on crack... like a fox?

4) Those bigoted NBA refs.

5) Those bigoted baseball fans.

6) Why France will not change.

Go check it out!

posted by Dan at 08:39 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Well, this was a bit of a surprise
Which God or Goddess are you like?
Your Result: Goddess Bast

You are the Goddess Bast. You are quiet and calm, but when need be, you are firm and fierce. You are full of love, and you always care. People often come to you for advise or guidance, and you willingly give it. Congatulations!! You are Goddess!!

Goddess Sekhemet
The Christian God
God Zeus
You are your own God or Goddess
Which God or Goddess are you like?
Make Your Own Quiz
posted by Dan at 11:48 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I'll be back in action soon

Your humble blogger has returned from Europe, and the 2007 Brussels Forum, filled to the brim with stuff to blog about (including the trade contretemps I unintentionally triggered). Alas, while the brain is willing, the body needs to recover from its jet lag... and, come to think of it, the brain has massive loads of grading to do.

So, more this PM. While you wait by your screens, however, anxiously hitting the refresh button to see if I've posted another missive, here's a question to you: any recent developments that you feel demand a blog post?

posted by Dan at 08:44 AM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sympathy for a neocon and other musings

My latest bloggingheads duet is up -- this time with Matthew Yglesias.

This was a fun one for me, at least, because the conversation looped back around. Topics include the Virginia Tech shootings, whether one should feel pity for Paul Wolfowitz, the tension between being a presidential candidate and becoming president, and -- of course -- the book.

posted by Dan at 11:48 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Defying the new bloggingheads business plan

My latest bloggingheads segment is up -- this time with Henry Farrell. Much to Robert Wright's disappointment, neither of us gets really angry.

Topics include:

The fallout from the last bloggingheads episode;

My book, All Politics Is Global. And hey, have I mentioned recently that you can buy it at Amazon.com (act now -- Amazon says they only have a few copies left in stock)??

Our favorite social science strawmen;

The future of the European Union;

The future of libertarianism

Go check it out!!

posted by Dan at 04:26 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A conversational waltz with Garance Franke-Ruta

My latest bloggingheads.tv duet is up -- this one is with The American Prospect's Garance Franke-Ruta (who has her own blog, as well as a detailed explanation of the origins of her name).

Topics include whether Barack Obama and John McCain would pursue similar interventionist foreign policies; why GOP candidates are "Hollywood whores"; the death of neoliberalism; and how liberal journalists are coping with this.

Go check it out.

UPDATE: One small note: if it seems like I did not pick up on every point Garance made, this had to do with our phone connection. I could not completely hear all of her points.

posted by Dan at 11:03 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Why I won't be blogging this weekend

From the Associated Press:

Next up for Salma Hayek is a wedding -- and a baby carriage.

The 40-year-old actress is engaged to businessman Francois-Henri Pinault and is pregnant with their first child, her spokeswoman, Cari Ross, said Friday in a statement. No further details were provided....

Pinault is chairman and chief executive officer of the luxury goods company PPR SA, which owns high-end labels such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney.


Give me 48 hours, and I'll be fine.

posted by Dan at 09:12 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Dealing with the hysterics and the humorless

Let's surf the net to see if anyone's saying something about me that's worth repeating.

Hmmm....well, this person really didn't like my "New New World Order" essay:

Since I am about as far away as any intelligent and rational American can get from the politics of any proposals for a "new world order," let alone a new new world order, my attention was drawn to a " New New World Order" article (my emphasis on "New New"). After reading it, my suspicions about where our local, state and federal politicians are trying to take us was confirmed. That is, We The People of the United States of America appear to be destined -- by our own political leaders, as well as other power-and-money-seeking political leaders of nations throughout the world -- to be a part of their dictatorial grand scheme, i.e., We The People would no longer be living in an independent, sovereign nation under a Constitutional Federal Republic.
You know, you can accuse George W. Bush of a lot of things, but surrendering American sovereignty to some supranational order is not one of them.

UPDATE: Another negative reaction to "Drezler's article" can be found here.

Meanwhile, Amitai Etzioni is upset about how I characterized his organ donation scheme:

I am sorry to see that Mr. Drezner finds this issue a source of “amusement.” Thousands of people die each year needlessly and many more suffered a great deal, because not enough organs are donated, and because the market has been allowed to intrude into the ways they are allocated. (For instance there is a shortage of donated skin for burn victims because skin is sold to plastic surgeons who pay a high fee to use it to make the hyper rich look younger). One person’s donations can improve the life of twenty others, if on death organs are made available....

Sadly I fear that we here face the business model of blogging. Some bloggers sell stuff, anything from diapers to baseball cards to soft porn (in Drezner’s case). In order to make money they have to bring buyers to their sites. And those bloggers that succeed in kicking up a fuss, seem to draw a much larger crowd than the reasoned ones, that is make much more money. Is there some other way to finance blogging? Do we need a NPR and PBS for blogging, to ensure civil dialogue?

OK, for the record, I do take the question of organ donation seriously -- which is why I will refer to I thoughtful posts by Kieran Healy and Virginia Postrel on the matter (and click here for why I don't think harangues work all that well on the American psyche).

Amitai Etzioni attacking bloggers for self-promotion? As someone who has been on the receiving end of a steady, unremitting barrage of Etzioni press releases, brochures about Etzioni, and actual Etzioni publications, no, I'm afraid I can't take that criticism seriously at all.

[What about the soft porn allegations?--ed. I can only assume that Professor Etzioni read this post from a few years ago. Repeatedly.]

posted by Dan at 10:56 PM | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Movie stars. Swimming pools. Loose nukes.

Blogging will again be light this week because I'm going to Los Angeles for a UCLA conference entitled "Nuclear Weapons in a New Century: Facing the Emerging Challenges."

As I have to say something about this in 48 hours, readers are strongly encouraged to proffer any bright ideas they might have about how to deal with this issue.

posted by Dan at 02:07 PM | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Talking with the divine Ms. Postrel

My latest bloggingheads exchange is with Virginia Postrel., who seems to have stolen the cerulean sweater first worn by Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.

Topics range from Helen Mirren's dress to student confessions to privacy on the Internet to the new new world order. Just for kicks, Amitai Etzioni is mocked at several points.

Go check it out.

posted by Dan at 10:30 PM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

This blog post brought to you by Peyton Manning

My latest diavlog -- with Matthew Yglesias -- is now online. Obsessive fans of danieldrezner.com will delight in the fact that my "studio" has moved to my Fletcher office.

Among the topics discussed -- Iraq, what we thought about Iraq in 2003, Iran, Bush's grand strategy, the 2008 campaign, and the inevitable Peyton Manning endorsement for bloggingheads.

posted by Dan at 09:04 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'm away from my blog right now....

And on my way to the Mershon Center for International Security Studies to present a paper, "Regime Proliferation and World Politics: Is There Viscosity in Global Governance?" I already realize I made one mistake in this version -- I forgot to thank Eli Wallach in the acknowledgements.

Talk amongst yourselves. Here's a topic: exactly what does it mean when the North Koreans say they've reached "a certain agreement" with U.S. negotiators?

posted by Dan at 11:17 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

This post is dedicated to my brother....

Two years ago, I was the best man for my suspicious-looking yet disgustingly affluent I-banker of a brother at his wedding in in Hawaii. A few minutes before the ceremony started, he turned to me and, with a sheepish look, said: "Hang onto this, and don't tell [the bride]. She told me I couldn't bring this to the ceremony."

Then he gave me his Blackberry.

I bring this up (with the permission of my happily married brother), because for some reason I thought of him when I saw this story in The Onion (WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE):

New Mobile-Device Purchase Makes Asshole More Versatile

The Onion

New Mobile-Device Purchase Makes Asshole More Versatile

NEW YORK—The new BlackBerry 8703c has allowed total shithead Robert McClain to assign more work to his assistants while he is gambling in Atlantic City.

posted by Dan at 02:12 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, January 4, 2007

More bloggingheads goodness

My latest bloggingheads duet is with Eric Alterman. In a stunning new visual effect, I wear my glasses. We discuss:

1) Gerald Ford's "when I die" interviews (in which Eric and I confuse the Pueblo and Mayaguez debacles);

2) Why pundits stink (in which Eric does not forgive Andrew Sullivan);

3) The end of Big Liberalism in domestic policy (in which Eric surprises me by sounding positively Clintonian)

4) Grand strategy, redux (in which I make a heartfelt apology)

Adults over 21, here's a fun drinking game to play while watching -- take a shot whenever Eric or I pimp our own work!! [Why can't they take a shot every time you say "you know"?--ed. Because their livers would explode.]

posted by Dan at 08:43 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I'm not speaking to you

Over the next 48 hours I will be on a mini-vacation, at an attractive metropolitan locale, with my wife.... and without the children.

None of you will be coming along either.

Talk amongst yourselves, and enjoy the break.

Here's an opening question: does this Economic Policy Institute paper accurately assess American attitudes about the global economy?

posted by Dan at 09:23 AM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (1)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Five things you don't know about me

Eszter Hargittai has tagged me with the "Five-Things-You-Didn't-Know-About-me" meme. So, here goes, in chronological order:

1) From the ages of eight to sixteen, I wore glasses before switching to contact lenses. Not a big deal, except that my glasses were housed in the most hideous-looking square peuter frames you could possibly imagine.

To this day my parents insist that those frames were "cute." After showing picture of myself from that era to many, many people, I have yet to find anyone who agrees with them.

2) In the seventh grade, I placed third in the Connecticut State Science Fair.

3) In the early eighties, my brother and I used to drive our mother crazy by our near-religious devotion to The A-Team. A few minutes before it would come on, we would loudly hum the theme song and then listen to Mom complain about the decline and fall of Western civilization.

4) As a grad student at Stanford, I had a thoroughly pleasant lunch with Jennifer Connelly. [Um, that's it?--ed. Alas, there's nothing else to report.]

5) A few years later, I was on a date with a woman who was not Jennifer Connelly. I found myself in the rare circumstance of being less interested in her than she was in me. Fortunately, the conversation turned to politics. At this point, I went out of my way to mention my membership in the Republican Party.

The date ended early.

OK, I tag Jacob Levy, Laura McKenna, Dan Nexon, Kevin Drum, and Megan McArdle.

posted by Dan at 08:01 PM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (2)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My time on the F-list

My latest bloggingheads.tv debate with Henry Farrell is now available. Among our topics:

1) Did the Iraq Study Group accomplish anything?

2) Why haven't there been mass protests against the war?

3) Is offshore balancing possible in the Middle East?

4) Krugman on income inequality... again.

5) Would you rather be Paul Krugman or David Card?

Highlights include me nearly choking on a glass of water, Henry coming up with the wonderful term "F-list celebrity" for bloggers, and free advertising for this establishment.

posted by Dan at 08:10 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, December 8, 2006

The perils of precocious children

A breakfast play, in one act (draft only):

MOTHER: Sam, what would you like for breakfast?

SAM (6 years old): Waffles!!

MOTHER: Sam, I'm afraid we're out of waffles. What else would you like to eat?

SAM: I don't want anythiing else. I want waffles!!

MOTHER: Sam, you're just going to have to adapt.

SAM: No, I do not have to adapt!!

MOTHER: Sam, if you don't adapt, you're going to go the way of the dinosaurs.

SAM: That's not true!! The dinosaurs are extinct because an asteroid hit the Earth!! Adapting didn't have anything to do with it.

MOTHER (in stage whisper to father): S**t!!

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Use cereal bars as deus ex machina to end play if necessary.

posted by Dan at 07:55 AM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"You have a good voice for media-whoring"

Well, I'm paraphrasing:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North
The Northeast
The West
The South
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

posted by Dan at 02:47 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Best endorsement ever

This evaluation of the blog might have to be excerpted on the sidebar:

This is a personal website, by a person call Daniel D. Rezner, where he has a section on his opinions and terrorism and its impact on the world's economy. He has some interesting comments and suggestions so you can visit his site if you are interested.

posted by Dan at 08:44 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Watch me get tipsy on video

I'm on the road to NYC today. At about noon, however, my latest bloggingheads.tv episode with Matthew Yglesias should be online at... er.... bloggingheads.tv. UPDATE: Here's the proper link.

In this episode:

1) As an act of political protest against Question 1 going down, I drink a lot; Matt, in an act of protest against his headset not working, uses an actual phone;

2) We debate Rummy's departure and its timing;

3) What does the new Congress mean for Iraq? For U.S. foreign economic policy?

4) Did the netroots acoomplish everything or nothing?

5) In an act of political bravery unparalleled in the history of the blogosphere, I defend the U.S. Constitution against Yglesias' desire for a parliamentary system of government;

6) What's K-Fed's future?

posted by Dan at 07:50 AM | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Affordable housing.... good schools

The only funny section of an otherwise forgettable move called The Hebrew Hammer comes when the protagonist has his big seduction scene with his moll, Esther. From the screenplay:

ESTHER: Mordechai?

HAMMER: Yes Esther.

ESTHER: I want you to talk dirty to me.

HAMMER: Oh. Okay. (He thinks for a moment.) I want to have lots of children by you. Get a good paying, stable job. Settle down in Long Island somewhere. Someplace nice. Fancy. But not fancy schmancy.

ESTHER: Oohhh....

HAMMER: I want for our children to go to private schools and take music lessons. Little
Abraham will go to Stanford for college, Batya will go Ivy League, maybe Vassar.

ESTHER: Keep going.

HAMMER: Afterwards they'll make the decision as to whether or not they'd like to continue their religious studies in Israel. Because, hey, after all we'll have practiced the highly effective assertive democratic style of child rearing, sprinkled with a healthy dose of liberalism.

ESTHER: Oh god, yes! Keep going! Don't stop!

I bring this up because a) I still think it's funny; and b) Laura McKenna has a post up on "how parents can choose a good school for their kids." She has some fun words for opponents of school vouchers:
It's mildly amusing that strong voucher opponents argue against the notion of choice in schools, because truthfully the middle class and wealthy already have that choice. They choose their schools every time they decide which community to live in. The more money you have, the more choice you have. The wealthiest can even choose to send their child to a private school.
More here.

posted by Dan at 02:32 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm elsewhere in the blogosphere

If blog posts are light this week, it's for two reasons:

1) I'm trying to debug the comment spam problem (and tech-savvy readers, feel free to e-mail me advice on this one).

2) I'm blogging elsewhere.

At Open U., I'm explaining why the academy might not want to use the Moneyball approach to building a top-tier department.

At TPM Cafe, I'm participating in a book club on the Princeton Project on National Security's Forging A World of Liberty Under Law. Other contributors include David Rieff, Peter Trubowitz, and Stephen Walt

Go check them out!

posted by Dan at 01:39 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, October 6, 2006

Matthew Yglesias drinks wine; I drink pink lemonade

My latest bloggingheads diavlog -- with Matthew Yglesias -- is now available online. Matt's beverage of choice is wine -- mine is lemonade.

The topics covered include:

1) Is Mark Foley really such a bad guy?

2) What's North Korea up to?

3) What's the fairest grand strategy of them all?

4) Why the new forms of watching TV are like crack?

5) How to talk about Bob Woodward without reading Bob Woodward.

As Matt says in the closing, he goes soft on Foley; I go soft on Wodward.

And, as I said in the diavlog, everyone reading this blog should go online and check out the pilot episode of Friday Night Lights. The entire show is shockingly good -- particularly Connie Britton

posted by Dan at 08:59 AM | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Trade policy, crazy conservatives, and UFOs

I have no idea what the three things in my post title have in common. All I know is that this morning I checked out my primer of U.S. trade policy at Amazon.com and discovered the following five books under the "Customers who bought items like this also bought" category:

F.U.B.A.R.: America's Right-Wing Nightmare by Sam Seder

The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and the Race to the West by Joel Achenbach

Conservatives Without Conscience by John Dean

If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens... Where Is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to Fermi's Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life by Stephen Webb

Sight Unseen: Science, UFO Invisibility, and Transgenic Beings by Budd Hopkins

Readers are warmly encouraged to explain this set of rather odd correlations.

posted by Dan at 08:59 AM | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, July 10, 2006

I think Barbara Ehrenreich needs a time out

Via Laura McKenna, I found this Barbara Ehrenreich blog post defending Katha Pollit's book from Ana Marie Cox.

Without wading into the deeper waters of feminist thought -- a swim for which I might lack the proper training -- I did find my jaw dropping as I read this passage:

Cox is not the first post-feminist to denounce paleo-feminists as sexless prudes. Ever since Andrea Dworkin -- a truly puritanical feminist -- waged war on pornography, there've been plenty of feisty women ready to defend Victoria's Secret as a beachhead of liberation. Something similar happened in the 1920s, when newly enfranchised young women blew off those frumpy old suffragists and declared their right to smoke cigarettes, wear short skirts, and dance the Charleston all night.

Maybe there's a cycle at work here: militant feminism followed by lipstick and cocktails, followed, in a generation or two, by another gust of militancy. But this time around the circumstances are vastly different. In the 1920s, women were seeing their collective fortunes advance. The Western nations were granting them suffrage; contraceptives were moving beyond the status of contraband. Contrast those happy developments to today's steadily advancing war against women's reproductive choice: the banning of abortion in South Dakota, fundamentalist pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control.

Worldwide, the situation is far grimmer, as fundamentalist Islam swallows one nation after another. Iraq, once a secular and fairly woman-friendly place by Middle Eastern standards (although Saddam had no use for actual feminists), is degenerating into a contest between misogynist factions of various sectarian stripes. Somalia, which had been reasonably secular, just fell to the Islamists, who have taken to attacking insufficiently covered women in the streets. Then there's Indonesia, where, in some regions, women lacking head scarves or sporting cosmetics now face arrests for "prostitution," and women found in public with unrelated men can be publicly whipped.

I've always liked to think that feminism is the West's secret weapon against Islamism. How can an ideology that aims to push half the human race into purdah hope to claim the moral high ground? Islamic feminists would fight Islamism, and we Western feminists would offer our sisterhood in the struggle. But while Muslim women are being stuffed into burkas, American post-feminists are trying to stuff their feet into stilettos. Who are you going to call when the morals police attack you for wearing eye shadow in Kabul or flashing some ankle in Teheran -- a wonkette?

I find it hard to believe that there is any dimension in which the situation for women -- in the U.S. and across the globe -- is gloomier today than it was in the 1920's. There might be isolated exceptions in some countries, but by any aggregate measure -- women's suffrage, employment opportunities, educational opportunities -- I cannot see how Ehrenreich's implication holds.

I dare my readers to prove my assertion wrong.

posted by Dan at 01:42 PM | Comments (20) | Trackbacks (0)

Saturday, July 1, 2006

New home disasters thread

A scant ten days after moving into our new house, I went down into our finished basement to look for something when I noticed a somewhat ripe smell. This was odd, as I'd been down there the previous day and no one else had been there during the interval (fixing up the basement is low on our priority list right now).

Poking around, it quickly became obvious that something -- and by something, I mean raw sewage -- had emerged from the mouth of the toilet bowl and bathtub that are in the bathroom down there. About half the basement carpet was soaked from this stuff.

A week later -- after the necessary profanities were uttered, the emergency plumbing visit, the emergency carpet cleaning visit, the second visit by a new set of plumbers to fix the screw-ups made by the first one, and a final de-rooting visit that was at the heart of the problem -- all is well again.

I relate this story not to build up sympathy, but because I strongly suspect that anyone who moves into a new house encounters some unforseen problem or calamity that makes life both difficult and expensive at just the wrong moment.

I therefore humbly ask my readers to submit their horror stories about moving and/or occupying a new domicile.

Tirades against moving companies (let's just say we won't be going with North American Van Lines ever again) or other contractors are heartily welcomed.

posted by Dan at 01:33 PM | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

What happens when I go on vacation

Tyler Cowen describes what he believes to be a new-fangled type of trip:

I am toying with a new concept, namely The Work Vacation. Pick some exotic locale and bring your laptop. Write your book and blog as usual. Go out every now and then to see some sights. In essence seeing sights replaces the time at home you would spend doing chores and taking care of family.
This is almost but not exactly what my vacations are like.

Indeed, the joke in my family is that the only difference between me working and me on vacation is that I read a slightly different set of books.

posted by Dan at 09:05 PM | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, June 4, 2006

So long, Chicago

As of today, my family and I are no longer residents of Chicago.

It is a bittersweet departure, for obvious reasons. However, it's also a good time to reflect on what I will miss and what I won't miss about the place....


1) The workshop system. This will always be the U of C's comparative advantage. The paper workshops -- especially PIPES -- were a place where ideas and theories were ripped apart and then stitched back together by the faculty and graduate students. I will sorely miss the looks of shock and awe from visiting presenters when they see their paper expertly dissected by a 2nd-year graduate student.

2) My walk to work in the spring. When the miniature lilac bushes bloom on 57th street, the scent is one of the best stress-reducers around. Plus, any commute that requires walking past Robie House every day is a good thing.

3) My synagogue. I would not have thought this five years ago, but as it turned out our synagogue was the way through whivch we got to know our community. I'll miss the building, I'll miss the people... I'll even miss the unrelentingly liberal sermons at Kol Nidre.

4) Istria cafe. Those guys could whip up a mean skim mocha.

5) A competitive market in air travel. I've travelled anough in recent years to appreciate the fact that I was in a city serviced by almost every airline -- which meant I could usually find a nonstop, reasonably priced flight to anywhere I needed to go.

1) The Co-op supermarket. There is one supermarket in the Hyde Park neighborhood, and it is just awful. How awful? We stopped shopping there after our first few years in Chicago -- as this Chicago Maroon essay points out, "how can a supermarket chain that charges higher prices and offers lower quality products sustain itself?" Never have I seen a better advertisement for the evils of barriers to entry than that sorry excuse of a store.

2) The traffic. At least the Big Dig is done.... but the Dan Ryan will be under construction for years.

3) The anti-business culture in the South Side. Click here for one example. Ask the owners of Istria about how long it took them to open up their store for another example.

4) The short springs. This past May was typical -- cold as hell for the first two weeks, then oppressively hot and humid for a week, and then one nice week of spring. On the other hand, as one cabbie put it to me, "Of course the weather stinks in Chicago. If it didn't, 20 million peiople would live here."

5) Not enough Red Sox games on television. I didn't say my complaints were reasonable, they're just complaints!!

Time to turn the page. On to Boston!!

posted by Dan at 09:03 PM | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Am I a liberal in bloggers' clothing?

It's no secret that I've been disenchanted with President Bush for some time. It's also no secret that I'm not alone in this sentiment -- indeed, conservatives appear to be the latest deserters.

However, the hardworking staff here at danieldrezner.com has begun to ask me whether, given my lack of faith in either the Republican administration or the Republican Congress, I'm really a Republican. Now I'm a libertarian, so I've never fit perfectly within much of the Republican canon. But has my opposition to Bush caused me to unconsciously morph into left-libertarianism?

Fortunately, the Atrios Litmus Test for Liberals (usefully edited by Kevin Drum) has recently made available for one and all to dissect. Let's take it and see how I do!!

The liberal party planks that I'm supposed to support are below. My answers are underlined:

1) Repeal the estate tax repeal: Hmmm... I confess to being pretty agnostic about this one on philosophical terms, but in the spirit of fiscal rectitude I'll back it.

2) Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI. This proposal does make me nostalgic for the good old days of wage-price spirals. No.

3) Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one). Do free ponies come with this one? Hacker and Pierson tell me that details matter a lot when one party is in power, so no, I'll pass.

4) Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation. Whenever someone says anything akin to "some other... regulation," I get hives. No. [But what about gas prices?--ed. Sorry, not worked up yet -- besides, high gas prices should have a much greater effect on fuel economy than CAFE standards.]

5) Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. On the last one there's probably some disagreement around the edges (parental notification, for example), but otherwise. This is a bit fuzzy to me. I certainly oppose government restrictions on access to contraception, etc., but the language makes it sound like the government should be funding these choices. I'll be charitable and say yes, though.

6) Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code. Completely agreed on the simplification -- which is why I vehemently oppose the increased progressivity.

7) Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination. Opposed to the first part, OK with the second.

8) Reduce corporate giveaways. Phrased that way, sure. Just curious, though -- would universal health insurance be considered a corporate giveaway?

9) Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan. Hell, no. Just kill the motherf#$er.

10) Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions. Wow, that would do wonders for private investment in general and the stock market in particular. No.

11) Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too. Sounds good -- yes.

12) Paper ballots. Oh, please. With the obvious caveat about protections against fraud, this one falls under "leave the states alone" for me.

13) Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Obiously details matter. Again, only with the free ponies!! Details make me itchy. No.

14) Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes. If it would fund the transition funds to an actual private pension system, yes. But I suspect that this is not what Atrios is thinking, so no.

15) Marriage rights for all, which includes "gay marriage" and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens. Yes on the first point, but part of the problem with current immigration policy is that the legal system is already stacks the deck in favor of spouses and other relatives, so no on the second.

So, that adds up to five and a half points of agreement, which equals only 36.6% agreement. So no, I'm not a liberal. I'm a bit more sympatico with the DLC crowd, but that's not terribly surprising.

Readers are encouraged to see if they are liberals too. However, my gut tells me that readers of danieldrezner.com are wonks more than anything else, so reading statements like "details matter" or "some more regulation" will make them a bit itchy as well.

UPDATE: Whoops, I missed the question on the bankruptcy bill -- I'm afraid I have to plead uninformed on it. Megan McArdle -- who pays more attention to domestic policy than yours truly -- performs the valuable public service of also taking the test. She gives more detailed answers, and reminds me that on the progressivity point, I certainly support the premise behind the EITC/negative income tax.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Stephen Bainbridge takes the test too.

posted by Dan at 09:26 PM | Comments (32) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Another week, another overseas conference, another open thread

Blogging will be light for the next couple of days, as I'll be wending my way to the GMFUS Brussels Forum on Transatlantic Challenges in a Global Era. It's a pretty interesting agenda/lineup of participants.

So, while I'm gone, a question to readers: which issues would like to see discussed more frequently -- or at all -- here at danieldrezner.com?

posted by Dan at 01:46 PM | Comments (21) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

My very first satellite radio show

I'll be on Open Source Radio with Christopher Lydon on that satellite radio thing the young people talk about so much. My assignment is to repeat my Zionist overlord's talking points discuss the substance of "The Israel Lobby." You can listen in live from from 7-8 PM Eastern by clicking here. Other participants will be Steve Clemons and Daniel Levy.

[I thought you said you weren't talking about this any more?!--ed. No, I said I wouldn't blog about this. Talking on the radio is completely different. While I'm at it, though, it's worth linking to this Guardian story by Peter Beaumont that clears up one aspect of the paper that I did think was borderline anti-Semitic: the capitalization of "The Israel Lobby":

[London Review of Books editor Mary-Kay] Wilmers rejects the accusation by Hitchens, Ross and others that the Mearsheimer-Walt article has done little more than attempt to join up a disconnected list of people and organisations lobbying on different aspects of Israeli concern into a central 'Israel Lobby' - capitalised by the LRB. She admits now, however, that it would have been better to use a lower case 'l' for the word 'lobby' - to have avoided the risk of being misunderstood.

posted by Dan at 04:25 PM | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, March 6, 2006

I get around...

One of the virtues of driving cross country several times is that you can produce this map:

create your own visited states map

[Yeah, but you study international relations. What about the rest of the world?--ed.] Then you get this map:

create your own visited countries map

One of my goals in life is to color in a lot of the white space south of the equator.

Hat tip: Daniel Nexon.

posted by Dan at 12:57 PM | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, February 27, 2006

My mad math skills

Well, this is a relief:

You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

This, on the other hand, makes me seriously doubt the testing methodology:

You Are Los Angeles

Young and fun, you always know where the best parties are.

And while you tend to keep things carefree and casual...

You certainly can glam it up when you need to.

posted by Dan at 01:35 PM | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

So what are you going to watch?

At six o'clock this evening EDT, you have a choice -- you could watch Vice President Dick Cheney's interview with Brit Hume on Fox News..... or watch me talk about offshore outsourcing on CNN International's Insight?

I thought so.

[You do realize most Americans can't get CNN International--ed. It was a rhetorical question... and I got my hypothetical rhetorical answer.]

posted by Dan at 04:47 PM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

I see Pejman Yousefzadeh has a suggestion for me:

Following Professor Ignatieff's lead, there is no reason whatsoever why we in America cannot elect academics to Congress. Indeed, now that Daniel Drezner will be decamping to Massachusetts, and given the fact that Ted Kennedy will be up for re-election this year . . .

Well, I don't have to draw a picture for you, do I?

Which is what inspired the title to this post. And also this link to a William Tecumseh Sherman quote.

[You're afraid of all the rumors involving you, Salma Hayek, and the butterscotch toppng, aren't you?--ed.] No, I've met politicians, and I know I'm not one of their breed.

I don't say this in a haughty, superior way, but rather with a sense of awe at the drive required to run for elected office in modern America. A few years ago I spent some time with a guy who was planning on running for Congress a year later. This guy wasn't a political legacy or anything, just someone who wanted to be a politician. What I remember about him was the focus, energy, and almost-animal appetite he brought to the task. He reveled in he things about campaigns that I would find infuriating. I found the experience akin to being in a room with the biggest, baddest alpha dog you've ever seen.

Sure, once you get elected, the advantages of incumbency are pretty powerful. But to get to that point, you not only have to desire the office, you have to desire making the journey as well. That's not me.

And so I teach instead....

[Wow, that was deep.... so what you're really afraid of are all the rumors involving you, Scarlett Johansson, and the buttersco--ed. Oh, give it up.]

posted by Dan at 10:09 PM | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, January 9, 2006

Those young, whiny whippersnappers

I'm roughly the same age as Daniel Gross, and I'm not surprised to see that I had roughly the same reaction as he had in Slate to the latest Generation Y laments about how hard it is to find a financially rewarding job:

The economic jeremiad written by a twentysomething is a cyclical phenomenon. People who graduate into a recessionary/post-bubble economy inevitably find the going tough, which compounds the usual postgraduate angst. And with their limited life experience and high expectations, they tend to extrapolate a lifetime from a couple of years. I know. Back in the early 1990s, when my cohort and I were making our way into the workforce in a recessionary, post-bubble environment, I wrote an article on precisely the same topic for Swing, the lamentable, deservedly short-lived David Lauren twentysomething magazine. If memory serves, the headline was something like "Generation Debt."....

Now, today's twentysomething authors are clearly onto something. College is more expensive today in real terms. There's been a shift in student aid—more loans and fewer grants. The Baby Boomers, closer to retirement, are sucking up more dollars in benefits. There's more income volatility and job insecurity than there used to be. So, why are these books—Generation Debt in particular—annoying?

....[M]any of the economic issues the authors identify—job insecurity, low savings rate, income volatility, the massive ongoing benefits cram-down—affect everybody, not just twentysomethings. And the people hurt most by these escalating trends aren't young people starting out. They're folks in their 50s and 60s, middle-managers at Delphi whose careers have ended, coal miners in West Virginia who face death on the job, the people at IBM who just saw their pensions frozen.

Today's twentysomethings, by contrast, have their whole lives in front of them. Want a cheaper house? Quit Manhattan and move to Hartford, Conn. Want to make more money? Pick a different field.

In [Anya] Kamenetz's book [Generation Debt: Why Now Is a Terrible Time To Be Young], there are plenty of poor, self-pitying upper-middle-class types, disappointed that they can't have exactly what they want when they want it. Sure, it's tough to live well as a violinist or a grad student in New York today; but the same thing held 20 years ago, and 40 years ago. To improve their lot, twentysomethings have to do the same things their parents should be doing: saving more, spending less, building skills that are marketable, and aligning aspirations with abilities. It's tough to have a bourgeois life at 26....

Kamenetz complains that: "No employer has yet offered me a full-time job with a 401(k), a paid vacation, or any other benefits beyond the next assignment. I have a savings account but no retirement fund. I can't afford preschool fees or a mortgage anywhere near the city where I live and work." Of course, Kamenetz doesn't have kids to send to preschool. And chances are, by the time she does, she'll be able to afford preschool fees. Most people in their 20s don't realize that their incomes will rise over time (none of the people I know who have six-figure incomes today had them when they were 25), that they will marry or form a partnership with somebody else, thus increasing their income, and that they may get over having to live in the hippest possible neighborhood.

Look. It's tough coming out of Ivy League schools to New York and making your way in the world. The notion that you can be—and have to be—the author of your own destiny is both terrifying and exhilarating. And for those without marketable skills, who lack social and intellectual capital, the odds are indeed stacked against them. But someone like Kamenetz, who graduated from Yale in 2002, doesn't have much to kvetch about. In the press materials accompanying the book, she notes that just after she finished the first draft, her boyfriend "proposed to me on a tiny, idyllic island off the coast of Sweden." She continues: "As I write this, boxes of china and flatware, engagement gifts, sit in our living room waiting to go into storage because they just won't fit in our insanely narrow galley kitchen. We spent a whole afternoon exchanging the inevitable silver candlesticks and crystal vases, heavy artifacts of an iconic married life that still seems to have nothing to do with ours." The inevitable silver candlesticks? Too much flatware to fit in the kitchen? We should all have such problems.

Lest one think Gross is being overly Panglossian about the economy, click on his blog. [But you're Panglossia about life in your thirties, right?--ed. No, families and potentially higher incomes do not come without their tradeoffs.] His larger point, however, is that people -- particularly educated people who try to write books in their twenties -- tend to make a significant move up the income chain when they hit their thirties.

UPDATE: Check out Gross' e-mail exchange with Kamenetz on the latter's blog. Kamenetz thinks she can "declare victory," after the exchange, but I don't find her response either persuasive or elegant.

One last point -- the crux of the issue appears to be the rising cost of college education. There is no doubt that the retail price of a 4-year college education at a private university has drastically risen over the past two decades. However, that overlooks a few key questions:

1) What percentage of college students pay the retail price? To what extent does student aid reduce the burden, even if there's been a shift towards "more loans and fewer grants"?

2) To what extent is tuition at a four-year competitive state institution out of the reach of middle-class America?

3) Given the rising gap in wages between those with a college education and those without, doesn't a rising premium on college tuition make sense?

posted by Dan at 10:04 PM | Comments (42) | Trackbacks (0)

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Closing the year on a good note

It seems wrong to end the year with a post on the ten worst Americans - so let me close out the year on the blog by highlighting three people who I know and respect. All of them have written something constructive about Iraq in the past week:

1) Andrew Erdmann -- about whom I've blogged in the past -- had an op-ed in the New York Times earlier in the week on Iraq's parliamentary elections:
For better or worse, in the election's aftermath, the United States will almost certainly begin to withdraw its military from Iraq in 2006. But that does not mean that the time has come to disengage. On the contrary, a broader, more diverse engagement with Iraqi society is needed to help Iraqis develop the institutions, practices and values essential to real and enduring democracy....

Iraq's universities and colleges are unable to train sufficient numbers of professors or schoolteachers to educate the next generation. Today, Iraq's 20 public universities and more than 40 technical colleges and institutes struggle to educate more than 250,000 students annually. Hundreds of millions of dollars are needed to build the system back up to where it was before Saddam Hussein took power; billions will be needed to meet today's regional standard, set by countries like Qatar.

How can we help build a better Iraq unless we focus on its vast population of young people, whose views of their country and its politics have yet to harden into dogma? But despite higher education's strategic importance, American support for it has been paltry. From 2003 to 2005, a United States Agency for International Development program allocated $20 million to building partnerships between American and Iraqi universities. That program ended without a successor; no agency funds are allocated for Iraqi higher education for 2006. The American Embassy in Baghdad backed the founding of an American University in Iraq in Sulaimaniya, but future support is uncertain....

We should expand "train and equip" programs for Iraqi editors, journalists, and publishers. We should also increase financing for the National Endowment for Democracy, the United States Institute of Peace and other organizations that are helping Iraqis build and sustain civic institutions. Such investments cannot be postponed and must not be considered merely "supplemental." We need to lock them into our budgets today.

But the United States government should not carry the load alone. Americans of all types - including educators, management consultants and municipal officials - can contribute and need to step forward. More organizations should follow the lead of Columbia University's Center for International Conflict Resolution, which works with civic leaders in regions of Iraq that are relatively peaceful. American trade unions, professional associations, educational institutions, journalists, students, human rights activists, scientists and business executives should establish ties with their Iraqi counterparts.

So far, many Americans who opposed the war have not extended a helping hand to the Iraqi people in its aftermath. Others sit on the fence. With elections under a new Constitution, the time has come to focus on Iraq's future and put aside the politics of the past.

2) A few years ago I was fortunate to have an office next door to Major Scott Cooper of the U.S. Marine Corps (we were both Council on Foreign Relations fellows). Cooper represents the best the Marines have to offer. On Christmas Day, Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland relayed a long e-mail Cooper sent to him about how he views Iraq:
"The insurgents are not winning the overall struggle here," even if the United States has been unable to prevail militarily in the Sunni heartland, where Cooper is based. "They have not been able to extend the rebellion beyond the Sunni population. More than three-quarters of the Iraqi population are not engaged in the insurgency. In fact, they actively oppose it.

"And al Qaeda is losing the larger war on terrorism. Its immediate goal was to topple Muslim regimes in the Middle East who were friendly to the United States. No Muslim regime has fallen. A number of Arab countries and Pakistan have extended their cooperation to eliminate al Qaeda," he continues.

"We must define success by the changed behavior that is occurring in the region and by the fact that Iraq is no longer a threat to the region or the world. As a member of a weary military, I can attest that there are considerable sacrifices involved in all these endeavors. But if we are realistic about our goals, we can accomplish them."....

The aviator is hardly oblivious to Iraq's sectarian divisions, its culture of violence and long degradation under Saddam Hussein: "Iraq continues to be a collectivity of separate families and clans. A seeming lack of concern for the future by many Iraqis is the most troublesome quality we encounter. There is a puzzling indifference to what we are doing and even to what their new political leaders are doing."

Modest and practical, Scott Cooper would be the first to say that his views are personal, limited and subject to evolution. But this Marine's experiences over and at Al Asad have given him an unusual opportunity to understand that change in Iraq is both difficult -- and possible.

3) Former student Paul Staniland has an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on the best way to stanch the flow of foreign insurgents into Iraq:
President Bush's "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" focuses on the need to stop foreign fighters from coming into Iraq through neighboring countries, especially Syria. However, current U.S. policies have not halted this flow of insurgents, weapons and money. Unless the United States and its Iraqi allies can seal the border with Syria, enduring peace will not come to Iraq....

Instead of relying on either Syrian cooperation or sporadic offensives in Al Anbar province, American and Iraqi forces need to establish real control along the border. This solution seems obvious, but it is often overlooked in favor of more dramatic policies, such as military invasions and coercive diplomacy. However, France, India, Israel, Morocco and Turkey have all successfully used border defenses to neutralize transnational insurgents....

The Iraqi border with Syria is a good candidate for a barrier. The terrain allows for easier patrol and surveillance than in Kashmir, and, unlike Israel, the border is internationally recognized as legitimate.

Sealing the entire border with a wall patrolled by troops would be ideal, but even just fencing off the most commonly used areas of infiltration, including along the Tigris-Euphrates river basin, would help.

Iraqi troops could perform basic tasks such as patrolling and maintenance, while the American military handled high-tech surveillance and pursued infiltrators. Well-guarded border crossings would allow international commerce to continue while also providing an opportunity to keep track of who is entering and exiting the country.

Sealing the Iraqi border would certainly be costly. But the expense in both blood and treasure is negligible compared to the alternatives.

Read all three pieces -- combined, their advice point the way towards a sober but hopeful picture of Iraq.

posted by Dan at 02:42 PM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I sound very smart in German. Not so much in English.

A few months ago I gave an interview to Norweigan journalist Olav Anders Řvrebř on the politics of blogs in the United States. For those of you who understand German, it's now up at the Netzeitung web site. Among other things, I say:

Das Bloggen ist aber kein ausschließlich demokratisches Phänomen. Es ist einfacher bekannt zu werden, wenn man quasi offiziell zur Elite gehört, zum Beispiel als Professor. Aber das alleine reicht nicht. Man muss schreiben können, und das im Blog-Stil. Einige meiner Kollegen haben versucht zu bloggen, haben aber offenbar nicht verstanden, dass ein wissenschaftlicher Artikel als Blog-Eintrag nicht funktioniert. Man braucht einen guten Stil - und man muss bereit sein, Fehler einzuräumen und zu korrigieren.
[Wow, sounds very erudite. What does it mean?--ed.] Well, translated through Babelfish:
The Bloggen is however none excluding democratic phenomenon. It is more simply admits to become, if one belongs quasi officially to the elite, for example than professor. But that alone is not enough. One must be able to write, and in the Blog style. Some my colleagues it have tried to bloggen, however obviously did not understand that a scientific article does not function as Blog entry. One needs a good style - and one must be ready to grant and correct errors
[That sounds.... less erudite--ed.] Readers are encoraged to find the sentence in the interview that sounds the most ridiculous when re-translated into English.

posted by Dan at 08:45 PM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, December 8, 2005

I'm always the last to find out....

Via Virginia Postrel, I see that I've been nominated for a 2005 Weblog Award: "Best of the Top 250 Blogs."

Virginia writes, "I don't expect to win, but I do hope to beat Dan Drezner." I'm getting creamed, so this is indeed a possibility.

[Any way to boost your numbers?--ed. Well, Megan McArdle has a foolproof approach to getting votes: "Please go vote for us. Because if we don't win, I'll cry. Big, fat tears rolling out of my dewy green eyes, staining my porcelain cheeks as my body racks with sobs. No one wants that." Alas, you have neither green eyes nor porcelain skin--ed. No.... but think of my lovely wife, who has green eyes, porcelain skin.... and dimples that disappear when she's sad. Vote for me -- don't make my wife's dimples go away. Oh, man, that's low--ed.]

posted by Dan at 11:15 PM | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

I'll be on the radio tonight

From 9-11 this evening I'll be one of the guests on Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg on WGN Radio this evening. The other guests will be the lovely and talented Eszter Hargittai and fellow U of C blogger Sean Carroll from Cosmic Variance.

[So whatcha gonna talk about?--ed. According to Milt's blog, "[they] will discuss their forays into blogging, examine blogs as a cultural phenomenon, and relate how their blogs have influenced their life and our world." Draw your own conclusions. UPDATE: Sean's conclusions: "the view of the blogosphere we'll be offering will doubtless be narrow and unrepresentative, but fascinating nonetheless." How can you pass that up?]

posted by Dan at 04:47 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, November 18, 2005

So I see there's an article in Slate....

You know you've reached a new and bizarre degree of "fame" when you read an article that features you prominently.... even though you were never contacted by the author prior to publication.

I'm talking about Robert Boynton's article in Slate on the perils and promise of scholar-bloggers. A few corrections and clarifications for those wandering over here from that story.

First, let me stress yet again that I have never said that the blog cost me tenure. My information on this front is imperfect, but rest assured that whenever more than twenty senior academics are meeting about anything, there are myriad, obscure, and frequently bizarre factors involved in any decision. Click here for more about that.

Second, although it's a great ending for Boynton's essay, the Fletcher School did not find out about my tenure denial from the blog. That said, a lot of other places did find out that way, and I did get a very healthy number of queries through the blog.

Third, I agree with Eric Alterman that having three Stanford degrees and a forthcoming Princeton University Press book is "good, but hardly sufficient" for tenure at the University of Chicago. In my own defense, though, I have a wee bit more than that under my scholarly belt.

I am grateful to Boynton for the kind words in this paragraph:

in another sense, academic blogging represents the fruition, not a betrayal, of the university's ideals. One might argue that blogging is in fact the very embodiment of what the political philosopher Michael Oakeshott once called "The Conversation of Mankind"--an endless, thoroughly democratic dialogue about the best ideas and artifacts of our culture. Drezner's blog, for example, is hardly of the "This is what I did today..." variety. Rather, he usually writes about globalization and political economy--the very subjects on which he publishes in prestigious, peer-reviewed presses and journals. If his prose style in the blog is more engaging than that of the typical academic's, the thinking behind it is no less rigorous or intelligent.

Boynton goes on to point out the basic conundrum of how to count blogging -- even if the output is high quality, what is the external and replicable measurement through which this is assessed?

Ann Althouse, Orin Kerr, and John Hawks (whose blog was mentioned but not linked to in the story -- what's up with that?) have further thoughts. Hawks makes an interesting point here:

Should blogging count in some way? I don't know. I think my blogging makes me a better researcher. If I'm right, it has its own rewards. And I don't think that any blog post approximates a review article in any way -- if they did, they would be a lot less interesting!

But the cumulative whole is greater than any single review article. And I would say that a sizable number of my posts are "worth" more than a book review, which would get counted in a minor way. It would be nice if the choice between different forms of productivity did not involve such a stark difference.

Let me suggest that there are two issues that are conflated in the story. First, there is the idea of a blog as an output for public discourse, a la op-eds and the like. On that score, blogging counts as a form of service and not much else.

Second, there is the idea that academic blogs facilitate better scholarship by encouraging online interactions about research ideas. Take, for example, this exchange between Marc Lynch, myself, and others about whether international relations theory is slighting the study of Al Qaeda, or this exchange between Erik Gartzke and R.J. Rummel about the root causes of the liberal democratic capitalist peace. Even better, the private responses I received to a post on trade-related intellectual property rights facilitated my own research efforts in that area. This sort of thing happens off-line as well, but the blog format is exceedingly well-suited for enhancing and expanding this kind of interaction. In this sense, blogs may very well supplant the old practice of having exchanges of letters in journals.

Should it count for anything? As Hawks points out, it should lead to better research anyway, which should get recognized by the traditional standards.

So I'm pretty sure that the contribution of blogs to academic output can be measured using pre-existing standards -- with one exception and one caveat. The exception is that maybe the whole of an academic blog is greater than the sum of its parts. Precisely because a blog can contribute to public discourse, scholarly research, and teaching pedagogy at the same time, it encourages a greater mkix of ideas and information than would otherwise be possible. Whether this is true I will leave for the commenters.

The caveat is that even if blogging can be counted via conventional means, there is no indication that academic units will do so. As I've said before, academics are a very conservative bunch in many ways, so the idea that blogs should count for a plus will take a long time to seep in. For the present moment, my hope is that blogs do not count against you.

posted by Dan at 10:24 AM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)

Saturday, November 5, 2005

So Friday was a pretty good day....

Friday was a great day for two reasons. First, a 70 degree day in Chicago in November is a rare treat and needs to be properly savored.

[Wow, you're keeping up such a brave face after getting denied tenure--ed.] Well, that leads to the second and more important reason why Friday was a pretty good day.

I have formally accepted an offer to be an Associate Professor of International Politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, starting in the summer of 2006. Next year at this time, I will be teaching students pursuing a M.A.L.D. (Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy) or a Ph.D. at Tufts University in Medford, MA.

[Wait a minute. Wait just a friggin' minute. What exactly does "Associate Professor" mean?--ed.] It means that, subject to the approval of Tufts University's Board of Trustees, I will be a tenured professor.

[Why Fletcher? Did you have any other options?--ed.] I received a number of inquiries (at various levels of seriousness) from academic and non-academic institutions -- the latter including government, think tank, and publishing opportunities. This was both gratifying and useful. Gratifying because it's always nice to be wanted. Useful because it gave me the chance to ponder whether the academy was for me. In the end, Fletcher was the best choice for a combination of personal and professional reasons.

[So how are you feeling now? Still bitter at the University of Chicago?--ed.] I'm feeling pretty good, actually. Fletcher is an excellent public policy school for what I study, and they actually like the fact that I write for a wider audience on occasion. Oh, and Tufts seems to be doing an excellent job of facilitating policies I like.

As for the U of C, no, I'd say the bitterness level is down to a very tiny nub. Mind you, I still think they screwed up, but they've screwed up other decisions even worse. Anyway, that's the department's problem now, not mine. I will always have very fond memories the institution, the students, and many of my colleagues. We will miss Hyde Park's rumored restaurant renaissance -- but this will be more than compensated by the plethora of supermarket choices in the Boston 'burbs.

[So how do you feel about the blog now? Now that you're tenured, can you really cut loose?--ed.] No, it's just the opposite, I'm afraid. Brian Weatherson hit the nail on the head in Scott Jaschik's Inside Higher Ed story on blogging and academia:

While some believe tenure allows more freedom for a blogger, Weatherson said that if your audience grows, that — not tenure status — may be the factor that leads to restraint online. "The more widely the blog gets read the more cautious I am about saying something critical of anyone without quite a lot to back up the criticisms," he said. "Basically these days I can assume that anything I say critical of anyone in philosophy will get back to them, and I write as if the target of the criticism will be reading. So I probably hold back a little more than I did pre-tenure, when sometimes I would assume that the blog would just remain among friends."


[So you'll be tenured, huh? Well, there goes the last shred of any connection you have with the "real world" in which other American workers must cope!--ed.] You've been reading the comments too much. I don't want to go off on a rant here, but the meme about academics having no connection to the real world is a crock of s$#*. Yes, tenure equals lifetime employment. However, consider the following:

1) Compared to other professions that require equivalent education, academics earn lower wages. This is clearly a choice for many of economic security and a more flexible work schedule over increased income. But it is a choice with real economic costs.

2) It's not like getting a tenured position at a top-drawer school is the easiest thing to do in the world. You have to get accepted into a good Ph.D. program, write an excellent dissertation, demonstrate an ability to generate research of high quality and quantity, and trust your luck that these skills will be recognized by your senior colleagues inside and outside your university.

3) I can't stress this enough -- a professor's wage is almost entirely determined by the market. Yearly raises in our profession range from infinitessimal to nonexistent. The only way to earn big raises is to demonstrate our value to the outside market by getting a competing job offer. That's about as real as you can get in terms of the wage structure.

[Yeah, but you academics don't have to deal with your jobs being outsourced!--ed. Er... no, that doesn't wash. The premier positions in American academia have has a global labor market for decades now, so the effect is analogous to offshoring -- though The long-term effect of professorial podcasting will be interesting, because it suggests an inexpensive way to commodify aspects of teaching.]

[Man, a lot has happened to you since you started the blog -- you're going to need to update that "About Me" page--ed.] Yeah, I already thought of that.

[So you'll be moving to the Boston area, huh? How much NESN will you be allowed to watch?--ed.] My wife and I are deep in negotiations about this very question. With the Red Sox management currently imploding, however, this may not be much of an issue.

posted by Dan at 08:48 AM | Comments (121) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Who the hell is Daniel W. Drezner?

A brief introduction, in the form of a Q&A [NOTE: this has been updated and revised from my previous "about me" page from four years ago. Feel free to compare and contrast the two pages to your heart's content!--ed.]:

Q: Who are you?

A: I'm a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. I've previously taught at the University of Chicago, 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 and as a research consultant for the RAND corporation.

I'm the author of All Politics is Global: Explaining International Regulatory Regimes (Princeton University Press, 2007), U.S. Trade Strategy: Free Versus Fair (Council on Foreign Relations Press, 2006), and The Sanctions Paradox: Economic Statecraft and International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 1999). I'm the editor of Locating the Proper Authorities: The Interaction of Domestic and International Institutions (University of Michigan Press, 2003). I've also written a fair number of articles in both policy and scholarly journals -- click here for links to many of them.

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 German Marshall Fund of the United States, Council on Foreign Relations and Harvard University's Olin Center for Strategic Studies. I was 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, the Boston Red Sox, 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. Domestically, I was an unpaid foreign policy advisor for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign (they didn't need the help) -- but then I grudgingly voted for Kerry in 2004. It's safe to say I'm conflicted some of the time. Just keep reading the blog, you'll get a pretty good sense of what I believe.

Q: Why are you wasting valuable hours blogging instead of writing peer-reviewed academic articles?

On the record: 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. [Er, the Times has solicited your views--ed. Oh, sure, once -- and that was only because I said "pretty please." Any time the Times is willing to give me instant access to their op-ed page without Times Select being such a killjoy, I'll give up the blog.]

Off the record: Sure, I was worried about how the blog was perceived when I was untenured. However, I'm pretty confident that the blog hasn't retarded my scholarly output And I've reached the point in my career where I don't need to worry about tenure. So f$%& that s&*^.

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.

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 my books-of-the-month page and find out!!

Also be sure as well to check out the journals. The ones intended for a general interest audience include Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The National Interest, and The Washington Quarterly. On the scholarly side, go check out International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, and World Politics.

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 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: 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, my Normblog profile, and my Pajamas Media bio.

posted by Dan at 04:18 PM | Trackbacks (1)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Seven days later....

Among the things I've learned in the week after tenure rejection:

1) It's good to have the blog. I very much appreciate the thoughts expressed in the comments section -- the depth of the response has been overwhelming, a nice salve on what remains an open wound.

[Yeah, but you expected the kind words, right? That's why you posted, right?--ed. The primary reason I posted was that I knew the decision would slowly ripple through the very small world of IR scholars. Since a decent chunk of that world peruses the blog, it was a quick and easy way to avoid repeating the following kind of awkward phone conversation:

DAN: Hi.

COLLEAGUE OF DAN: Hey there. How are you?

DAN: I've been better. I just got denied tenure.

COLLEAGUE OF DAN: Oh, dear, that's terrible!

DAN: Yes, it is....

(awkward pause)

COLLEAGUE OF DAN: Uh..... er.... wait, did you hear that? [Sound of phone hanging up.]

2) It's good to read other bloggers as well. I have been most grateful for the sentiments expressed across the political spectrum.

More importantly, a number of scholar-bloggers have made some excellent contriutions on the murky relationship between blogging, tenure, and scholarship -- see, in particular, Juan Non-Volokh, Ann Althouse, Sean Carroll, Timothy Burke, and Michael Bérubé.

3) It's good to have small children. Despite the occasional impulse to curl up into a fetal position and sleep most of the day, children do not really understand the concept of "having a bad day." So you have no choice but to go about your day, which is a useful check against lethargy. Plus, without getting too mushy about it, a hug from the one-year old is worth a hell of a lot more than the collective opinion of my tenured colleagues.

4) It's good to go on a 24-hour fast soon after getting denied tenure. Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. A significant aspect of the Days of Awe that lead up to the holiday is asking for forgiveness from those you have wronged over the past year. An equally significant aspect, however, is forgiving those who have wronged you.

Now I'll grant that forgiveness was not at the top of my list of emotions a week ago, but after some reflection, it's been creeping up. Among the many pieces of intelligence I've been picking up about my decision is the idea that there was little display of malice or pettiness in the discussion of my case. So I (obviously) think senior colleagues made the wrong decision -- but I can't say they made the decision in a fit of pique or envy.

Yeah, that's about all that I've learned.

[Wait just a friggin' minute. There's been a lot of chatter in the blogosphere -- and in the Chicago Tribune, and the New York Sun, and Inside Higher Ed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education -- about what (if any) role blogging played in the decision. Now that you've got some more intel, do you want to fan those particular flames?--ed. Well..... I don't want to violate any confidences, and there are some things that will remain "known unknowns" no matter what. That said, let's just say I found myself nodding unconsciously when I read these paragraphs by Sean Carroll with regard to his own case of tenure denial at the U of C:

There’s a short answer and a long answer. The short answer is "No, it’s not blogging that prevents you from getting tenure; it’s because some people in your department (or the dean, or whatever) didn’t think that your research was good enough." The blog was not a hot topic of discussion in my case, and I’m pretty sure that many of my colleagues don’t even know what a blog is, much less have a negative opinion of mine.

The longer answer must deal with the issue of why someone doesn’t think your research was good enough. (You might wonder whether teaching and various other forms of service are also relevant; at a top-tier research university like Chicago, the answer is simply "no," and if anyone says differently they’re not being honest.) I think my own research was both solid and influential, and Dan’s looks pretty good from the perspective of a complete outsider; certainly neither of us had simply sat around for six years. But these are judgment calls, and a lot goes into that judgment. Like it or not, if you are very visibly spending a great deal of time doing things other than research, people might begin to wonder how devoted you are to the enterprise. To first order it doesn’t really matter whether that time is spent blogging or playing the banjo; some folks will think that you could have been spending that time doing research. (At second order it does matter; some people, smaller in number but undoubtedly there, feel resentful and jealous when one of their colleagues attains a certain public profile on the basis of outreach rather than research.) Of course nobody will ever say that they voted against giving tenure to someone because that person spent too much time on public outreach, or put too much effort into their teaching. But getting a reputation at being really good at that stuff could in principle make it harder to have your research accomplishments recognized — or not. It’s just impossible to tell, without access to powerful mind-reading rays that one can train on the brains of the senior faculty.

Blogging may very well be a contributor to this image of not being perfectly devoted — although, given the lack of familiarity with blogs on the part of most senior faculty, it’s very unlikely to be playing a major role. But even then it’s not blogging per se, it’s the decision to make an effort to communicate with the public. Blogging is just a technology, not a fundamentally new activity.

I can knock down simple strawmen on the question of what happened. I wasn't denied tenure because of my politics, for example. At a deeper level, however, it's just impossible to parse out well-justified motivations from poorly-justified motivations. And the sooner you and I accept that fact, the better for our emotional health.]

posted by Dan at 12:00 PM | Comments (43) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, October 7, 2005

Is there anything more exciting than Canadian public television?

Blogging may be slow for the next few days, as I'll be at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies for a conference entitled, "Growing Apart: Europe and America."

However, for those diehard readers of danieldrezner.com who reside in Ontario -- yes, that's all three of you -- I'll be one of a bevy of talking heads for TVOntario's Diplomatic Immunity, airing this Friday.

TVO will also -- God forbid -- be airing the "highlights" of the conference... er... at some point in the next few weeks.

Canadian public TV -- it's fantastic!!

posted by Dan at 12:57 AM | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, September 23, 2005

For those who care....

For those of you in the audience who care about the political economy of intellectual property rights, global civil society, or global governance -- yes, you sitting in the Pick Hall computer lab, I'm looking right at you -- check out my revised APSA paper, "Gauging the Power of Global Civil Society: Intellectual Property and Public Health."

[Isn't this the one you were fretting about in August?--ed. Yes, but I'm pleasantly surprised with how it came out.]

posted by Dan at 09:58 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Feelng the café buzz in Hyde Park...

Lots of current and former Hyde Park residents reacted to this post about my neighborhood allegedly becoming the "next hot restaurant zone." Whatever the merits of the claim, it cannot be sustained unless neighborhood residents actually frequent the places that open up.

I would therefore encourage those in the area to stop by just-opened the Istria Café. They have wi-fi (yes, I'm blogging from here right now), good coffee.... and gelato.

It's located at E. 57th St. & Lake Park Avenue, right under the Metra tracks. If you're in the area, go check it out. Oh, and ask the manager about the myriad hoops City Hall requires people to jump through in order to open up such an establishment -- it's quite a tale.

posted by Dan at 11:24 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Let's see, where can I publish next?

This week marks my third blogging anniversary. [Three years??!! So when do you plan on going back to just pointless, incessant barking?--ed]

And, by a freakish coincidence, I have two articles on the web today. In either case, I doubt I would have been approached were it not for the blog.

The first, in honor of the United Nations' 2005 World Summit (and, gee, those preparations are going swimmingly) is a review in the Wall Street Journal of Pedro Sanjuan's The UN Gang: A Memoir of Incompetence, Corruption, Espionage, Anti-Semitism and Islamic Extremism at the UN Secretariat . My varnished opinion:

In 1984, Vice President George H.W. Bush nominated Mr. Sanjuan to be the director of political affairs in the U.N. Secretariat, the massive administrative core of the institution. Mr. Sanjuan's real job was to spy on the Soviet spies working for the secretary-general. This was not an easy task: "I was one against 274 of them at the time of my arrival." "The UN Gang" is Mr. Sanjuan's memoir of his U.N. experience. It does not present a pretty picture of the United Nations -- or, by the end of the book, of the author himself....

On his Web site, Mr. Sanjuan states that he has a "penchant for the bizarre and the absurd." That phrase perfectly summarizes the U.N. -- and "The UN Gang."

My unvarnished opinion -- after reading this book, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that there's something a little bit loopy about Mr. Sanjuan.

Remember when Robert Reich published his memoir Locked in the Cabinet, and then Jonathan Rauch discovered that Reich had either made up or exaggerated certain events and quotes? Reich’s defense was that this was how he viewed the events at the time. The UN Gang suffers from the same defect.

Let's put it this way -- if I was a lawyer trying to indict the UN, there is no way in hell I would call Sanjuan as a reliable witness.

If you think I'm exaggerating, either buy the book or check out Sanjuan's web site (the quote from the review comes from this page) and draw your own psychological profile about Sanjuan's world view.

One last little irony about The UN Gang. Sanjuan continually (and justifiably) lambasts the UN Secretariat for being a hothouse of nepotism. All well and good -- but his editor at Doubleday was Adam Bellow, the accomplished author of... In Praise of Nepotism (though, to be fair, after reading this precis, Bellow would probably classify the UN as an example of "old nepotism" and not the "new nepotism" that is the subject of Bellow's praise).

The second piece is a companion essay to WNET's Wide Angle documentary on how offshore outsourcing is affecting Indian society, entitled "1-800-INDIA" -- which will be aired this evening. I was asked to provide a background briefing -- entitled "Offshore Outsourcing: Perceptions and Misperceptions."

Go check them out!!

posted by Dan at 09:37 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, August 5, 2005

My Normblog profile

Norman Geras has added me to his long list of profiles.

If you're dying to know my favorite proverb or my one useful piece of life wisdom, go check it out

posted by Dan at 09:12 AM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, May 6, 2005

Aloha..... again

My brother is getting married next week.... in Maui. And gosh darn it, if the Drezner clan has no choice but to head out to Maui in order to demonstrate a little family solidarity, so be it!

[You in Hawaii...that sounds familiar--ed. Yes, but that was for business; this is for family. It's like apples and oranges... or mangoes and papayas, if you will.]

Anyway, for my loyal readers, I've arranged for some stimulating guest-bloggers for this upcoming week while I perform my arduous best-man duties. The idea came after my own guest stint at Kevin Drum's Political Animal (which Kevin ably summarizes here). Many of the commenters over there lamented that no conservative blog had extended a similar courtesy to a liberal blogger.

So.... in the interest of fair play, I've invited some extremely smart liberals to blog here for the week. Let me introduce them:

Suzanne Nossel is a Senior Fellow at the Security and Peace Institute. She served as Deputy to the Ambassador for UN Management and Reform at the US Mission to the United Nations from 1999 – 2001 under Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke. There she represented the U.S. in the UN’s General Assembly negotiating a deal to settle the U.S.’s arrears to the world body. Prior to that Suzanne served as a Consultant at McKinsey & Company and as a staff attorney at Children’s Rights Inc. During the early 1990s Suzanne worked in Johannesburg, South Africa on the implementation of South Africa’s National Peace Accord, a multi-party agreement aimed at curbing political violence during that country’s transition to democracy. Ms. Nossel has done election monitoring and human rights documentation in Bosnia and Kosovo. She is also the author of Presumed Equal: What America’s Top Women Lawyers Really Think About Their Firms (Career Press, 1998). She writes frequently on foreign policy topics, and a list of her articles appears here. She is part of the group blog Democracy Arsenal. Ms. Nossel is currently an executive in New York City, where she lives with her husband David Greenberg and her son Leo.

That David Greenberg fellow will also be guest-blogging here:

David Greenberg is an assistant professor of Journalism and Media Studies and History at Rutgers University. His first book, Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image (W.W. Norton, 2003), won the American Journalism History Award, the Washington Monthly Annual Political Book Award, and the Columbia University Bancroft Dissertation Award. Greenberg has previously served as an assistant to Bob Woodward, and as managing editor and acting editor of The New Republic. He has written for many scholarly and popular publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs and The Journal of American History. He is also the author of the "History Lesson" column at Slate.

A farewell warning to my readers -- Nossel and Greenberg are liberals, and they're going to have some different takes on politics and foreign policy than I. Feel free to challenge them with your comments -- but no threats of bodily harm, OK?

posted by Dan at 09:17 PM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Gone talkin'.... so go read Brad Setser

I'm on the road in DC giving a talk at Georgetown, so blogging may be limited for the next few days.

However, be sure to read this Brad Setser post that follows up on my previous post regarding tactical issue linkage with China on the exchange rate question. Brad offers some additional possibilities, some of which I had thought of and some of which I hadn't and find very intriguing.

posted by Dan at 11:40 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bravo to the public relations staff

The hardworking PR team here at danieldrezner.com has had a good week:

1) Last Friday, Slate's Jack Shafer managed to compliment me while simultaneously comparing me and other bloggers to low-wage Chinese labor:

When it comes to opinion pieces, bloggers have an edge over the pros. I'm not saying that bloggers are necessarily better writers than full-time members of the commentariat, but Daily Kos, Joshua Marshall, Daniel Drezner, Daily Howler, Volokh Conspiracy, Brad DeLong, et al., produce more immediate and succinct copy than their mainstream colleagues. To stretch a manufacturing analogy, unsalaried bloggers represent low-cost Chinese laborers, professional journalists the well-paid-with-benefits American workers. Given the right tools and infrastructure, low-cost Chinese labor can produce work that is every bit the equal of the high-price kind. What the Web has done is remove the barriers to entry from opinion journalism, much to the benefit of readers. If told that I had to forgo the editorial and op-ed pages of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times or lose my blog bookmarks, I'd say hands off my browser!

2) Today I discovered that the John Bolton post got mentioned on the "Inside The Blogs" feature at CNN's Inside Politics with Judy Woodruff -- click here to see the video, and here to read the transcript (in which they misspell my last name).

I'm grateful to CNN's "blog correspondents" Jacki Schechner and Cal Chamberlain [Now there's somehing to go on the old resume!--ed.] Seeing the clip, my one thought is that there has got to be a better way for CNN to show the blogs than just jamming a camera at the computer screen.

3) Finally, the Village Voice's education supplement discusses blogs and academia, or, as they put it, "Blogodemia." In her brief guide to scholar bloggers, Geeta Dayal says about yours truly:

Politics blogosphere-wise, he's one of the heaviest hitters.

She also has nice things to say about my colleague at the U of C, physicist Sean Carroll and his blog Preposterous Universe.

Dayal's main story about how the blogosphere is invading academia is worth checking out as well. This sounds awfully familiar:

[Larry] Lessig found that blogging opened up his sphere of interaction considerably. "I've published a bunch of articles in law reviews, and I think I've gotten maybe a total of 10 letters about them in the history of my career as an academic," he says. "I publish stuff on the blog, I get literally hundreds of e-mails about things all the time."

Being compared to cheap labor, getting my name misspelled at cnn.com, and a citation in the Village Voice -- yes, it's been a banner week for the PR staff!!

posted by Dan at 11:48 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, April 1, 2005

Gone conferencin'

Posting will be erratic the next couple of days, as I wend my way to New Haven for a conference sponsored by Yale's Information Society Project entitled "The Global Flow of Information." Looks like an interesting program.

If you're really trying to avoid work, go check out the thought piece I'll be presenting entitled "Weighing the Scales: The Internet's Effect on State-Society Relations." I'll be very curious to see whether new information technologies will affect the situaion in Zimbabwe.

UPDATE: For those of you who really want to know what's going on at the conference, check out Lawmeme, which is liveblogging the panels.

posted by Dan at 10:37 AM | Trackbacks (2)

Wednesday, March 2, 2005


I'm forced to leave the moderate temperatures of Chicago to the sweltering climate of Honolulu to attend the International Studies Association annual meeting. Perhaps, if I have some spare time between sessions, I'll find the time to post--- oh, who the hell am I kidding??!! I'm going to be in friggin' Hawaii!!!! The only way I'm blogging anything is if it's 4 AM and I can't sleep and there's nothing on HBO.

So.... while I'm gone, go check out David Rothkopf's fascinating Foreign Policy essay, "Inside the Committee that Runs the World." It's about the foreign policy divisions that have emerged within the Bush administration. I've blogged about Rothkopf's argument before, but the FP article is the fullest treatment I've seen on this topic -- plus lots of inside dirt.

The section I'm particularly glad to see is the one that confirms my assessment of Dick Cheney's role in upsetting the NSC policy process. I said a year ago:

has nothing to do with the policy positions Cheney has taken on Iraq or anything else. Rather, the difficulty is that even cabinet-level officials can be reluctant in disagreeing with him because he's the vice-president. This leads to a stunted policy debate, which ill-serves both the President and the country.

From Rothkopf's essay:

Cheney has had the largest national security staff of any vice president in U.S. history—one larger than President John F. Kennedy’s entire NSC staff at one time. He also has a network of close associates that extend throughout the government and who report to him or to Lewis “Scooter” Libby, his chief of staff, whose rank (assistant to the president) is technically equivalent to the national security advisor’s. Estimates of the total number of staffers, consultants, and those seconded from other agencies to the vice president’s office to work on national security-related issues have ranged from 15 to 35; it’s impossible to know for sure, as the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act do not cover the Office of the Vice President, and therefore it does not need to disclose details of its operation.

Rice describes Cheney as a “terrific” asset, in that “he has been able to sit as a principal without a bureaucratic domain to defend, so he’s always just a really wonderfully wise voice in the principals’ councils.” Others see it differently, including many officials within the administration who believe that the true value of a principals’ committee meeting is to allow the president’s national security team to have a free and open discussion about the advice they wish to give the president. Unfortunately, when Cheney is at the table, he is not simply, as Rice characterizes him, just a wise, old principal without a portfolio. He is seen as an 800-pound gorilla whose views carry much more weight than the others and which therefore skew discussions and quash open dissent, inadvertently or otherwise.

Richard Haass, who served in the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and is currently president of the Council on Foreign Relations, recalls that Cheney had “three bites at the apple. He has his staff at every meeting. He would then come to principals’ meetings. And then he’d have his one-on-ones with the president. And given the views that came out of the vice president’s office, it introduced a certain bias to the system…. As a result, I felt that at just about every meeting, the State Department began behind two and a half to one.”

Really, read the whole thing.


posted by Dan at 12:26 AM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (1)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

My all time favorite Internet quiz

I think I can live with this result:

You scored as Curt Schilling.

You are Curt Schilling! You are a trooper. You push yourself to the limit, regardless of any setbacks. You are also not afraid to express your opinions on a variety of topics. Very family-oriented. You're the man!!

Curt Schilling


Theo Epstein


Jason Varitek


Johnny Damon


Kevin Millar


Manny Ramirez


David Ortiz


Mark Bellhorn


Which Red Sox Player Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com

posted by Dan at 12:23 AM | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (1)

Monday, January 31, 2005

From media whore to media elite

According to Crain's Chicago Business (registration required), yours truly is considered to be one of "Chicago's media elite," thanks to danieldrezner.com:

By elite, we don't mean the biggest bosses or the loudest voices. We mean the most important, the people who are the best at what they do, who decide what we read, hear and watch. They're the ones who give Chicago its distinct place in the modern media.

Thanks to Stuart Luman for the write-up -- I particularly like the statement that since I started the blog, I've "gone from obscure egghead to renowned expert." I prefer the term, "renowned egghead," thank you very much.

Oh, and readers are warily encouraged to proffer their opinion about whether the head shot clicked by Crain's photogrpher should replace the one currently greeting people at my home page:


[Glad to see you're making your readers answer the tough questions--ed. Hey, I've got to worry about this s%$# now that I'm part of the media elite!!]

posted by Dan at 12:32 PM | Comments (16) | Trackbacks (1)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

While I was away...

I had a business trip today (more about why in a week or so), which explains the paucity of blogging on my part.

However, I'm glad to see that there was a thread about me, over at Asymmetrical Information. I was particularly bemused by this equation summarizing my contribution to the blogosphere:

(Andrew Sullivan - hysteria) + international finance + Carmen Electra-blogging = Daniel Drezner

Commenters are warily encouraged to come up with what they believe are more precise equations.

And -- for the record -- I don't think I've ever seen a hysterical post from Andrew Sullivan.

posted by Dan at 11:17 PM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Merry new year!!

Ah, it's good to be back from sabbatical!!

[Er, you posted three times during your so-called "sabbatical"--ed.] Yes, but it took a massive catastrophe for me to write two of those posts -- before that, there were whole days when I didn't think about blogs, didn't click on blogs, didn't care about blogs.

[So what were you doing instead?--ed.] Interacting with my children, traveling, writing, exulting in the fact that that Jason Varitek was re-signed & designated captain of the Red Sox, and perusing the latest issue of the American Political Science Review -- which for the first time in quite a while had multiple articles that were interesting to those who don't write about Congress. I suspect this speaks both to the APSR's renaissance under Lee Sigelman as editor and to my renewed commitment to read more outside my own little bailiwick of poli sci.

With regard to blogging, I have four New Year's resolutions:

1) Try to do better at blogging about new scholarly work in political science that connects to real-world events. In the past I have been afraid of "worlds colliding" on this front, but Eszter Hargittai is slowly convincing me that blogging and scholarship can be allies.

2) Be detached enough in my blogging to avoid incurring the wrath of either Matt Welch or Radley Balko -- both of whom have spanked certain quarters of the blogosphere for its "righter-than-thou" attitude. Balko in particular points out:

The most remarkable thing about blogs and the 2004 campaign was just how ready formerly independent voices on both sides were willing to spew out official campaign talking points, eschew criticism of their own guy, and otherwise fell into line in order to get their man elected.

3) Update the blogroll. There are some great blogs that I've been periodically checking out but haven't added. For example, I've got to add The American Scene to the blogroll -- they performed yoeman service guest-blogging at Andrew Sullivan's site for the past ten days. [It's up now--ed.] Hey, one resolution partially satisfied already!!

At the same time, there are other blogs on the list that I have not been reading as of late -- which says more about my tastes and preferences in all likelihood than any change in the quality of blogging. So, check out the blogroll over the next couple of days

4) Get linked to by Real Clear Politics more often -- man, those guys can drive some traffic!

Readers are hereby encouraged to write in their resolutions.

posted by Dan at 03:59 PM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (3)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A short blogging sabbatical

In recent days I've been feeling disoriented. It's not just that an increasing number of Republicans are calling for Rumsfeld's head, or Ariel Sharon talking about "historic breakthoughs" with the Palestinians. There's even a chance Turkey might join the European Union (though I won't be holding my breath on those negotiations).

There's also the fact that David Wells now plays for the Red Sox, while Pedro Martinez is now a Met. Time magazine has short-listed "the blogger" as its Person of the Year. And, finally, Eszter Hargittai is contemplating spraying herself with chocolate perfume.

It's too much -- I need a break.

Given that I started this year by both guest-blogging and meta-blogging, it seems appropriate to end the year with a small sabbatical.

Barring some mind-blowing event, blogging will resume January 1, 2005.

For the commenters, here's a topic for discussion -- check out this report by the Council on Competitiveness. Joanna Chung summarizes the report for the Financial Times:

The US must make innovation the top national priority or risk ceding its role as the world’s foremost economic power, an organisation of top business and academic leaders warned on Wednesday.

The warning came as the Council on Competitiveness, a Washington-based group, issued a comprehensive report recommending strategies for encouraging innovation and producing workers that “succeed, not merely survive” in the global economy.

At a conference held to release the report, Samuel Palmisano, chairman and chief executive of IBM, said American innovation had reached “a critical juncture” and the country was “somehow losing its edge at just the wrong time, when the game was becoming dramatically more competitive.”

Mr Palmisano, who is also the co-chairman of the group’s National Innovation Initiative, said about half of US patents belonged to foreign companies and inventors while foreign countries, including Japan, South Korea, Israel, Sweden an Finland spent more on research and development as a percentage of their gross domestic product than the US.

The report noted other disturbing trends, including a long-term decline in federal funding in research. Corporate research and development in the US had dropped nearly $8bn in 2002, the biggest drop in any year since 1950.

To regain the competitive edge, the report called for increased public funding for research, including the reallocation of 3 per cent of all federal research and development budgets toward grants that invest in novel, high-risk and exploratory research.

It offered new education proposals aimed at harnessing a talent pool of innovators domestically but also called for reforming US immigration policies so they attract the “best and brightest” foreign science and engineering students.

“Few would disagree that foreign scientists make critical contributions to the nation’s scientific and technical talent,” the report said. “There are indications, however, that post-9/11 visa policies are reversing decades of openness to foreign scientific excellence.”

“Delays and difficulties in obtaining visas to the US are contributing to a declining in-flow of scientific talent. And other countries can and do take advantage of our increasingly cumbersome visa process.”

posted by Dan at 11:58 PM | Comments (20) | Trackbacks (3)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Blegging for PDA advice

Five years ago I bought a Palm Pilot and discovered that I didn't have enough appointments to make it worthwhile -- so I wound up not using it all that much.

Five years later, I'm finding that my schedule is filling up more rapidly and further in advance. In other words, now I need a PDA.

What's the best one in the marketplace right now?

This is most definitely a job for my readers.

posted by Dan at 05:20 PM | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Au revoir pendant une courte période

One of the quadrennial rituals following presidential elections is a whole series of conferences about "What Does This Election Mean?" For those who attend, it's an opportunity to acquire some semi-useful cognitive frames that sound good at cocktail parties and are even occasionally correct.

For those who are asked to present, this is an opportunity to go somewhere nice on someone else's dime and decompress from the exhaustion created by paying close attention to the election. There's a clear hierarchy of these types of conferences -- the more remote and enticing the locale, the better.

I'm not sure how I lucked into this one, but I'll be in Paris for the next few days to talk about "The United States After the 2004 Election," courtesy of the French Center on the United States. Here's a link to the provisional program.

Informed readers will be well aware that I'm punching above my pundit class compared to the other invitees. I plan on treating this the same way my wife and I did when we went on our honeymoon and stayed at resorts we never could have afforded under normal circumstances -- a mixture of bemused detachment and nervous awe.

Talk amongst yourselves -- or:

1) Check out the new scholar-bloggers -- Becker/Posner and Left2Right. And do remember that they're moving down the learning curve when it comes to the art of blogging.

2) There seems to be a kerfuffle about Natalie Portman. Click on Jonathan Last's Weekly Standard article to start, and then go here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Au revoir!!

posted by Dan at 03:53 PM | Comments (11) | Trackbacks (1)

Friday, December 3, 2004

Eleven years ago in Ukraine....

Amanda Butler has an amusing post at Crescat Sententia about what it's like to celebrate Thanksiving in an ex-Soviet republic. That, plus the high stakes in Ukraine, caused me to open up the electronic diary I kept of the year I spent in Ukraine as a Civic Education Project lecturer to see how we celebrated Thanksgiving circa 1993.

Long diary entry after the jump...

11/27/93: I'm typing this in the Palace Hotel in Yalta. The trip here was interesting. Yalta is in the Crimea, which is supposed to be the garden spot of Ukraine. After a pleasant overnight trip, we got of at Simferapol and were greeted by a biting wind, snow blowing everywhere, and a temperature colder than in Donetsk. We were met by a guy from the local Renaissance foundation, who proved useless. We asked him where we could get tickets back to Donetsk; he answered that it was in the city centre. We then asked him repeatedly if there was an Intourist office at the train station; he said that you could only buy tickets there for the next day. It turned out later that he was of course wrong. It's real pathetic when I know more about how the system operates than the locals.

We hopped a minibus to Yalta; it's a two-hour drive. The snow was unusual for this area. This perhaps explained why they were throwing sand on the road by hand.

Yalta has a certain charm, there's no denying it. It existed prior to the USSR, which perhaps explains it. The streets are narrow and winding, and resemble the French Riviera, except there are no good restaurants, and people are much less snobbish. The boardwalk on the shore is lined with palm trees, and bears a more than passing resemblance to the Coisette in Cannes. Our hotel has high ceilings, spacious rooms, and constant power outages. It's also not prepared for subzero temperatures, so it is a tad cold in here. We had fun today, playing on the bumper cars. Lunch today was eaten to the sountracks of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The Karate Kid, and something by Zamfir, Master of the Pan Flute. Actually, all we had was soup, but despite that fact we had to shell out 70,000 koupons [at the time, about $15] apiece. My guess is that the restaurant was pissed at us for ordering only soup, and therefore overcharged.

After this, we walked to the Hotel Yalta, a mammoth construction built by the Yugoslavs (yeah, they really knew how to hold things together) in the early 70's. In typical fashion, they built the hotel so that it's long side runs perpendicular to the ocean. Nothing is as depressing as a tourist hotel out of season, unless it's a Soviet hotel out of season. The building was 20 floors, with perhaps 50 rooms in each floor. Occupancy was maybe 10% now. The lobby level had tons of little shops which sold western products at outrageously high prices. To get down to the beach level, you have to take an elevator and then walk through a tunnel straight out of a nuclear shelter. On this level there was some more shops, a sauna, and a great Chinese restaurant, with the following dishes (the names are in English):

1) Macaroni and Meat
2) French Fried Meat
3) Meat and Mash Beans
4) Roasted Meat and Cauliflower
5) Roasted Beef on Iron Board (?!)
6) Pork with Onion

You get the idea. The place was obviously catering to westerners. There were signs for everything in at least German and English in addition to Russian. The service was, however, a bit lacking. We wanted to rent out a sauna room for CEP, and was told that the sauna was only open in the daytime until 5 PM, and that it would be impossible to use it after that. This begs the question: who exactly did they build this hotel for? It's too expensive for Russians and too inadequate for westerners. It was pointed out to me at this point that there are a lot of stupid westerners. Maybe so; after all, I'm here.

11/27/93: Whew, Lord, where to begin. Yesterday we went back to the Hotel Yalta to use the sauna. It was about ten of us. We get to the service desk, and they tell us it's not possible, the saunas are reserved now. I got very angry in Russian at him, and we started arguing. Finally, in a fit of pique, he said, "What is it with you Americans?! Why do you think that if you come you can do something immediately?"

I was tempted to answer, "Because there's a service sector in our economy, you nimrod." but didn't. Americans are a blunt bunch, but we are also pragmatic. Instead, I mentioned casually that there were ten of us, and that perhaps we would return several times to use it in the spring if we came back to Yalta. At this point, he quickly changed his tune, called another hotel, and booked us in a sauna there, which he frankly said was better. We all hopped into a minivan, and a guy drove us to the neighboring hotel and fixed us up in the sauna. We were given the run of a sauna (which had a tea room) and access to a swimming pool for three hours, for the princely sum of $25. Now this was decadence.

Even though it was a day late, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, with all the trimmings (the turkeys were imported from Georgia). Just like a Thanksgiving dinner in the states, the side dishes were finished too soon and there was leftover turkey. Dinner was slightly delayed, because the power went out in the hotel several times. This has been a common problem in Yalta. The Crimean peninsula does not have its own functioning power station. An atomic plant was built several years ago, but it was so obviously unsafe that it was never switched on.

That night we went drinking in the hotel bar. We were the only westerners in the bar. During the evening, one of the locals dragged me from our table and offered me a vodka shot in the spirit of American Ukrainian friendship. This is a common practice. It is telling that I immediately downed the shot, said thank you, and walked back to my table as if nothing had happened. I've been in this country too long.

That night I got dressed up to go visit a local casino, the Casino 777. There had been signs all over, and I haven't been to one yet in this country (or my country, for that matter). I bought 15 dollars worth of chips (denominated in rubles, interestingly enough). The place was very nice, with maybe 10 blackjack and roulette tables. Each table had a rather attractive woman who dealt cards with as much dexterity as in Las Vegas. The bar was well stocked. Unfortunately, there was no one gambling. Admittedly, it's out of season, but on a Saturday night, it was astonishing to see this many people employed, doing nothing.

There was one other person gambling, a 40-year old man, and he was speaking only English with an Irish accent. His dress was Hollywood: Blazer over unbuttoned black silk shirts with lots of jewelry, and the week-old beard. I watched him lose about 150 dollars. I introduced myself, and, as I was only speaking Russian until that time, shocked the hell out of him. He was so pleased to see a Westerner that he bought me drinks for the rest of the night. I had the best vodka-tonics I have ever had (Schweppes bitter lemon and Absolut, with ice) and spent the better part of two hours with a wonderful Paddy named D----.

He's an actor in a BBC movie, starring Sean Bean, being shot here called "Sharp" (It will also be shown on Masterpiece Theatre). The movie is set in 1810 Spain, but being shot here. The reason, Darra explained, was that this movie needed a lot of extras and the Ukrainians are cheap. One of the dealers was an extra and paid only 9,000 kps a day (the wage was fixed from August). They had hired an entire army company to play a part in the movies, and every day they have to leave Simferapol at 3:00 AM to get to Yalta in time for shooting. The cast and crew of 400 were staying in a sanitorium, and the meals were catered. Apparently this caused almost 530 people to show up regularly for the lunch.

We had the usual conversation about life here, and he was just flummoxed by the place. I don't know how healthy it was for him to be here. He mentioned that he hadn't had a drink for five years before this shoot, but he was slurring his words badly (the woman behind the bar told me in Russian that she liked him, but thought he drank too much. That's something for a Russian to say). Of course, he mentioned the women. His problem is even worse than mine; he had a 16-year old interpreter blatantly offer sex. Apparently, during the shoot last year, 12 members of the cast and crew got the clap.

Paddy's view of this place was gloomy. He had been here last year for twenty weeks as well, and said that people were much less hopeful. He said, "I'm a Paddy, for Chrissakes, we have the worst poverty in Europe, and we're still hopeful. An Irishman would always be cheerful, but even I've become cynical about this place."

posted by Dan at 12:31 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What I'm thankful for this year... and next year... pretty much every year



[What about me? What about the blog? You're thankful for that too, right?--ed. Absolutely. Alas, the one "action" shot of me blogging does not successfully convey that sentiment.]


posted by Dan at 11:05 PM | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (2)

Thursday, November 18, 2004

It's always something....

According to Drezner family lore, whenever I travel I always leave something behind. Alas, this time around I forgot the AC cord for my laptop, so blogging will probably be very light today and tomorrow.

For those in DC, a reminder of why I'm travelling (note NEW LOCATION):

IHS and Reason magazine present Ana Marie Cox, Daniel Drezner, Henry Farrell, and Michael Tomasky debating the role of blogs in the election on November 18.

A free-for-all discussion on the role of blogs and politics featuring Wonkette's Ana Marie Cox, blogger and University of Chicago political scientist Daniel Drezner, blogger and George Washington University political scientist Henry Farrell, The American Prospect's Michael Tomasky, moderated by Reason's Nick Gillespie.

Drinks and hors d'oeuvres to follow remarks and Q&A.

Thursday, November 18
7:30-9:00 pm

Porter's Dining Saloon
1207 19th St. NW (19th and M Street)
Washington, DC

UPDATE: Well, the panel was a blast -- for those of us who had chairs to sit on. The room was pretty crowded, which was great in terms of interest but not so great in terms of temperature and ventilation. Thanks to one and all who showed up!

posted by Dan at 02:41 PM | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (1)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

More Friday baby blogging -- on Thursday


Provide the thought bubble behind Lauren's expression.

(Many thanks to Pam D. for the photo).

posted by Dan at 02:06 PM | Comments (29) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, November 5, 2004

Media whore alert -- ABC edition!!

I may (or may not) be on ABC World News Tonight this evening. The story is about the merits of releasing exit poll information to the public the day of the election. My mantra: the democratization of information is a good thing, but exit polls should be treated like cigarettes -- warning labels like this one are appropriate.

Mystery Pollster Mark Blumenthal may or may not be in the segment as well. I recommended him -- and he's already got his talking points.

They say I'll be on, but given what happened last time, I'll believe it when I see it -- three months from now.

If I go on, readers may get the extra-special bonus of seeing my patented one-fingered typing style. That's what I was doing when they shot the b-roll -- you know the "action" footage of an interviewee as you hear, "Daniel Drezner, assistant professor..." on the voiceover.

UPDATE: Alas, no b-roll, but they did use an excerpt. Note that when I'm interviewed as a blogger, I dress more casually.

One thing that bugged me about the closing of the piece was the assertion that Internet content providers somehow did something "wrong" in posting the exit polls. None of the sources I looked at posted wrong numbers -- the flaws lay in the exit polls themselves. Furthermore, none of those who posted them said anything remotely close to, "with these exit polls, we're calling the election for Kerry."

See Kevin Drum and Mark Blumenthal here and here for more on this.

LAST UPDATE: Wow, this is a first -- after reading this post, someone from ABC World News Tonight just called to apologize for the last sentence in the story (it was put in there at the last minute).

posted by Dan at 05:07 PM | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (1)

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The balance of trade in transatlantic romances

Back from Milan and I'm juuuuuuuuuuuust a wee bit tired. However, even in my sleep-deprived state I must confess to the strangest symmetry in who I sat next to on my flights to and from Milan.

On my way there, I sat next to a lovely Italian women who was on the return leg from visiting her American boyfriend -- who was in the American military.

On my way back, I sat next to a lovely American woman who was on the return leg from visiting her Italian boyfriend -- who was in the Italian Air Force.

There's no larger moral here -- it's just a bunch of stuff that happened. But that's some pretty symmetrical stuff.

posted by Dan at 10:11 PM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Erratic blogging ahead

I'm typing this within spitting distance of Harvard University -- I'm here for a conference on offshore outsourcing sponsored by the Harvard Law School's Labor & Worklife Program. There are going to be a lot of WashTech and AFL-CIO representatives here -- I'm sure I'll be very popular. Anyway, blogging will be light -- though I promise to post my post-debate thoughts.

My primary goal these next two days -- avoiding that darn plagiarism bug that seems endemic to this place. The rash of plagiarism has even generated its own anonymous blog.

One quasi-serious thought about this: bloggers are probably extra-sensitive to this kind of ethical infraction, because one could argue that citations in the blogosphere usually go beyond what exists in academia. A common norm in blogging is to cite the blog that connects one to an original document -- e.g., "ooh, look at this interesting Washington Post story (link via Belgravia Dispatch)." However, very few footnotes in academia go so far as to say who tipped them off to the cited source. There are exceptions (thanking a colleague for pointing out the piece, or attribution when an embedded quote is lifted without checking the original source), but they're very rare.

posted by Dan at 11:51 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, September 13, 2004

This blog is two years old

Yesterday the blog celebrated its second birthday. Which means it's also the two-year blogiversary of both Jacob Levy and David Adesnik -- congrats to both of them as well. [UPDATE: Jacob is celebrating his anniversary by taking a sabbatical.]

Last year I was happy with a bunch of press mentions and my TNR Online gig. In the past year, the blog has directly or indirectly contributed to publications in the New York Times Book Review, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and Slate -- not to mention multiple media whoring opportunities at ABC's World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, CNN International, CNNfn, and a bunch o' radio shows. [That's it?--ed. Well, I got to share several bottles of wine with Laura McKenna and Wonkette as well.... and actually, there are few more items in the hopper that will be announced in the weeks to come. I'm sure there are tens of people who are very excited!!--ed.]

It's good to have the blog!

[So what's your goal for this next year?--ed. It's The Daily Show or bust for me!!]

There will be some slightly deeper meditations on this anniversary a bit later in the week.

posted by Dan at 06:56 PM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (4)

Friday, September 10, 2004

Friday baby blogging

Longtime readers can rest assured that this will not be a regular feature on danieldrezner.com.

However, in light of recent events, readers are invited to be on their best behavior and submit a caption for the following photo of Lauren:


My thought would be, "How old do I have to be before I can pick out my own wardrobe?'

posted by Dan at 02:38 PM | Comments (19) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, August 30, 2004

My excellent reason for reduced blogging

Much as I would like to blog about the Republican National Convention, I'm afraid danieldrezner.com will be pretty much silent for the next week. Part of this is due to the imminent arrival of 100th annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.

The more important reason is a personal one that I vaguely alluded to last week. There's a new addition to the family:

Lauren C. Drezner
seven lbs., zero oz.

With all due respect to Henry Farrell, this is undoubtedly my best co-authoured project for the last few years!!

posted by Dan at 04:36 PM | Comments (88) | Trackbacks (10)

Friday, August 27, 2004

I'm 1% certain that I'm 1% smarter than Chris Bertram

Via Chris Betram, I took Chris Lightfoot's estimation quiz. He got a 39; I got a 40.

I'm guessing we're equally chagrined at our performance, however (I can't believe I was that far off on the GDP of Great Britain-- wait, yes I can: in my head I used the inverted exchange rate between the two currencies to get from dollars to pounds).

Go take it for yourself and report back.

posted by Dan at 04:21 PM | Comments (34) | Trackbacks (3)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Back on the clock

I'd like to thank Siddarth and Reihan for doing such an admirable job of blogging in my absence, and convincing me that I need to see Harold & Kumar go to White Castle. They've encouraged me to outsource the blog somewhat more frequently.

Well, it wasn't just them. I didn't go on vacation this past week -- I just took a break from blogging. And I must confess it felt like a vacation. The e-mail traffic declined, as did my web surfing -- leading me to polish off a few day-job side-projects and make some progress on my book. By the end of the week, my need to check out other blogs slowly faded away. It was very relaxing -- I even recovered from the Nomar Garciaparra trade.

More substantive posts later. In the meantime, check out Rand Beers' interview with Bernard Gwertzman over at the Council on Foreign Relations site. Beers is John Kerry's chief foregn policy advisor, and would likely become national security advisor in a Kerry administration.

Reading the interview, I was disappointed to see zero, zip, nada on democracy promotion. In fact, what was striking about the interview was the general lack of bigthink. On the other hand, there was a great deal of explication about the Kerry team's policy process -- pretty impressive for a campaign.

This leads to an disturbing question. Which is better: a foreign policy with a clearly articulated grand strategy but a f#$%ed-up policy process, or a foreign policy with no articulated grand strategy but a superior policy process?

UPDATE: Oh, I also took the opportunity to see Garden State -- and was pleased to see that it actually lived up to the trailer. Hands down, it's Natalie Portman's best performance since Beautiful Girls.

posted by Dan at 10:22 AM | Comments (80) | Trackbacks (9)

Friday, August 6, 2004

Over 2,000,000 served

Yesterday danieldrezner.com passed the 2 million mark for the number of unique visitors since I started the blog.

Thanks to one and all for clicking!!

posted by Dan at 01:29 PM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (2)

Thursday, August 5, 2004

The grass is always greener...

Beyond the hideous pressures of trying to look chic, I've always said that being a professor at a quality academic institution is a fantastic day job if you can get it. Of course, Zach Braff -- star of Scrubs, director of Garden State, and newbie blogger -- reminds me that there are better jobs out there:

Today was the second day of Scrubs. I shot my first scene with Heather Graham. Without giving anything away, it involved me being sopping wet and close to naked. Sort of an odd way to meet someone and get to know them. But that's what makes Scrubs fun, everyday I show up I have no idea what kind of bizarre thing is gonna happen. Tomorrow we're blowing up a car. Now that's a good day job.

Blowing things up, hanging around with Heather Graham...:


Sniff. [No one, I repeat, no one feels sorry for you--ed.] Oh, did I forget to mention that Braff has had to work in close proximity with Sarah Chalke, Tara Reid, and Natalie Portman as well? And the fact that MSN Entertainment's Kat Giantis reports there are indications that Braff is now dating Natalie Portman? [OK, so no one feels sorry for him either--ed.]

posted by Dan at 05:04 PM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Off to get my GOAt

I have to run and debate U.S. foreign policy in a bar. I'll be sure to provide an "after action" report.

If you're still jonesing for convention blogging, you could do far, far worse than the convention blogs from Reason and The New Republic.

UPDATE: That was a blast. A great crowd and a good debate. What truly amazed me was that 120-150 people showed up for this on a Monday night during the convention -- 50 people stood up for the entire ninety minutes. And nary a boo was heard.

ANOTHER UPATE: Paul Noonan provides an accurate summary of the debate here. Good to know the Clinton impersonation still wows the crowd.

One correction -- when I made the statement about answering a question as a real expert and not a pseudo-expert, that crack was NOT targeted at my debating partner, but rather myself -- the previous question or two had covered areas where I felt uneasy making authoritative statements.

posted by Dan at 06:12 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (1)

Friday, July 23, 2004

Entering the lion's GOAt's den

Monday night I'll be debating Kennette Benedict, the director of the International Peace and Security Area of the Program on Global Security and Sustainability at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, about "Democracy Defined: Wield or Yield?" -- in a bar.

Monica Eng explains why in the Chicago Tribune:

If you've ever been to any, you'd know that few Chicago Council on Foreign Relations events wrap up with the emcee shouting: "You guys rocked tonight!"

But the program at Schubas last month was not your grandfather's CCFR event.

Instead of mature types nodding -- and nodding off -- over coffee, tea and long foreign policy speeches, the place was full of hipster kids with bare bellies and Ira Glass-like specs who occasionally yelped at debaters between gulps of beer.

That is exactly what the planners were hoping for when they hatched the concept of moving council events into the neighborhoods and bars. Like many venerable Chicago institutions facing aging memberships, the 82-year-old CCFR is clearly in the market for a new generation of patrons.

The program, which started last month and is scheduled to continue monthly through November, is called GOAt, a rough acronym for Globally Occupying the Attention of Chicago's Untapped Audience.

"The usual council audience is a lot of gray-beards like me and a couple of young people," noted Richard Longworth, the executive director for the Council's Global Chicago Center. "But tonight there were a couple of graybeards in the audience but mostly much younger people. It's great. We wanted a younger, more diverse crowd and one that might have been a little intimidated about going to meetings downtown. Schubas is a great place to do it."

Well, I'm certainly looking forward to "getting down," as they call it, with the young people.

Of course, the crowd might not feel the same way, as Eng elaborates:

In June, Northwestern political science professor Karen J. Alter (sporting frizzy hair, a tank top, peasant skirt and clogs) challenged Lincoln Legal Foundation President Joseph Morris (sporting a standard-issue blue suit, red bow tie and carefully combed hair) to a debate about U.S. foreign policy in Iraq.

From the shouts and applause during the debate it was clear that most attendees were not Bush fans....

Dick Prall (the name as published has been corrected in this text), the GOAt organizer, said he hopes these events will counter the perception that the council is only for oldsters and liberals.

"CCFR is not a liberal organization, not when we bring in people like Richard Perle and Condoleezza Rice," he says. "We want people to bring along conservatives so we can get the sparks flying."

Schubas booker Matt Rucins, who also schedules the emcees, concedes that both [Hideout nightclub co-owner Tim] Tuten and Monday's host, [Raucous singer/artist] Langford, are not exactly conservatives.

But as he explains, when the equation is hipster plus rock plus Chicago -- a liberal sum is hard to avoid. Does Rucins think he'll be able to come up with at least one righty emcee before the series is up?

"That would be very hard," he said. "In all honesty I don't know if I could find anybody. Maybe after this article comes out someone will suggest somebody."

[Sounds like a tough crowd--ed. No sweat -- all I have to do is pull off the frizzy hair-tank-top-peasant-skirt-and-clogs look.]

In all seriousness, this kind of format and venue is a great idea, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to drink and debate at the same time.

To repeat, this GOAt session will be held at Schuba's (located at 3159 N. Southport), starting at 7:00 PM. Chicago residents interested in attending can buy their tickets by clicking here.

posted by Dan at 11:41 AM | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (3)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A radio day

If you are a Chicago resident, and you tune your dial to WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio) at 1:00 PM Central time, you will have no choice but to hear me discuss offshore outsourcing on Worldview with Jerome McDonnell (who, I was pleased to learn, reads the blog from time to time). The other guest is David Steiger, an adjunct professor at DePaul.

The segment was taped yesteday, and supposed to run only 20 minutes, but we chatted for a good deal longer. The intelligence of at least one U.S. Senator is questioned by yours truly during the show.

Chicagoans and non-Chicagoans can listen on your computer by clicking here.

UPDATE: You can listen to the whole interview by clicking here.

posted by Dan at 10:04 AM | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Your web site for the day

The American Museum of the Moving Image has launched an online exhibition today entitled "The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2004." This is from their press release:

The exhibition includes such landmark ads as the groundbreaking "Eisenhower Answers America" spots of 1952, the notorious "daisy girl" ad from Lyndon Johnson's 1964 campaign, Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" ads from 1984, and the controversial attack ads run by George Bush's 1988 campaign. The exhibition will be completely up to date, with a selection of commercials from 2004, and a sidebar exhibition The Desktop Candidate, about the rapidly growing medium of Web-based political advertising.

It's a must for politics and media junkies. Go check it out.

UPDATE: Also worth checking out is Nick Anderson's piece in the Los Angeles Times about how Kerry and Bush are differentiating and deploying web-based video ads from TV-based video ads.

posted by Dan at 05:48 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (1)

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

It would have helped if I had actually read the Chatham House rules

Some of you may have noted that I deleted a Sunday post about my impressions after attending a Council on Foreign Relations meeting. The reason is that I completely blanked on one aspect of the Chatham House Rule:

When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed; nor may it be mentioned that the information was received at a meeting of the Institute. (emphasis added)

While I was quite scrupulous about the first parts of the rule, I was in flagrant violation of the highlighted segment.

My profound apologies to all for the error.

posted by Dan at 05:29 PM | Comments (27) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, June 11, 2004

Video lives forever

Faithful readers of danieldrezner.com may remember that around three months ago, I did an interview on tape for ABC World News Tonight on Kerry's tax proposal and offshore outsourcing in general. At the time, I wrote:

Here's the funny/scary thing -- I have no idea how the interview will be framed. I was critical of Kerry on outsourcing but I also said that the corporate taxation proposal he announced today indicated a change in rhetoric from "Benedict Arnold CEO's." We talked for ten minutes, and there was a lot of tape -- they could go either way with it.

In the end, ABC cut my interview.

However, I have been informed by close friends that part of my interview was aired tonight on World News Tonight -- nearly three months later. Why? Probably to follow up on the BLS data -- but I still need to read the transcript. [UPDATE: I was finally able to watch the segment on the web by accessing this page, but you have to (temporarily) subscribe to RealOne to see it. The story was on the BLS report. All I say is, "People are panicking a lot over a very, very small part of the job picture." But I look way smart saying it.]

While it's nice to get the airtime, it is somewhat unsettling to think that ABC will be playing bits and pieces of that interview if outsourcing should crop up again on World News Tonight.

When I related this anecdote to someone way above my policymaking pay grade, they nodded sagely and said, "Always go live -- avoid taped interviews, because then you're at the mercy of the producer and the reporter."

So now I know. And you do too.

posted by Dan at 11:25 PM | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Gotta run

Blogging will be light the next couple of days, as I'll be attending/presenting at the Council on Foreign Relations National Meeting. I'm bringing the wi-fi, but this meeting is an all-day affair, and blogging is not an accepted social practice at CFR meetings.... yet.

Last year, Howell Raines resigned while I was en route -- I wonder if something big will happen this time around.....

posted by Dan at 09:27 AM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, June 2, 2004


I'm typing this in DC -- here for a board meeting of the Center for Global Development's Ranking the Rich program.

Trips like this used to mean that blogging was out - but not any longer. I'm the proud new owner of a Dell Latitude X300 with wifi capabilities. So, I'm typing this post out at the Starbucks on DuPont Circle [Which Starbucks at DuPont Circle?--ed. The one next door to KramerBooks.]

My reaction to this is pretty much identical to my reaction when I installed Blacklist -- it's awesome, baby!!

Thanks to one Jacob Levy for helping me figure out the whole wi-fi deal.

posted by Dan at 05:09 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, May 20, 2004

I'm off to mend the transatlantic relationship again!

No blogging for the next 48 hours -- I'll be at the University of Toronto for a roundtable conference on "International Security and the Transatlantic Divide." Yours truly is a discussant for Laurent Cohen-Tanugi, the author of Alliance at Risk: The United States and Europe Since September 11.

I promise to resist any and all urges to mention any contacts I've had with Said Ibrahim.

UPDATE: Home now. The conference was actually very illuminating -- more about it later this week.

posted by Dan at 05:22 PM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, May 9, 2004

Louis Drezner, R.I.P. (1902-2004)

No blogging for the next two days, as I'll be at my grandfather's funeral. Here's a reprint of the relevant sections of his obituary as it appeared in today's New York Times:

DREZNER -- Louis, 101 blessed years, passed away on May 7, 2004. Devoted husband to the late Sayde Hirsch Drezner, dear brother to older sister Shirley, treasured father to Susan, Barry, David, and Esther. Loving grandfather to Robyn, Robert, William, Lisa, Daniel, Erika, and Benjamin. Proud great-grandfather to Matthew, Emily, and Samuel. Admired uncle to his many nieces and nephews. Loyal and trusted friend and employer to E. Lois Marshall for 63 years. Founder and President of Illustrators, Inc., and Central Photographic Studio, accomplished gardener and landscape designer, skilled woodworker and model ship builder, a master Mr. Fix-It, a man of great curiosity, intelligence with a lifelong respect for education, of a strong ethical and moral character. A wonderful role model for his family and friends. How dearly we will miss him.

I'll miss his smile -- the man had a smile that made you forget your troubles and believe that all was right in the world.

Oh, and yes, you read the obituary correctly -- he is survived by his older sister, my great-aunt Shirley. She's 103.

UPDATE: My profound thanks to one and all for your kind condolences -- I'm very touched.

The ceremony was lovely, and sad as the occasion was, it was nice for the extended Drezner clan to congregate together and swap fond memories of Grandpa. His quite but authoritative presence will be dearly missed.

posted by Dan at 02:37 PM | Comments (36) | Trackbacks (0)

Saturday, May 8, 2004

My very own public intellectual feud

Devoted readers of danieldrezner.com are aware that on occasion, sometimes, I've been known to get into the occasional intellectual scuffle with a another blogger or public figure. Most of them have been minor tempests that quickly faded into obscurity.

Alas, obscurity is harder to come by when a dispute is carried out in the Letters page of the Sunday New York Times Book Review. To see Jagdish Bhagwati's reply to my review of In Defense of Globalization, as well as my response to Bhagwati's response, click here.

I'll confess to being genuinely puzzled by Professor Bhagwati's obsteperous response -- as my lovely wife put it, between Bhagwati and myself, our opinions on globalization range from A to A'. I thought I gave the book a pretty favorable review, and I certainly think it's worth reading. Trust me, if I don't like a book, I can be much more scathing in my comments.

However, read my original review, then read the exchange of letters and judge for yourself. After this Sunday, this disagreement will hopefully fade into onscurity as well.

And for those of you who wish to make a living by being a critic (or a book author), learn this lesson well -- don't write angry. Or rather, if you feel the urge, write angry, but then be sure to crumple up that effort and try again with a cooler head.

Why? It's exceedingly difficult to translate anger into polished prose -- particularly anger directed at another person, as opposed to a more abstract target -- without seeming either petty or undisciplined. Angry writing is also, more often than not, completely humorless. And wit is a valued commodity in almost every writing venue known to man.

This is a tough lesson to digest, because the exceptions to this rule are the most coveted critics of them all. A critic that manages to focus their anger into an righteous but humorous vivisection of someone else is the ne plus ultra of entertainment. If you can do it, I'll tip my hat in deferential respect.

However, I strongly suspect that this skill is much rarer than is commonly perceived.

posted by Dan at 10:34 AM | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (2)

Sunday, May 2, 2004

Back on the telly again

My outsourcing mediafest continues -- I'll be on CNNfn's Dolans Unscripted this Monday morning at around 10:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time.

Outsourcing will be the topic -- but it's unscripted, so who knows what could come up in conversation!!

UPDATE: Well, that went better than my last CNN experience. I'm sure the 2,000 household that get CNNfn enjoyed it.

C'mon, Lou Dobbs -- if CNNfn and CNN International are willing to interview me on outsourcing, what are you so afraid of?

I dare you, Lou. I double-dog-dare you.

posted by Dan at 08:20 PM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (1)

Friday, April 30, 2004

Support Political Babes!!

While I've occasionally thought about it, I have yet to put a tip jar on the blog -- mostly because I've already benefited in myriad ways from danieldrezner.com.

However, for those who have contemplated giving, let me redirect your energies to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

[What, you're asking your readers to walk?--ed.] No, I'm asking them to support Political Babes, a two person team that plans to walk 39 miles in two days to support the cause. As their home page puts it: "Bethany and Melissa both are political scientists, both are committed to ending breast cancer, and both are total babes!"

Let me independently confirm that all three of these statements are true.

[Why should I take your word for this?--ed. Well, on them being political scientists, click here to read this Chicago Tribune story on Assistant Professor of Political Science Melissa Harris-Lacewell's fascinating research. Better yet, just buy her book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought. Bethany Albertson -- the other political babe -- was a invaluable research assistant during the book's drafting.]

You can give by going to their home page and then clicking "Make a Gif!" by the thermometer on the right side of the page.

posted by Dan at 12:04 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, April 26, 2004

I'm back -- I'm jet-lagged

Back from a lovely conference in Hamburg, Germany, and trying to stay awake so that I can get back on Chicago time. Jacob -- I'm home!!

I've been out of the loop watching German music videos when not conferencing -- but I did see that Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. You can read what I said about Tillman last year in this post.

posted by Dan at 10:18 PM | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, April 22, 2004

My network news debut -- mark two

My media whoring continues. Tune in to NBC Nightly News tomorrow (Friday) to see me on network television. Again, possibility this will fall through.

[More on outsourcing, huh?--ed. Nope -- this appearance has nothing to do with outsourcing. You're gonna have to watch to find out.]

UPDATE: Well, they apparently used it (What, you didn't see it? Don't give us that false modesty BS!--ed. No, I haven't seen it because I'm in Hamburg, Germany for a conference).

And to answer a commenter question, yes, they found me via the blog. An NBC researcher told me as much.

I can actually make a valid claim to expertise here, since I've read all the collections and been reading the strip on and off since 1980.

posted by Dan at 02:48 PM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (1)

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Forget TV -- listen to the rado

My debut on international TV experienced some technical difficulties -- so it's back to the radio for me!

I'll be on the hot seat on KERA's Glenn Mitchell Show from 1:00PM to 2:00 PM Central time on the subject of tawdry and unsubstantiated rumors involving Salma Hayek's infatuation with danieldrezner.com offshore outsourcing.

You can listen into the broadcast by clicking here. We'll see if I can simultaneously blog about the experience as well.

UPDATE: So far, so good -- no belching on air yet.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I love doing call-in shows with access to the Internet -- make me sound like I've memorized a lot more information than I actually have.

FINAL UPDATE: That was most enjoyable. Lots of great questions, and all of them civil and well-reasoned.

posted by Dan at 10:40 AM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Dedicated to the international readers of danieldrezner.com

This evening I'll be giving a live interview on CNN International at 6:30 PM Central Daylight Time on -- what else -- offshore outsourcing. It's for their CNN Today show.

UPDATE: Well, that was fun -- all 104 seconds of it!! The satellite feed cut out during the middle of the interview and that was that -- that or Ted Turner reeeeaaallly doesn't like me telling the truth and it was a grand conspiracy. [You're sounding like some of your commenters -- snap out of it!--ed. OK -- but I think it's an awfully big coincidence that this happens less than 24 hours before Lou Dobbs inks a contract to write a book on outsourcing for Time/Warner's book division]

Reviewing the tape, however, I learned the following things about doing live, remote interviews:

1) Against all natural instincts, pretend that the camera that you're staring at is actually a person talking to you;

2) Don't count on follow-up questions -- give the entire answer in one shot;

3) Cut out the fried food a week before so the big honking pimple on your forehead is not visible from Mars with the unaided eye;

4) Smile.

I'm moving down the learning curve -- very, very, slowly.

posted by Dan at 05:59 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, April 16, 2004

Yes, I'm at a conference again

This time it's the Midwestern Political Science Association, which is traditionally held in the gorgeous Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago.

I'll be back tomorrow. In the meantime, critical readers can re-read what I wrote a year ago about what the anti-war advocates got right and wrong about Iraq. [How well does it hold up?--ed. Opponents of the war were largely wrong about the ramifications outside of Iraq, but have a much better track record of what would happen inside of Iraq.]

posted by Dan at 02:20 PM | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, April 11, 2004

How I spent the last four days

I was in Washington, DC for the last four days at a Liberty Fund conference organized by Tyler Cowen that included several bloggers -- Marginal Revolution's Alex Tabarrok, Asymmetrical Information's Megan McArdle, FuturePundit's Randall Parker, and Cronaca's David Nishimura. A fine time was had by all the bloggers -- although those participants who had no friggin' idea what a blog was before they arrived probably heard more than they cared to hear about the blogosphere.

Among the more memorable moments:

1) The opening night of the conference, I'm riding down to the lobby when the elevator doors open and a statuesque Megan McArdle walks into the elevator, looks at me, smiles, and says, "You're Daniel Drezner!"

2) The debate over whether sex with dead chickens is morally or legally defensible (see chapter fifteen of Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate to understand why that question came up).

3) Having Tyler and Megan urge me to change the picture on my front page -- for diametrically opposing reasons. (Tyler though the picture made me look like a weightlifter; Megan thought it made me look stringier than I actually am.)

4) Speculating with Megan over our ideal group blog participants. Consensus picks included James Joyner, Jacob Levy, and Virginia Postrel.

5) Coming to the delightful realization that my fellow bloggers were just as charming, witty, and sharp in real life as they are on their blogs.

UPDATE: Jeez, I go away for two weeks and Glenn Reynolds redesigns his site.

posted by Dan at 06:29 PM | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (2)

Friday, April 2, 2004

A small blog sabbatical

For the next ten days, I will be away from a computer. I'll be at an undosclosed sandy beach with my family for the first week, and then after that I'll be at a conference for several days [What's the difference between a vacation and a conference?--ed. At conferences, there's like, homework and stuff.] There will be limited to no blogging for the next ten days.

Discussion topic -- Andrew C. McCarthy's essay "The Intelligence Mess: How It Happened, What to Do About It." in the April issue of Commentary. McCarthy led the 1995 prosecution of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman in connection with the first World Trade Center bombing. He's skeptical that the mantra of "greater interagency coordination" will work:

For one thing, intelligence professionals are correct (if occasionally disingenuous) when they complain that the public has a skewed perception of their operations: while catastrophic lapses are always notorious, intelligence successes are more numerous. These, however, must typically be kept secret in order to preserve sources of information and methods of gathering it. The unfortunate result is a portrait of ceaseless "failure" that, aside from giving intelligence-gathering an undeserved bad name, also obscures other verities.

First, day-to-day cooperation among agencies, and particularly between the FBI and CIA, is actually far better than people have been led to believe. In terrorism cases, in the decade after the 1993 WTC bombing, teamwork improved in leaps and bounds. To be sure, there are occasional breakdowns, usually due to personality conflicts. But this is an unavoidable function of the human condition—which no legislation on earth can repeal—and it is just as frequently a factor in intra-agency disputes as in those between agencies. Today, agents who fail to compare notes are generally acting in violation of information-sharing protocols; it is hard to imagine additional directives improving the situation.

Second, intelligence-gathering is not monolithic. Domestic intelligence is radically different from the foreign variety, and both differ critically from the needs of the military. So polysemous an imperative requires a variety of skills to meet widely divergent situations and assumptions. As both a practical and a political matter, it is inconceivable that the task could be accomplished by a single agency, and proposals that suggest otherwise are certain only to reshuffle, rather than eradicate, natural rivalries while damaging the quality and quantity of information collection.

Third, and most misunderstood, rivalry—overall—is a virtue. In the government’s vast monopoly, it is essential. Naturally, the seamy side of competition being a perennial best-seller, the public record is replete with hair-raising anecdotes of sharp-elbowed investigators pursuing the same quarry to the benefit of criminals, enemies, and traitors. On a macro level, however, the throat-cutting is statistically insignificant. As a rule, competition impels agents to test their premises and press for better information; it results in the generation of more leads and the collection and refinement of more intelligence. In a world where the Supreme Court cannot decide a case without amicus briefs from innumerable interested observers, where Congress declines to pass legislation without the input of scores of experts, do we really want the President, in matters of national security, reduced to a single stream of intelligence-collection and analysis?

If turf-battling is not an enormous obstacle, does that mean there are no obstacles? Hardly. The real problems, though, are not bureaucratic but structural and philosophical. They have taken over 40 years to metastasize, and they would take a lot more than cosmetic surgery to reverse, even assuming the national will to do it.

Read the whole thing.

posted by Dan at 10:54 AM | Comments (37) | Trackbacks (3)

Thursday, April 1, 2004

My La-La experience

On Tuesday and Wednesday, your trusty blogger was in LA to give a talk at USC's Center for International Studies. It was quite the experience.

Have any readers experienced a moment during which they realized they were in a place that was way too hip/cool/edgy for them? That's how I felt when I checked into the Standard Hotel in the downtown. The place looked really fab -- clearly they had checked out Virginia Postrel's The Substance of Style. As the Guardian put it last year:

Bright red vibrating circular water beds in Star Trek-esque space pods, orange banquettes, white 1950s plastic furniture, red Astroturf and a rooftop swimming pool (complete with nightly skinny-dippers) - this isn't the kind of thing you expect to come across in the downtown business district of Los Angeles.

Alas, I witnessed no nighttime skinnydipping -- I had evening plans (I found out later that there was a private runway show and they booted the hotel's regular patrons from the rooftop bar anyway). Plus, I had dinner plans anyway. I can confirm the Star Trek-style waterbeds that would have made William Shatner proud.

However, the highlight of the trip was eating a fabulous lunch on the rooftop, and then noticing that the guy sitting at the next table bore more than a passing resemblance to Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander on Buffy the Vampire Slayer!!

Regular readers know that I'm a big Buffy fan, and I always identified with Xander -- the smart aleck who never had any superpowers. [That, plus his character got to make out with Charisma Carpenter, Alyson Hannigan, and Emma Caulfield's characters on camera!--ed. Er, yeah, that too.]

I've been told repeatedly that the residents of LA never ask for authographs -- it's considered gauche. Well, I'm not from LA, baby!! So I asked Mr. Brendon, and he gladly obliged with an autograph on the only blank piece of paper I had -- the back cover to Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate. Not entirely coincidentally, star blogger Megan McArdle is reading the very same book.

So I now own the ultimate academic geek artifact -- a copy of The Blank Slate autographed by a Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast member.

Oh, and the talk went well, too.

[Why are you posting about all this?--ed. I'm trying to provide this guy some genuine blogosphere gossip.]

posted by Dan at 11:01 AM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, March 26, 2004

The media whore of Hyde Park

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that my outsourcing essay is starting to attract some attention. Here's my day today:

1) Wake up to do phone interview on outsourcing with WPTT's Jerry Bowyer in Pittsburgh.

2) Log on, discover that Arts & Letters Daily has linked to "The Outsourcing Bogeyman."

3) See mention of outsourcing piece by Bruce Bartlett in his latest column (Bruce has links to two other reports on outsourcing that are worth checking out).

4) Arrange to do radio interview with Rick Jensen on WDEL next week.

5) Receive e-mail notification that the Foreign Affairs web editor is very pleased with the web traffic. Thanks for that should go to MetaFilter and Kuro5hin for highlighting the piece. [UPDATE: Thanks to Dan Gillmor as well.]

6) Receive phone call from ABC News Business correspondent Betsy Stark requesting interview on Kerry's economic speech and outsourcing. Have camera crew invade office and bemuse colleagues.

So, it looks like there's a decent chance that I'll be on World News Tonight with Peter Jennings this evening. Check your local listings!!

Here's the funny/scary thing -- I have no idea how the interview will be framed. I was critical of Kerry on outsourcing but I also said that the corporate taxation proposal he announced today indicated a change in rhetoric from "Benedict Arnold CEO's." We talked for ten minutes, and there was a lot of tape -- they could go either way with it. [You should have followed Brad DeLong's advice on interviews--ed. Now you remember to tell me.]

UPDATE: Nope, they cut me. C'est la vie.

posted by Dan at 04:36 PM | Comments (13) | Trackbacks (0)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Au Revoir

Blogging will be intermittent at best for the rest of this week, as I'll be at the International Studies Association annual meeting in Montreal. Weather aside, I've never been to the city and I've heard from reliable sources that it's a great town.

Don't worry, however -- within the next 24 hours, I will be posting something that should prompt a fair amount of conversation (cue enigmatic smile).


UPDATE: OK, it might be 48 hours.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Wound up being 72 hours -- click here for more.

posted by Dan at 01:18 PM | Comments (25) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, March 15, 2004

Remember, this is for posterity....

In the final month before I handed in my dissertation, I was working in my office at Stanford when the fire alarm went off. I gathered my things to leave the room, including my laptop with the digital version of the dissertation (during grad school, that laptop was rarely more than ten feet away from me). Leaving the building, I was surprised to see that there was an actual fire in the building? My first reaction? "Thank God I got the dissertation out. Even if something had happened to me, at least my work would survive!"

This is how academics think -- will their work live on?

I relate this anecdote because the Library of Congress has a project called MINERVA -- short for Mapping the INternet Electronic Resources Virtual Archive. According to this explanatory page:

An ever-increasing amount of the world’s cultural and intellectual output is presently created in digital formats and does not exist in any physical form. Such materials are colloquially described as "born digital." This born digital realm includes open access materials on the World Wide Web.

The MINERVA Web Preservation Project was established to initiate a broad program to collect and preserve these primary source materials. A multi disciplinary team of Library staff representing cataloging, legal, public services, and technology services is studying methods to evaluate, select, collect, catalog, provide access to, and preserve these materials for future generations of researchers.

Today I received an e-mail stating that: "The Library has selected your site for inclusion in its historic collection of Internet materials."

What does this mean? Practically speaking, it means the following:

[T]he Library of Congress or its agent will engage in the collection of content from your Web site at regular intervals. The Library will make this collection available to researchers onsite at Library facilities. The Library also wishes to make the collection available to offsite researchers by hosting the collection on the Library's public access Web site. The Library hopes that you share its vision of preserving Web materials and permitting researchers from across the world to access them.

Well, I do share that vision, but my reader-commentors may not. So consider this a public service notice -- your comments are being recorded for posterity.

Think about it -- decades or centuries from now, some struggling graduate student may be reading some of this.

That poor, pathetic soul.

posted by Dan at 11:59 AM | Comments (22) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, February 26, 2004

The day Andrew Sullivan wishes he was me

Ah, the perks of being at the University of Chicago: I'm dashing off to be a judge for this contest.

UPDATE: Here's the Chicago Maroon report on the event.

posted by Dan at 07:35 PM | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, February 1, 2004

A record month

January was a good month for danieldrezner.com. According to Sitemeter, the blog attracted more than 200,000 unique visits last month.

Thanks to one and all for clicking!

posted by Dan at 11:34 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Give me the Drysdale!

I see I've been nominated for "Best Non-Liberal Blog" for the 2003 Koufax Awards.

Ordinarily, I wouldn't tell you good readers to vote for me [Yes, you would!--ed.] but in the interest of marital balance I'm going to ask this time. Erika writes one pithy post and gets a Bloggie nomination!! My lovely wife has been lording it over me ever since, unimpressed with the meager success I've had with prior awards.

So, even the score and vote for me!! [Is this a reason or a rant?--ed. There's a reason you don't get nominated for anything]

posted by Dan at 03:42 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Sunday, January 18, 2004

A milestone contest

Today this blog received its one millionth unique visit. Thanks to all for coming!! And thanks to Moveable Type -- if you look at this traffic graph, it's clear that the switch to danieldrezner.com has paid off in more hits.

In celebration, I am having a naming contest. I've noticed that whenever I do a media interview on blogging, they find it awkward to say that the name of this site is "Daniel W. Drezner." They'll say something like, "Daniel Drezner blogs at.... er.... the web site of his own name." I think it's time for the blog to get its own name

So what should I call it? The Daily Drezner? Drezner's Daily Dose? Drezfiles? Chez Drez? [How about something that doesn't involve your name?--ed. That's good too! How about "The Loony Hack"?] Suggest away!!

UPDATE: I might just have to name it, "Sissy Willis makes me laugh"

posted by Dan at 02:18 PM | Comments (77) | Trackbacks (5)

Sunday, January 4, 2004

Being Andrew Sullivan's wife

Bet you never thought you'd see that post title!

This special guest post is by my lovely wife Erika, who has been tremendously supportive of my blogging efforts this week -- which means that it's payback time:

MY LIFE AS A BLOG WIDOW -- by Erika Drezner

It’s not that I’m anti-blog or anything…

Dan’s blog has been something of a test. I can’t remember him being so consistently distracted since he was writing his dissertation. We were newly dating then, I would catch him sort of staring off in the distance when we were talking and I’d say, “you’re thinking about the dissertation again, aren’t you?” Now it is not so much the thinking as the doing.

For example, the scene in our house on an average day: Our son is yelling for something, dinner is on the stove – which, to be fair, Dan likely cooked – the dog is throwing up on the carpet. I look for my husband as some sort of help and he is tethered to the computer. I am thoroughly convinced that he will blog through the birth of any future children. I think I may have to ask Andrew Sullivan to coach me through my next delivery.

And it would serve him right. As I have said, being married to one blogger has been difficult enough. Not only does my husband spend time working on this thing, but people actually read it – no surprise to you, dear reader, but a hell of a shock to me. I’ll listen to what Dan’s saying maybe half the time – on a good day.

And I’m surprised by the audience members: a friend’s dad, my closest friend from college, our neighbors. The blog recently came up at the condo board meeting! Don’t these people own televisions?

Now in our small community of academics and students, most of whom are liberal, everyone knows what Dan thinks. “Drezner is a Republican, Drezner worked for W., Drezner is a Halliburton apologist…” I constantly get dirty looks on the street. As a liberal, I know that many liberals think that Republicans are people who eat babies and kick puppies. For the record, I have never seen Dan do either, and I have watched carefully.

If all that wasn’t enough, Mr. Andrew Sullivan decides he needs a vacation. We all know that Andrew Sullivan is an important guy. He’s a senior editor at The New Republic. TNR is a very important publication. All you have to do is see the movie Shattered Glass during which the audience is assured, at least twice, “The New Republic is the in-flight magazine of Air Force One!” So naturally it is a pretty big deal to guest blog for Andrew Sullivan. Who would say no?

And truth be told, Dan has some journalistic tendencies. He started writing for the Hartford Courant as a high schooler. His work was very popular with anyone who interacted with my mother-in-law on a regular basis. She actually carried his clippings around in her purse and showed them to everyone. If you don’t believe me, you need just ask any of the veteran cashiers at the Crown Kosher Supermarket in West Hartford. (By the way, the Crown does an excellent white fish salad, if you’re ever in West Hartford.)

Well, if you read the blog, you know what has happened. It’s been a tough week.

Andrew Sullivan, if you're reading this, some flowers would be nice.

NOTE: the comments on this post do not reflect the opinions of the blog's proprietor.

posted by Dan at 04:58 PM | Comments (27) | Trackbacks (5)

Saturday, January 3, 2004

Being Andrew Sullivan on the weekend

I'm feeling about as articulate as this guest-blogger, so no Behind the Blog entry for today.

This weekend, however, there will be an extra-special guest post.


posted by Dan at 11:56 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

Friday, January 2, 2004

Being Andrew Sullivan -- day four

Sometime in the morning: Sisu e-mails me this:



Midday: Is double-blogging exhausting? I've received several e-mail queries on this, and my last post might have hinted that the stress of it was getting to me.

Today disproves that hypothesis. What was stressing me out were the myriad technical problems. Blogger worked without a hitch, and I feel fine. I'm not in hyper-blog mode, so I focus mostly on foreign policy-related matters.

The ag subsidies and multilateralism posts are easy to compose because they touch on familiar themes in my writings. On the multilateral post, I hesitate on whether to link to my old TNR essay. It was written nearly a year ago, and it holds up pretty well, but then there's this sentence:

This [European] kind of multilateralism does have some use in world politics--just not when dealing with a dictator working overtime to develop weapons of mass destruction.

In light of stories like this one, prose like that makes me wince a little.

This is one of the downsides of writing a lot -- the overwhelming amount of stuff I'm going to get wrong.

1:00 PM: I've been spending a lot of time on-line in the past few months, and with the New Year I wonder if I should resolve to cut back. Then I see a link to the "Are You A Blogaholic?" quiz. Taking it, I get 60 out of 100, which is more than fifteen points above the mean. Nevertheless, I get this message:

You are a dedicated weblogger. You post frequently because you enjoy weblogging a lot, yet you still manage to have a social life. You're the best kind of weblogger. Way to go!

I start to wonder if this quiz is the functional equivalent an online "Are you an Alcoholic?" quiz -- hosted by Jose Cuervo.

11:00 PM: Despite several hours of concentrated effort, I can think of no valid reason to mention Salma Hayek on the Daily Dish.

posted by Dan at 12:35 AM | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (5)

Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Being Andrew Sullivan on New Year's Eve

Morning: The Blogger follies continue. I can't access Blogger's main page at home. I go to the office, and try again -- but nothing happens. I try accessing Oxblog and I get the classic "page cannot be displayed" link. Same with every other blogspot page.

Shrugging my shoulders, I knock on Jacob Levy's office and give him the Blogger lament. He tries to log on and succeeds without a hitch.

I eye him and his computer coldly. No one else is in today. Who would really miss Jacob? True, his office is not as messy as the story he linked to. It's not among the six messiest offices in the University of Chicago. But it's messy enough for him to be "lost."

I snap back to reality and try the machines in the student computer cluster. Sure enough, I'm able to log on without a hitch. I quickly cut and paste my two posts for the day.

Afternoon: After a few days of being Andrew Sullivan, I intuitively sense he'd drink a fair amount on New Year's Eve. I go purchase alcohol.

I have a strong hunch that Andrew Sullivan will have a late morning tomorrow as well.

posted by Dan at 09:18 PM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (2)

Monday, December 29, 2003

Being Andrew Sullivan -- Day 1

Because these are going to pretty long (and potentially boring) posts, I'm using the extended entry feature:

Midnight: I log onto Andrew’s account to start posting (I'd written my introduction in advance). Immediately the imp within me starts whispering, “Hey, you could do anything you want. Change the background color to chartreuse! You're the king of the world! Go wild!!” It’s taken me multiple decades to get a grip on that part of my personality, and I successfully throttle down the urge.

After five months of getting comfortable with Movable Type, it’s back to my old Blogger software for the Daily Dish (cue acoustic guitar). I approach it warily, like an old girlfriend after a bad break-up. With apologies to Paul Simon:

Hello Blogger, my old friend
I’ve come to post on you again
I hope this time you are working
Don’t tell me that you’ll be crashing
And the essay that was formed in my brain
Still remains
But there’s a click of silence...

And the people bowed and prayed
To the online god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “Blogger is temporarily down.
Please don’t frown.”
And despaired in the clicks of silence...

Seriously, the one downside of MT I’ve noticed is that I don’t bother with quick-link posts – probably because, in the back of my mind, it seems ridiculous to create a new web page for a two sentence post. In terms of the linker/thinker divide, MT leads me to fewer of the former.

So I’m delighted to see Robert Tagorda’s clean post about Dean – because it makes a trenchant point and all I have to do is write one sentence. Post one down. [Why didn't you link to Pejmanesque as well?--ed. Because Tagorda had the contrasting quotes, and linked to Pejman already. I'm sure Yousefzadeh will take it in stride.]

Hmm… what else to write about? There’s the Iranian earthquake – except that there’s nothing to write about except some variation of “It’s horrible.” P.J. O’Rourke, in his introduction to my all-time favorite travel book, Holidays in Hell, pointed out that phenomena like earthquakes, floods, and mudslides are simply the opposite of tourist sightseeing – yes, very sad, but what else is there to say? In this case, even charity links won’t necessarily do much good, as Bam doesn’t appear to need any supplies – the damage has been done.

Bob Herbert’s column? Oh, it's so tempting – this is the sort of half-assed, squishy writing reminiscent of old-school NYT op-ed contributors (Rosenthal, Lewis, Rich) and worth ripping on a regular basis. Even if one accepts Herbert's premise (I don't), if he had done any research, he might have realized that there are some tangible proposals for what he wants done. But I’ve blogged about this too recently… don’t want to sound like a broken record.

I notice the LAT and WaPo stories, which dovetail each other nicely. However, I’m not entirely sure how to frame the post. Worry that the administration is screwing up? Intrigue at Brent Scowcroft’s preference to stick it out? I decide to sleep on it.

9:00 AM: I wake up and post on the LAT/WaPo stories, but frankly, I don’t think I quite nailed it. Occasionally this happens – too many ideas to mold into just a few paragraphs.

I click over to Slate’s Today’s Papers feature and see the mention of the NYT Halliburton story. Eric Umansky was harsh on the Times:

The NYT has been tops among the papers in suggesting that Halliburton has been making extra bucks. So, the paper deserves credit for publishing a piece questioning that earlier suggestion. But why doesn't the article's headline clearly reflect the revised conclusion? Instead it's mushy: "HALLIBURTON CONTRACTS IN IRAQ: THE STRUGGLE TO MANAGE COSTS."

I’ve been making the argument that the Halliburton contracts are not evidence of either systemic corruption or specific corruption for some time, so it’s nice to see the Times come to the same conclusion. I post it.

10:00 AM: I log onto the Daily Dish’s AOL account to check mail. 150 new messages await me. Admittedly, 50 of them are offering me glimpses of Paris Hilton’s sex tape, but that’s still a lot in twelve hours. One of the e-mails mentions the AFA poll about gay marriage. I’ve only posted about this topic once on my site. But it’s a good, counterintuitive story, and I remember Eugene Volokh’s post from last Friday. Plus, I figure Daily Dish readers would go into withdrawal if the topic is not mentioned once. Up it goes.

10:30 AM. Let’s log on and see how things are going…. Wait, why can’t I access the Daily Dish? It’s down! Ahh!!!! I f@#$%ed up somehow!! In less than twelve hours, I’ve single-handedly destroyed Andrew Sullivan’s site!! DAMN YOU BLOGGER!!! DAMN YOU TO HELL!!!!

10:40 AM: After much gnashing of teeth and a little jiggering, Blogger starts working again. Respiration and cardiac activity return to normal.

Blogger sucks. I decide for the rest of the week to compose on my own blog and then cut and paste onto the Daily Dish.

11:30 AM: I go out for groceries with my son, who’s day care center is closed for the week. No one at the store goes, “Hey, that’s Dan Drezner!! He’s subbing for Sullivan this week!” I realize this is because:

a) These people have lives.

b) Since Richard Posner, Gary Becker, John Mearsheimer, Cass Sunstein, and Martha Nussbaum shop there too, I'm pretty small beer.

posted by Dan at 06:08 PM | Comments (26) | Trackbacks (8)

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Let's go to the mailbag!!

Yesterday's Slate essay has inspired a much stronger reaction than my last Slate essay. Probably because it's featured on the MSN portal today.

The following is an (edited) collection of the most... "out there" responses I've received, and will be updated as the day goes along:

"[Y]our love for Howard Dean is to palpabable.... As for the IRAQ war, in fact the whole Muslim Middle east, something has to be done about their crusade against the west and America. Especially after the attack on 9/11/2001. We need to perform a crusade (1930's Germany style) against the Muslims and throw out of America all Muslims back to the Middle East as they do not support the US Constitution, much like yourself."

"Who died and left you in charge of National Security. It sounds if you would let all of the killers of the Mideast walk right and in take over America!!!"

"Sadly however, you ignored or opted out on the Pinocchio theory.... the current administration is based on lies, lies, (and will full apologies to Samuel Clement) damn lies. So there you have it from the “Left of Che Guevara” contingent of the Boomer generation. And yes, if you must be bitchy about it, I still read from my Thoughts of Chairman Mao book. What, you don’t?"

"I read the above captioned article and can easily tell that you are a democrat. It must be nice to sit back and "monday morning quarteback" the president. Your views are so far to the left, I'm sure some of your text must have been a rewording of a Marxist doctrine."

"Israel and the Israeli lobby in the U.S. are the ones that really call the shots in the substance and execution of our middle eastern foriegn policy. Without a doubt, they have wagged the body of our middle-eastern foreign policy for many, many decades."

"Just another Bush Basher. It seems very fashionable in the Preppy Soho society the annals of the campus and the media. Quite frankly, it makes me sick."

"We're shooting through an uncharted, terrorist-filled galaxy at light speed, and the spinners like you are all playing the role of Mr. Scott, shouting over the intercom to James T. Kirk that "..she can't take much more!" Bush, like Kirk, is facing something nobody ever wants to face: The unknown. He's boldly going where no man has gone before, and I think it's high time he gets some credit for doing a pretty damn good job at it."

"You hate us (clear minded Americans who don't even need to have a high school education, much less be a professor, to see that Bush is doing, what he believes is the best thing for America) so bad, with all due respect... LEAVE!"

"[L]like a good little American Nazi, you just blindly brush aside any evidence that Bush is trying to establish a world wide empire, and a totalitarian one at that?.... I am watching my country, the United States, rapidly become a fascist dictatorship and the press, instead of alerting Americans about what is actually going on, are blindly going along with it."

"Why don't you Bush Bashers just write something like, "Blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah!!!!! Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah." It seems to me, that's all you people know how to do.... The UN was never going to do anything about Hussein. You know this as well as every other Democrat, but you CHOOSE to ignore facts. So, rather that acknowledge truth and fact, you harp and nitpick."

"After reading your Bush the Bumbler I really need your address so I can send you a clue. Try reading 'Everything I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten'. This is not difficult. Please let your new babysitter be Michael Jackson."

"You are the very foundation of troubles in this country. Your 'freedom' to speech that allows you to write just reinforces why I would vote for this President again. Your "freedom" alone kills soldiers. Your words tell rulers around the world that America is disjointed and vulnerable. I never liked President Clinton but I never spoke badly of him. As citizens of this country and under democratic system - win or lose - we support our president."

"I am shocked at your radical views and at MSN for featuring such fanaticism. You might as well fly a plane into a building."

"With your inability to use sound logic and reasoning, how did you ever get to be a professor of anything?"

"You truly are nothing more than just a negative person, besides being a liberal. Your articles are from the mindset of someone who craves nothing more than attention. Grow some balls, be a man and support our country and president in a time of war."

"A word to the wise; Republican toadies should treat Dr. Dean with more respect. Show him some respect now and he may take pity on poor Bush when it comes to the 'head to head' debates. Even a conservative robot such as yourself has to see the writing on the wall."

"Sedition is any act, writing or speech, etc., directed against state authority, the government, or the constitution, or calculated to bring it into contempt or to entice others to hostility or disaffection. Mr. Drezner, You sir are a seditious traitor. Your reason: political advantage; pitiful and pathetic."

"As a politic (sic) science student, like myself, you must have heard of the project for the new American century (PNAC), you must also be aware that all major officials inside the admin are ex-corporate execs. You must also know that there are as many corporate lobbyers in Washington as there are politicians. And I am assuming that you also know that the invasion of Afghanistan had been in the making since the late 90?s. The list can continue, ut I feel that this is sufficient to show that your representation of the 'conspiracy theories' is both unfair and manipulative."

"When will liberals such as yourself grow up and stand up for what is right in this cruel, vicious world?.... What is your point besides a pathological hatred of President Bush?.... Your constant harping, piddling criticisms and infantile tantrums about President Bush is just too much to take."

"You are obviously apart of the angry left who entertain fanciful stories of withholding capture anouncements and the like from the public for pure political gain."

"Chicago, what a liberal hotbed, you, Cusak (sic) and Jessie Jackson and Co. Perhaps Dan, if the terrorists had reached out to Chicago on 9/11/01, you would feel very differently."

"After reading your article on what is really wrong with President Bush's foreign policy I can only conclude that you are either a pacifist, an appeaser, a coward, or some combination of all three."

"I for the life of me can not understand how you and your cohorts on the media and in Hollywood can be so un-American. If you were living and working under any of those people, I am certain you would have been done away with along time ago if so much as criticized them the way you criticize our government. Not one person offers any constructive advice and if any thing is offered it has to go before the UN which is a total waste of time any money and completely anti-American, except when it comes to our money. I am glad we have President Bush and I hope he continues to do exactly what he has done. He is at least doing something and not giving into people like you and the rest of you ultra liberals."

"While you liberals have the "right" to slam the president in print, I feel your patriotism borders on "verbal treason" for not standing with our commander in chief in a time of war. In most of the countries you defend, people are killed for that and less."

"Aren’t you glad you live in the United States, Communist like you are what is wrong with how our society is today."

The joys of open debate! I had no idea that there were this many people who agreed with Britney Spears' political philosophy -- or Che Guevara's, for that matter.

Just to be clear, I'm not posting these because they upset me or provoke a need for sympathy. Mostly, I found them hysterical, in both senses of the word.

That said, let me close with a few polite and trenchant e-mails:

"i'm 21 years old and a security forces member in the USAF, i've recently read about your criticism on the presidents foreign policies and what not. i'll be the first to admit, that a lot of the political topics are over my head, but i think your writings focused more on the bad than the good, this whole thing has been hard on all us military members but, hearing the thanks from the Iraqi people seeing how relieved they were doesn't that make it all worth it? these type of things are never easy, and i know there is always room for improvement, but on the whole i think President Bush is doing a wonderful job, and i have full faith in him. regardless of what ever problems there are with his policies he is doing some good in the world."

"You might be right about the Bush administration being incompetent. Problem is, we won't really know until long after the fact. Incompetence is a charge that more often accompanies failure, when in truth there have been many successes throughout history that happened in spite of being incompetently orchestrated.

In fact, I will go so far as to say that we have a greater chance at achieving good by incompetently following the correct policy than we do following, competently or otherwise, an incorrect policy....

Sometimes we just muddle through and it all works out anyway. Doing the right thing, however inexpertly, seems to be better than doing the wrong thing like a champ. It's the difference between being efficient and being effective."

posted by Dan at 10:53 AM | Comments (69) | Trackbacks (7)

Friday, December 12, 2003

What blogging hath wrought

No blogging today -- and it's the blog's fault. Follow this chain of events:

Back in May, I blogged about the Center for Global Development's Ranking the Rich, an effort to create, "an index that measures 21 developed countries on a plethora of policies that help or harm poor nations."

Which led to my first essay in Tech Central Station.

Which led to me getting asked to be on their Board of Advisors for future revisions to the index.

Which leads me to fly to DC and back to go to a board meeting today.

UPDATE: Back and exhausted -- just like Glenn Reynolds was yesterday.

posted by Dan at 12:34 AM | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, December 4, 2003

I'm back. I'm swamped.

Good to be back in Chicago. Not so good to have hundreds of e-mail piled up in one's inbox. While I'm sorting through these, two new blogs to check out. For those interested in Republicans like me, check out The Bully Pulpit. The e-mail sent to me claimed that the blog has, "the brains of a Volokh and the wit of a Drezner!" Reads at your own risk.

For lighter fare, among the interesting web sites I've found -- this history of the pregnancy test kit, wittily entitled The Thin Blue Line.


posted by Dan at 10:41 AM | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)

Monday, December 1, 2003

On the road again

I'm giving a talk tomorrow at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Political Science. Blogging may or may not occur between now and when I return on Wednesday evening.

posted by Dan at 12:43 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Here's Johnny!!!

All blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy...... all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play makes Dan a dull boy....all blog and no play ma-----

[All right, that does it, you're taking a break for Thanksgiving! I am not going to be the Shelley Duvall character in this production!--ed. Yes.... yes, that may be for the best.]

A happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

UPDATE: Looks like American troops in Baghdad got an extra special Thanksgiving treat. Bravo for a class act.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's my reply to Brian Leiter's moronic hyperbole, and here's a more substantive response to Matthew Yglesias on the merits of the trip.

posted by Dan at 07:50 AM | Comments (20) | Trackbacks (5)

Monday, November 17, 2003

Notes from Cardiff

I've briefly escaped from the clutches of my handlers at the British-American Project conference to provide the following observations:

  • Never, ever drink more than one glass of Cypriot brandy and expect to be fresh as a daisy the next morning.

  • The Welsh service sector? Let me politely suggest that it needs a bit of polish. [Aren't you being overly harsh?--ed. It took five tries for the hotel staff to get my key card to function. At one restaurant we went to, more than an hour passed between ordering and receiving our main courses. Small-N, but telling]

  • While the conservative movement in the United States has shed much of its upper crust WASP image, this has yet to take place in the U.K. As near as I can tell, once someone declares themselves to be a Tory here, they are required to have a double-breasted blue blazer surgically attached to their skin.

  • There's a lot of hostility to Tony Blair in the U.K. right now over Iraq. There's a lot of hostility to him among the U.K. conference attendees as well. I suspect that in a few years time many moderate Brits will long for him the same way many moderate Dems are now wishing they could nominate Bill Clinton for a third term.

  • Daniel Davies suggests that there are conspiracy-like elements to the British-American Project. I would reply that there is a BAP conspiracy -- to destroy your liver.

    I'll respond more seriously to Davies post that I'm not being serious enough about the potential threats BAP poses once I'm a) back in the USA; and b) not hung over.

    [They got to you, didn't they? You had dinner with Jennifer Garner?--ed. No, but I have dined with a British journalist who bears more than a passing resemblance to Nell McAndrew, an investment consultant from Texas who bears more than a passing resemblance to Andie MacDowell, and an actress-turned-power broker who starred in Metropolitan. I can't complain.]

  • UPDATE: A hat tip to Will Baude for providing a reasonably accurate play-by-play of my Cambridge talk over at Crescat Sententia.

    posted by Dan at 06:04 AM | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)

    Wednesday, November 12, 2003

    I'm off to join another secret cabal

    Blogging will be intermittent for the next week, as I'm travelling again. [Don't you have one of those fancy wifi laptops that lets you post at Starbucks?--ed. Alas, the big blogger money seems to escape me.]

    This time, I'm off to the United Kingdom. First a brief lecture at the University Cambridge, followed by a four-day conference of the British-American Project (BAP), which is an organization that annually brings thirtysomethings from both sides of the Atlantic together to discuss issues of the day.

    Or so they would have you believe. A quick Google search reveals that several conspiracy web sites allege sinister motivations behind this conference. For example, this site characterizes BAP as, "a small and extremely covert group." But wait, there's more:

    The aim of these men [who founded the BAP] was to set up a group of rising elites, indoctrinate them with what was basically Bilderberg propaganda, and then pick the cream of them to become major players in the Bilderberg movement....

    Nearly every BAP member during the eighties and early nineties is now in a position of considerable fame or influence, and a large proportion of these are inclined to support the kind of aims that Bilderberg strives for. In essence, BAP was an ingenious method of indoctrinating next generation elites.

    For another good conspiracy-sounding descriptions of the BAP, click here.

    Your intrepid blogger promises to infiltrate this suspicious-sounding organization and report the truth! [What if they offer you a "position of considerable fame or influence"?--ed. It would take a lot more than that to destroy my hard-earned reputation for intellectual integrity in the blogosphere!! What if they offer you a "position of considerable fame or influence" and a private candlelit dinner with Jennifer Garner?--ed. Yeah, that's about my price.]

    posted by Dan at 05:46 PM | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (2)

    Tuesday, November 11, 2003

    What happened while I was gone?

    Back from Berkeley. I had to get into a cab to race to campus to teach a class. Just sitting down now and catching my breath for the first time.

    So, a very belated thanks to David Brooks for citing my recent Slate essay in today's column. I first heard about it via my brother, for those who care [You mean Brooks didn't give you a heads-up?--ed. It's funny, people who've congratulated me on this are assuming I know Brooks. I'd like to, but as of now we've never communicated.]

    For those New York Times op-ed readers expecting to find more on the subject here, go to this post, which was the genesis of the Slate article. Then click over to this post, which elaborates on a few points that got cut from the Slate essay, and deals with the inevitable statistical contretemps that such essays produce. Finally, click here for a further discussion of Halliburton and Bechtel -- there's some stuff there that Brooks did not mention in his able op-ed today that nevertheless bolsters his case. [You know that David Adesnik already did this for you--ed. D'oh! Advantage: Adesnik!]

    UPDATE: Via Tom Maguire, I find this letter to the editor of the Washington Post from Bill Allison, the "managing editor [?] at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, responding to the Steven Kelman op-ed. A similar statement has now been placed at the bottom of my Slate piece. Among the key tidbits:

    While we did not argue that there is a quid pro quo relationship between contributions and contracts, the public has a right to know who is trying to influence the government....

    No one has a clear picture of what's going on with the awarding of contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some in the government have admitted as much. "Now the whole contracting procedure is confusing," John Shaw, deputy undersecretary of defense for international security, told a London conference in mid-October, when he announced a new office under the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq that is supposed to bring order to the process. "This new procedure we hope is going to bring greater accountability and transparency."

    If CPI's story is now that there needs to be more transparency in the bidding process, that's fine with me -- I say, here, here.

    However, while I will flatly concede that they never use the words "clear quid pro quo," that's what they're implying. Stating that, "There is a stench of political favoritism and cronyism surrounding the contracting process in both Iraq and Afghanistan" sounds like a completely different kind of accusation from one of a lack of transparency. The first charge implies disorganization and inefficiency. The second charge implies malfeasance and, well, quid pro quo corruption. The first graf of the CPI report reads:

    More than 70 American companies and individuals have won up to $8 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two years, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity. Those companies donated more money to the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush—a little over $500,000—than to any other politician over the last dozen years, the Center found.

    The link between campaign contributions and contracts was also the lead of all of the initial media coverage of the report. I'd say it was pretty damn clear that CPI was implying a quid pro quo.

    posted by Dan at 04:09 PM | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)

    Monday, November 10, 2003

    Gone speakin'

    I'm giving a talk today at the University of California at Berkeley. Talk amongst yourselves.

    Here's a topic -- what do you do with Saudi Arabia?

    posted by Dan at 12:06 PM | Comments (44) | Trackbacks (0)

    Friday, October 24, 2003

    On the radio again

    Tonight from 9:00 -- 11:00 CST I'll be on Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg on WGN radio 720. The other guests are Karen Alter from Northwestern University's political science department and legendary Chicago journalist Dick Ciccone.

    According to their calendar, the topic will be our take on, "the California recall, the Valerie Plame leak scandal, the recent events in Iraq and Israel and much, much more."

    posted by Dan at 05:19 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

    Thursday, October 23, 2003

    DanielDrezner.com is huge in India!! HUGE!!

    My favorite part of the movie Singles -- one of Cameron Crowe's lesser works -- is when Matt Dillion tries to console himself at his band's poor reputation in the Seattle music scene by repeating the mantra, "We're huge in Belgium!!"

    Well, now I get to say, "I'm huge in India!!"

    The Indian Express -- which I'm told is the third-largest paper in India -- has reprinted this post on Mahathir Mohammed that became a Tech Central Station column.


    [So, to carry the Singles analogy to its logical conclusion, does this mean you have a poor reputation in the blogosphere?--ed. I don't think so. I just love the "We're huge in Belgium" line.]

    posted by Dan at 04:33 PM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (2)

    Friday, October 10, 2003

    My oh-so-lazy Fridays

    Little work is being done today, because my son's day care center closed at noon, so I have him for the rest of the day. Such are the occasional inconveniences of modern parenting.

    I mention this only as an excuse to quote the last few grafs from this very funny post from Laura McK**** at Apartment 11D:

    There are certain parts of raising kids that I love. Walking around the park. Treating them to ice-cream. Reading stories. But there's also aspects of the job that I didn't sign on for. Like watching other people's kids at the playground. And figuring out a four square dinner day after day.

    Also putting valves in sippy cups, keeping track of milk consumption, watching the Wiggles, wiping bums, rinsing out shampoo, shopping at Target, transporting to pre-school, buckling car seats, curbing tantrums. Sometime I feel like saying, That's not my job. If I could delegate those jobs to a lacky or a graduate student, I would. But then I would miss out on ice cream in the park, too. (emphasis in original)

    Actually, I think Laura might be overstating things a bit. Of course I signed on for the unpleasant or annoying parts of parenting -- it's just that before one has children, the mundane tasks are never the aspects of parenthood that one visualizes.

    I also enjoy shopping at Target.

    posted by Dan at 03:00 PM | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)

    Monday, October 6, 2003

    I'm sorry

    No blogging until after sundown Monday night. Right now, it is Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. The ten days between the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and Yom Kippur are the Days of Awe, during which we are supposed to repent our myriad sins from the past year.

    It is particularly important that we apologize and forgive our fellow man. On the Day of Atonement God always forgives one’s sins against the Almighty. However, God cannot forgive the transgressions committed against other human beings -- only those people can.

    Because of the immediacy of blogging, and the frequently anonymous exchanges that take place on the World Wide Web, my various flaws are on full display every day on this site for all to read. So, to all readers, as well as those I’ve written about – let me apologize for the displays of pride, pettiness, slander, belligerency, cruelty, and offensiveness – be they intentional or not.

    Wow, that feels good.

    posted by Dan at 12:37 AM | Comments (19) | Trackbacks (1)

    Friday, October 3, 2003



    "Bush the Bumbler" -- December 17, 2003

    "Fables of the Reconstruction" -- November 3, 2003


    "More Harm Than Good." (review of William Easterly's The White Man's Burden) -- Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2006

    "Bestriding the World, Sort of" (review of Niall Ferguson's Colossus) -- Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2004

    "Globalization Without Riots" (review of Jagdish Bhagwati's In Defense of Globalization) -- New York Times, April 18, 2004 (and see the follow-up exchange in the Letters section here)


    "Trade Off" -- June 25, 2004

    "Fail Proof" -- May 27, 2004

    "Up is Down" -- April 28, 2004

    "Cornered" -- March 31, 2004

    "Hash of Civilizations" -- March 3, 2004

    "History Channeling" -- February 4, 2004

    "Transparent Move" -- January 7, 2004

    "Seventies Chic" -- December 10, 2003

    "Domestic Disturbance" -- October 29, 2003

    "Barely Managing" -- October 3, 2003

    "Protection Racket" -- September 3, 2003

    "Illiberal Imagination" -- August 6, 2003

    "A Credible Alternative" -- July 9, 2003

    "An Ounce of Prevention" -- June 11, 2003

    "Et Tu, Kristol?" -- May 14, 2003

    "Friendly Fire" -- April 9, 2003

    "Democracy by America" -- March 12, 2003

    "One for All" -- February 12, 2003


    "About That Commission Report..." -- June 28, 2004

    "The State of Islam -- 2003" -- October 20, 2003

    "Against Sedentary Lifestyles" -- October 8, 2003

    "What Might Trip Up the WTO" -- September 19, 2003

    "What's New About Global Trade" -- September 9, 2003

    "Let Them Eat Subsidies" -- July 17, 2003

    "Great Responsibility" -- May 6, 2003

    posted by Dan at 10:06 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Thursday, October 2, 2003

    Taking a break

    Over the past week, I've discovered something very important: scandal-blogging is exhausting. My brain needs a brief diversion.

    For all of you who need a break as well, let me warmly recommend a surreal site called Positive Movie Reviews, run by a friend of mine who shall remain nameless. Let me also warn you that the humor in the reviews is of a decidedly bizarre nature, and may not be appropriate for those of you with an emotional maturity greater than thirty years of age.

    For a sample, here is an excerpt from a review of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace:

    As a film critic, I think it's my job to tell it like it is, not to "get involved" in the process. After all, my readers expect balanced, tough-minded reviews that aren't tainted by some kind of behind-the-screen shenanigans. So in the interest of full disclosure, I am admitting here that I wrote a letter to George Lucas two years ago, when it first came through the grapevine that he was making a new Star Wars film, to give him my two cents' worth. What I wrote was basically that although it would be impossible to improve on Return of the Jedi, I had a few minor suggestions. First, play up the Ewok aspect, but change the Ewoks to some comically slow-witted species that speaks heavily accented English. Second, drop the Force mumbo-jumbo and the action and spend more time discussing the political economy of a galaxy far, far away, a long time ago. Third, for God's sake, don't skimp on the fart jokes this time! I can't say for sure whether my letter had an effect, and it's possible that Lucas would have come to these fine conclusions entirely on his own, but I want to point out at least for me, this movie satisfied all my wants and hopes.

    Go check it out -- if you dare.

    UPDATE: If movie reviews don't float your boat, go check out David Adesnik's literary deconstruction of the Harry Potter series. It turns out they're all about sex [So that's why fundamentalists don't like the series--ed.]

    posted by Dan at 11:28 PM | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (2)

    Tuesday, September 23, 2003

    Listen to the radio

    Interested in the connections between war and trade?

    From 12-1 PM Central time, I'll be on Odyssey, nationally syndicated radio show hosted by Gretchen Helfrich and produced by WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio.

    Tune in on your radio dial, or listen via the Internet by clicking here. FYI, there is a call-in segment towards the end of the hour.

    UPDATE: Well, that was easily the most enjoyable experience I've had doing a radio program. Good conversation, deep without getting too jargony or off-topic, nicely managed by Gretchen, and quality production. It helped, of course, that the other "expert" was Eugene Gholz. Eugene and I did not agree so much that we were always on the same page, but we did agree on enough Big Things to be in the same book.

    posted by Dan at 11:53 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

    Thursday, September 18, 2003

    Why read me when you can hear me on the radio?

    From 9:00 - 11:00 PM this evening, I'm going to be on Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg on WGN radio 720. The topic? "Professorial bloggers". Fellow scholar-bloggers Erin O'Connor and Mark Shapiro will also be on.

    If you're not in Chicago, or online, you can listen in by clicking here. The 10-11 hour will be call-in.

    UPDATE: Media convergences are breaking out all over!! First Kieran Healy, after reading this post, listens in on the program and calls in from Canberra, Australia (see his comments below). Then, while the program is still on the air, I'm able to post my own reply comment (see below again).

    Second, the Chicago Tribune today has a story on academic blogging, focusing on the Eric Rasumsen controversy. Yours truly is quoted, along with Eugene Volokh and Glenn Reynolds.

    As for the show itself, I'll post a link to the archived audio if it goes up. My wrap up thoughts:

  • Especially when compared with my nasal twang, Erin O'Connor has quite the mellifluous voice.

  • I wasn't expecting to talk for the first part of the show about "things that annoy me about the academy." Still an interesting discussion, however.

  • The show producer told me afterwards that the callers broke down into two categories: those saying, "I just tuned in. What the hell is a blog?" and those saying, "Can I promote my blog on the air?"

  • Milt Rosenberg is now hooked on blogging. He has a page called Milt's File that functions as a quasi-blog on the WGN site, but inspired by this post, he went out and set up a real blog. Go check it out.
  • posted by Dan at 08:38 PM | Comments (9) | Trackbacks (0)

    Friday, September 12, 2003

    A belated blogiversary to myself

    A year ago this week, I started this blog. If I could discover a way to travel back in time and tell myself that this blog would:

  • Attract more than 400,000 unique visits and 500,000 page views in the first year alone;

  • Lead to regular writing gigs with The New Republic and Tech Central Station.;

  • Garner press attention from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Post, Rocky Mountain News, MSNBC.com, and the Hotline;

  • Play a microscopically small role in forcing out Trent Lott as Senate Majority Leader.

  • Get e-mails from Democratic presidential candidates (no, I'm not going to name names, because I politely declined) asking me to guest blog on their sites;

  • Slowly transform my wife's attitude about this activity from "What's a blog?" to "You're spending an awful lot of time online." to "Wow, this blog thing is working out pretty well for you!";
  • Well, I'd be rich, because I'd have invented a friggin' time machine!!

    But I also wouldn't have believed me. It's been a kick-ass year.

    On to year two!!

    UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan always sends the nicest presents -- tons of hits and a great blurb!

    And let me reciprocate David Adesnik's kind words by pointing out it's his blogiversary as well. David is a blogger of the first rank.

    I should also point out that Jacob Levy's one-year blogiversary just took place as well -- he started three days before I did. Huzzah!!

    posted by Dan at 12:20 PM | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (5)

    Thursday, September 11, 2003

    Two years later

    I was in Heathrow airport waiting to board a plane home when I heard about the attacks. Unlike U.S. airports, Heathrow does not have TV monitors broadcasting news every 100 yards. The only reason I found out was that I called my wife to let her know I was going to be on a different plane than I'd said. She said, "Thank God you're OK!!" and then told me what happened. By that point both of the towers had fallen and the Pentagon had been hit.

    Hearing those facts described over the phone was just bizarre. Seeing the endless replays on television in another country was equally bizarre, though the British were as kind as could be while I was marooned there.

    Until 9/11, it was safe to say that my generation had no moment of shared experience equivalent to the Kennedy assassination. I wish I could say that was still the case.

    That's all I can muster on the personal significance of 9/11 -- Jeff Jarvis and James Likeks do this better than I.

    posted by Dan at 11:16 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

    Wednesday, September 3, 2003

    High point

    Yesterday the blog received the greatest number of unique visits and page views to date -- over 7,500 unique visits and over 9,500 page views.

    Thanks to everyone for clicking!!

    posted by Dan at 10:49 AM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)

    Tuesday, September 2, 2003

    Half-day guest

    For the rest of today I'll be guest-blogging over at the Volokh Conspiracy. I'll be back tomorrow.

    posted by Dan at 02:21 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Tuesday, August 19, 2003

    Interesting company I keep at Amazon

    So I was clicking on to Amazon to see how my sanctions book was selling. Then I notice this part of the page:

    Customers who bought titles by Daniel W. Drezner also bought titles by these authors:

    Amartya Sen
    Joseph S. Nye Jr.
    Niall Ferguson
    Bob Woodward

    I have no explanation for this -- except for Nye's latest book, I don't think I've cited or discussed the other authors in either the blog or my research. I just thought it was good company to keep.

    posted by Dan at 12:50 AM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)

    Tuesday, August 12, 2003

    What made me laugh today

    Vis InstaPundit, I found this exchange on Adam Bonin's blog, Throwing Things, on how he was able to get press credentials to a Democratic Presidential Candidates Town Meeting in Philadelphia:

    Phone call with the SMWIA rep went something like:

    "So, you run a weblog?"


    "And it's called Throwing Things?"


    "A weblog . . . that's pretty marginal . . . but, okay, we'll let you in."

    OK, are there any other perks one gets from blogging? Free tote bags? Hotel soaps? Just curious.

    In all seriousness, this is one of the things I love about the early stages of presidential campaigns -- all candidates (even putative front-runners) are so desperate for voter and media interactions that they'll meet with just about anyone not wearing a swastika or hammer & sickle on their lapels.

    posted by Dan at 04:06 PM | Comments (4) | Trackbacks (0)

    Sunday, August 10, 2003

    Book recommendations

    I've received a number of e-mails asking for book recommendations. In response, here are my picks, broken up into multiple categories.

    The categories are pretty straightforward, except perhaps "great but wrong." This section is devoted to books that I think are fundamentally incorrect in their conclusions, but are so cogent that the act of reading them forces one to think very, very hard about why they are wrong. As such, they are in many ways more intellectually enjoyable than books where you agree with the thesis.



    Layna Mosley, Global Capital and National Governments (2003). Everyone says that global financial markets impose a straightjacket on governments. Mosley actually asked traders in financial markets if this was true. Her conclusions will surprise you.

    Meghan O'Sullivan, Shrewd Sanctions (2003). A lot of political scientists talk about doing good case studies. O'Sullivan's sanctions cases are written with a degree of precision and care that would shame most politicial scientists. Her chapter on Iraq (which I have read) is the single-best account I've read of the case.

    Randall Stone, Lending Credibility (2002). Do nation-states run international organizations or are they run by them? Stone offers an answer to this question by looking at how the IMF lended money to the post-communist world.


    Robert Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics (1981). A highly underrated book that discusses the waxing and waning of hegemonic powers. Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers is good; Gilpin's book is better.

    Lloyd Gruber, Ruling the World (2000). A rejoinder to Ikenberry in arguing that there is more coercion involved in the crafting of global governance than initially meets the eye.

    John Ikenberry, After Victory (2000). An exploration of how the victors of great power wars try to shape a stable postwar order.

    Walter Russell Mead, Special Providence (2001). A history and typology of the heterogeneous foreign policy ideas that have held sway in the United States. An excellent guide for non-Americans currently baffled by U.S. foreign policy.

    John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001). The clearest and boldest statement of realist thought made in several decades. Even if you think he's wrong, you have to respect the argument.

    Benjamin Most and Harvey Starr, Inquiry, Logic and International Relations (1989). A book that takes its methodology seriously. Criminally under-utilized by international relations scholars, which is a shame, because that's the target audience.

    Samantha Power, "A Problem from Hell" (2002). A searing indictment and explanation of American government inaction during episodes of genocide in the 20th century.

    Robert Strassler, ed., The Landmark Thucydides. The history of the Peloponnesian War as it was meant to be read. The maps and textual footnotes make the book much more accessible.


    Robert Gilpin, Global Political Economy (2001). The closest thing there is to a standard textbook in international political economy.

    Edward M. Graham, Fighting the Wrong Enemy (2000). Ostensibly a postmortem of the failed Multilateral Agreement on Investment, it's really a stunning indictment of the anti-globalization movement.

    Brink Lindsey, Against the Dead Hand (2002). A lucid and honest defense of pragmatic libertarianism in the global economy.

    Virginia Postrel, The Future and Its Enemies (1998). I almost feel guilty including this in the "Political Economy" section, since that makes it sound dry and dusty. At its core, however, the book is about sorting out the true reactionaries from the true revolutionaries in the world.

    Raghuram Rajan and Luigi Zingales, Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists (2003). A robust defense of open capital markets combined with a political analysis of why open markets are sometimes closed. Rajan, by the way, is now the IMF's chief economist.

    David Vogel, Trading Up (1995). A collection of counterintuitive case studies on how globalization has affected social regulation. If the book I'm writing turns out as well as this one, I'll be feeling very good about myself.


    Joel Mokyr, The Lever of Riches (1990). The first part of Mokyr's opus provides an excellent narrative history of technological innovation and its effect on the global economy. The second part is a collection of essays on various puzzles raised in the first section.

    Kevin O'Rourke and Jeffrey Williamson, Globalization and History (1999). A data-rich investigation into the first era of globalization in the late 1800's. For history buffs only, but lots of fascinating info.

    Nathan Rosenberg and L.E. Bridzell, Jr., How the West Grew Rich (1986). Interesting and accessible economic history of western capitalism. When I was a graduate student, I was lucky enough to be one of Nate Rosenberg's research assistants. He's a smart, smart man.


    Richard Posner, Public Intellectuals: A Study of Decline. An interesting if flawed effort to theorize and describe the role of intellectuals in the public sphere.

    Mark Lilla, The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics, and Tony Judt, Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 1944-1956. Both of these books are the perfect counter to Posner, in that they highlight the non-pecuniary motivations for intellectuals to engage the public.

    Benjamin Barber, The Truth of Power. A humorous and self-deprecating account of the Clinton effort to reach out to public intellectuals on the left. It doesn't spoil the book to say that the endeavor doesn't turn out very well.

    Nicholas Dawidoff, The Fly Swatter: How my Grandfather Made His Way in the World. A biography of the eminent economic historian Alexander Gerschenkron by his grandson. His life was just as interesting as his scholarship.

    Hans Morgenthau: An Intellectual Biography. What the title says -- an excellent weaving of Morgenthau's personal experiences during the interwar period, and how it affected his scholarship.


    Amy Chua, World on Fire (2002). Makes the provocative argument that globalization and democratization exacerbate ethnic tensions. She's extrapolating way too much from Southeast Asia, but read it for yourself to see.

    Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (1996). I've said in print why Huntington's argument is wrong -- but my first intellectual response to the 9/11 attacks was to take it off my bookshelf.

    Fareed Zakaria, The Future of Freedom (2003). I've said why I think it's incorrect here, here, and here. Judge for yourself.

    posted by Dan at 11:35 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Wednesday, August 6, 2003

    Testing -- one, two... sibilance...

    Glenn Reynolds gets a new RX-8 -- I finally get my own web site. Such is the food chain of the blogosphere.

    So take a look around. Note that I've added a comments feature -- we'll see how that works out. Also note that the posts that have been moved from Blogger have duplicate titles and such -- I'll try to iron that problem out over the next week or so.

    In the meantime, enjoy!!

    posted by Dan at 11:00 AM | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (2)

    Thursday, July 24, 2003

    My gift

    Today is my brother's birthday -- sort of. It's the 25th, but as he's living in Sydney, Australia, and it's sixteen hours ahead there, it is essentially today.

    When I asked him what he wanted for his B-day, among the (tongue-in-cheek) options he gave me was:

    1) Buy him a small island; or -- and let me quote him here:

    2) "create a web site dedicated to extolling my virtues to the world at large, declaring, in no uncertain terms, my unrecognized genius.... Given your recent fame on the web, I think this would be a fairly easy task for you to complete."

    He's right -- it was pretty easy.

    Happy birthday, JBD!!

    posted by Dan at 05:14 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Saturday, July 5, 2003

    Emerging from the vacation cocoon

    As I have previously noted, vacation for me means that I tend not to pay attention to international news all that much. So, when I return to the world, I inevitably find myself astonished that certain events actually occurred. For example:

    1) Did Sylvio Berlusconi really lose his composure altogether on the day he assumed the EU presidency? [UPDATE: Henry Farrell provides an astute analysis of the political fallout from this]

    2) Did Antonin Scalia really use the phrase "so-called homosexual agenda" in a Supreme Court dissent?

    3) Did an Oxford professor really tell a possible grad student that he would not work with him because of his Israeli citizenship? I'm glad OxBlog has been monitoring this one.

    4) Did George W. Bush really dare Iraqi guerillas to attack U.S. forces? It's a bad sign when CNN reports that, "more than one White House official acknowledged that, at a minimum, the Bush line was open to misinterpretation."

    5) Did Al-Jazeera really air a tape allegedly recorded by Saddam Hussein just because they couldn't prove that it wasn't Hussein (link via Kieran Healy)?

    posted by Dan at 02:48 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    A wrap-up of my working vacation

    For those who care:

    Q: So how much work did you do?

    A: Not a whole lot. The most interesting work experience was having to be a discussant for three erudite papers the afternoon that I landed in Budapest. Since I don't sleep on planes -- and since Lufthansa misplaced our bags for a few hours -- this meant showing up to this particular panel having slept only one hour in the past twenty-four and wearing the same clothes I'd flown in. Scarily enough, it was one of my better performances as a discussant.

    I spent the next day doing more conference stuff, and then it was vacation time?

    Q: So did you actually read all of the books you blogged about?

    A: No, I didn't make it to the Harry Potter book. Got through the rest of them, however.

    Q: And what did you think of them?

    A: Well, I liked the Zakaria book more than Robert Kagan did (subscription required) -- but that's not saying much. I'll be commenting more on this book in the future -- but I will say that I thought Kagan's TNR review was a bit over the top. I found Kavalier & Clayabsorbing. Devil in the White City has a good story to tell, but the author seemed to care more about dinner menus than the larger significance of the 1893 Colombian Expedition, which I found disappointing. Prague was an odd book, in that the author devoted more and more time to less interesting characters. It was a hoot to read a book about Budapest in Budapest, but without that novelty I'm not sure I would have finished it. My favorite book set in Budapest remains Tibor Fischer's Under the Frog. Actually, that's not fair -- Under the Frog is one of my favorite novels, period.

    Q: And how was Budapest?

    What a delightful city!! The cafés! (Click here for a panoramic look at one of the best cafés in the city, the Gerbaud.) The architecture! The desserts! The other desserts! The goulash! The blood sausage! The parks! The amazing tranformation of the place since the fall of communism!

    Q: OK, I believe that's a wrap.

    posted by Dan at 02:12 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Thursday, July 3, 2003

    Back in Chicago

    But waaaaayyyyyy too jet-lagged to write anything coherent [And this is different from your normal blogging style in what way?--ed. I'm too tired to rebut even that point.]

    More later.

    posted by Dan at 08:50 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Wednesday, June 25, 2003

    A working vacation

    Blogging will range from intermittent to nonexistent for the next week. I'm off with the blogwife to Budapest for a conference. [Sure, it's all work to you--ed. No, really, check the program -- I'm working for a few days.] A few days of vacation after that.

    Seems like the time for bloggers to go on vacation -- Virginia Postrel and Matthew Yglesias are also on hiatus.

    What to do while I'm away? A few suggestions:

    1) Check some new blogs out. If you are interested in global political economy, go check out this blog. Robert Tagorda at Boomshock is also generating some high-quality output.

    2) Turn off the computer and read a book. My spouse once told me that the only difference between me working and me on vacation is that there's a different book in my hands. So, in quasi-homage to Brink Lindsey's retirement from blogging right after he published his critical review of books read during the past year, here's what I'm bringing with me to Budapest to read:

    The Future of Freedom, by Fareed Zakaria [Didn't you already bash this book here, here, and here?--ed. No, I critiqued the core ideas that Zakaria presented when he was in town before the book had come out. In response to a personal request by the author, however, I want to read it in print.

    Prague, by Arthur Phillips. It's novel that actually takes place in Budapest.

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon.

    Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling. [Yeah, this book really needs your plug--ed.]

    The Paradox of American Power, by Joseph Nye.


    posted by Dan at 10:52 AM | Trackbacks (0)

    Thursday, June 5, 2003

    I'm off to run the world again

    In the realm of conspiracy theories about who runs the world, the Council on Foreign Relations is more recent than the Trilateral Commission but older than the Straussians (for an example of the CFR conspiracy meme, click here).

    Anyway, I'm a CFR term member, so I'm off for the next few days to their two-day National Conference, to be held in NYC. Chatham House rules apply, so don't expect any posts about it.

    UPDATE: I take one plane trip and by the time I touch down, Howell Raines has resigned and The Guardian has posted a full retraction. Moral of the story: don't mess with either the Blogosphere ... or the Council on Foreign Relations.

    posted by Dan at 11:35 AM | Trackbacks (0)

    Tuesday, April 22, 2003

    Don't tread on me

    So I'm scrolling down InstaPundit when I come to his Monty Python Test. So I take it. The result?

    Mean lil fellow, arn't you?

    What Monty Python Character are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    See, this is why I don't have a comments section. I'd just go medieval on everyone.

    I hope this doesn't imply that I'm just a dumb bunny.

    UPDATE: Alan K. Henderson has a good roundup on the rest of the Blogosphere's Monty Python doppelgangers.

    posted by Dan at 02:00 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Sunday, April 6, 2003

    When worlds collide

    For the past two days, I’ve been hobnobbing with other political scientists at the Midwestern Political Science Association’s annual meeting, which is always held in the gorgeous Palmer House in downtown Chicago. It hadn’t occurred to me until I showed up yesterday that this was the first big conference I attended since starting the blog last year. As it turns out, a fair number of them read it. Quite a few of my colleagues mentioned it to me in cocktail chatter.

    My initial reaction was – surprisingly – discomfort. Part of this is the “worlds colliding” phenomenon of having my professional “scholar” persona overlap with my public “blogger” persona. This was the first time I had to reconcile those two parts of my life.

    Another source of my discomfort was the “outing” of my political views, which are to the right of most of my colleagues (though not that far to the right – contrary to Blogosphere perceptions, most of my fellow political scientists do not yearn for a Marxist revival). It’s not that I keep my beliefs a secret – it’s just that, funny as it may sound, ideology rarely comes up in professional conversations with other political scientists.

    The biggest part of it, however, was the fear that my colleagues would disapprove of the blog as a bastardization of our profession – and, by extension, a bad reflection on the scholarly side of my cv. As previously noted, some of my blog posts contain half-baked ideas – I certainly hope the same does not hold for my scholarly work.

    There’s something else, though. Much of this blog consists of my application and translation of arguments made in the political science literature to real-world debates. Inevitably, these translations smooth over the caveats, complexities, and counterarguments that are inherent in any scholarly thesis. [Why not include all of those things in your posts?—ed. No self-respecting editor would ever ask that question. If I did that, each blog post would be 5,000 words long, no one would read it, and I wouldn’t have time to work on anything else.] Most lay readers cannot detect this smoothing process, but my colleagues can, and I fear their wrath.

    Upon reflection, however, my discomfort is starting to wane, for three reasons. First, I respect everyone who complimented me on my blog; I must be doing something right [Who don't you respect in the profession?--ed. Insert sound of crickets chirping here]. Second, the people who raised the topic were all my generation or younger, which suggests that the Blogosphere has yet to permeate the tenured faculty. Since it’s these people who will determine whether I merit getting tenure myself, I still have some time to adjust. Third, one graduate student told me that blogs are increasingly popular among doctoral students, both as a diversion and as a research tool. It will be a pleasant surprise if it turns out that the blog not only serves as an outlet for the public intellectual in me, but also contributes in some small way to furthering scholarly debate.

    posted by Dan at 12:23 AM | Trackbacks (1)

    Friday, March 28, 2003

    Honey, I'm off to debate the war again

    Just when OxBlog thinks I'm on a roll, I have to go debate the war again. This time the audience will be high school students, and the other participants -- Don Wycliff, Eric Zorn, R.C. Longworth, and Marilyn Katz -- are mostly affiliated with the Chicago Tribune (Katz is the leader of Chicagoans Against War on Iraq). I'll let you know how it goes.

    By the way, faithful readers might want to reread this week's posts -- a lot of them have been updated multiple times.

    UPDATE: I came, I talked, I ate pizza. The high school students -- all of whom belong to Chicago Student Voices -- asked some sharp questions and were exceptionally polite about listening to alternative perspectives. Katz compared Bush to Hitler at one point, but beyond that the discourse was at a high level.

    The cool part was discovering that some of the Tribune people were reading my blog. Eric Zorn even has a link to here on his web site. The best part came afterwards, when the organizer said, "You know we were worried that you would come off as flat compared with the newspaper people, but you were just as pithy." It's the blog, people!! [Is pithy a good thing for an untenured professor?--ed. Depends on the fora. When presenting an academic paper, it's the kiss of death to be thought of as glib. In front of the larger public, is it good to be glib? Damn straight!]

    posted by Dan at 10:12 AM | Trackbacks (0)

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    Shameless media plug

    For those readers in the Chicago area, I'll be on WGN radio, the Spike O'Dell show specifically, tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM to discuss recent machinations in the UN Security Council.

    UPDATE: I love doing radio shows. For some reason, I derive great satisfaction from sounding erudite on the radio only 10 minutes after I awake, snuggled under my blanket, wearing my pajamas.

    posted by Dan at 11:03 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Friday, February 28, 2003

    Describing my political beliefs

    When asked about my political beliefs, I usually respond by calling myself a "pragmatic libertarian." But what exactly does that mean?

    I can't provide an answer to that question. I can, however, provide Brink Lindsey's definition of pragmatic libertarianism, which I like a great deal.

    posted by Dan at 04:33 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Wednesday, February 19, 2003

    Duty calls

    Blogging will be intermittent for the next couple of days. I'll be participating in a conference at Duke on "rethinking international relations theory."

    For the two percent of readers that haven't immediately clicked away, here's the conference web page, including all of the papers to be presented (mine's the shortest).

    posted by Dan at 11:00 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Wednesday, February 12, 2003


    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 at 12:42 PM | Trackbacks (10)

    Friday, January 31, 2003

    I'm back

    I’ll get back to real posting tomorrow, once I’ve caught up and avoid the embarrassment of blogging behind the curve, but first, a paean to New Zealand, which is now first on my list of countries I’d consider defecting to if I didn’t live in the U.S.:

    If, for some reason, the Blogosphere should ever decide to have a conference, a convention, a gathering of some sort, I’m afraid I must insist on holding it in New Zealand. Why? Well, for starters, it’s just gorgeous. After ten days there, I was unable to find a view that was NOT gorgeous. And this was on the supposedly more pedestrian North Island. Click here some views.

    Another compelling reason is that every ideological stripe of the Blogosphere would find something to adore about the country. Conservatives would admire the modesty of the country’s welfare state, the largely rural nature of the country, and the sheer delight the citizenry takes in hunting possum and most forms of deer (man is the only predator of those species in New Zealand). Libertarians would admire the lack of stultifying regulations and the accelerating rate at which New Zealanders invent new ways to have fun (this is the country that invented bungee-jumping). Liberals would admire New Zealand’s steadfast environmentalism and its historically enlightened policies (compared with Canada, Australia, or the United States) towards the indigenous population.

    Finally, it’s just such a nice place. From the customs officials at the airport to the local rafting guides to the people you met on the street, everyone in the entire country was friendly and laid-back, but not in a lobotomized way. By day 3 of my trip, I’d forgotten both the day and the date, the best indicator of a good vacation. And a final, guilty confession -- as someone who studies international relations for a living, it was very relaxing to be in a country where the leading paper had -- maybe -- two pages of global news coverage. This is in contrast to the endless coverage of the America's Cup.

    posted by Dan at 10:28 AM | Trackbacks (0)

    Thursday, January 16, 2003

    Gone fishin'

    For the next two weeks I will be on vacation, bicycling, hiking, and kayaking in New Zealand with the Officially Certified blogbrother and blogfather.

    Am I excited? Look at the weather forecasts for Chicago, USA and Taupo, NZ for the next week -- that should answer your question.

    Will I be posting during this time? Hmmmm.... what would Moses do? [He'd be laughing his ass off at the ridiculousness of the question--ed.] I'd say there is only a 5% chance of blogging until February.

    Talk amongst yourselves. Here's a topic: has the James Bond series had any effect on world politics or world culture -- besides offending Koreans? Here's some reading to guide you.

    posted by Dan at 02:17 PM | Trackbacks (0)

    Saturday, October 12, 2002


    It’s been a month and a day since I started blogging. Like my colleague Jacob Levy, I had some worries about being a scholar-blogger, like the blog becoming an addiction and distraction from my scholarly research, which is what pays the bills. After a month, this is what I’ve concluded:

    1) For me, blogging is like free play. I like being a professor for a lot of reasons, but the big one is that I’m being paid to basically sit around and think. Now some of these thoughts are too arcane for the blog (though if you’re really, really interested in globalization and international regulatory coordination, click here). But before I found this outlet, I also had a lot of policy-relevant observations that were too short for an op-ed. This venue has the twin advantages of being immediate and accessible. I’ve probably devoted more time to this than I spent surfing the web six weeks ago, but not too much more. My interest in posting also waxes and wanes -- some days I just have blogathy.

    2) People are reading. In the two weeks I’ve been keeping count, I’ve had approximately 5,000 visits (not visitors) to the blog. These ain’t Andrew Sullivan numbers, but given that I haven’t really advertised it beyond the occasional e-mail, it’s still impressive. [How do you account for your success?—ed. A combination of my topical, erudite posts and a healthy number of links in Instapundit. Oh, hell, it’s 99% due to Glenn.] According to... well, one American University blogger, I'm a "big-time blog." I’ve published one book, ten refereed journal articles, and a bunch of policy essays, but in all likelihood more people have read this blog than have looked at any of my collected works. That's simultaneously exciting and depressing.

    THE BAD:
    1) Blogging promotes excessive certainty. Back in 1985, RAND published a remarkably prescient document on the hazards of e-mail communication. One all-too-true warning:

    “One of the most surprising things about electronic mail is the ease with which misinterpretations arise. People are used to reading "body language," voice intonation, and numerous other cues when interpreting messages delivered in conversation, or even on the telephone. Those cues are missing in electronic mail, and what was meant as a casual comment, or an attempt at humor or irony, is misinterpreted. Even small misinterpretations have a tendency to mushroom.”

    In old media, these problems are removed through the wonders of editing. But because blogs are self-edited, they tend to resemble e-mail more than any other publishing outlet. This effect is compounded by the urge to sound as sure of one’s self as possible. In my case, the eagerness to post has occasionally run roughshod over the need to inject nuance into an observation. I’m improving at this, but it’s a slow process.

    2) The blogging equilibrium: journalists and profs. For the pundit blogs, like me, the past year has seen more blogs acquire institutional homes: The New Republic’s &c, The American Prospect’s Tapped, The National Review’s Corner, Slate’s Kausfiles, MSNBC’s Altercation, ABC’s The Note… you get the point. Because these blogs are attached to high-traffic web sites, they’re bound to attract the most attention. The Blogosphere will likely evolve in such a way that the dominant subspecies will be journalists and academics. Journalists, because that’s who magazines/networks will hire. Academics, because they have a comparative advantage in being public intellectuals, and because they’re used to expending effort on financially unrewarding activities. Like Richard Posner’s take on public intellectuals, I don’t think this trend is necessarily a good one.

    1) Blogging promotes sharper debate. John Stuart Mill warned that unless societies permitted the unlimited expression of opinion, ideas became “dead dogma.” On the one hand, the blogosphere certainly permits the full range of opinion to be expressed. On the other hand, as Mill also warned, such a free range of expression will encourage the more extremist forms of discourse to ratchet up their rhetoric -- hence all of the fiskings. Despite what we want to believe, better debate is often nastier debate.

    For me (especially since I’m a prof) the goods outweigh the bads. But as my research demands heat up, I’ll probably have to scale back on my posting a bit. Not to Brink Lindsey levels of scarcity, but low enough to permit some focus to drift off Iraq and onto matters like transnational regulation.

    UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan's Sunday Times column reinforces my belief about the future evolution of the blogosphere being reduced to journalists with old media ties and profs that are used to nonprofit pontificating. However, he goes my idea one step further, citing Instapundit as an example of the prof who morphs into someone with old media ties.

    posted by Dan at 10:22 AM | Trackbacks (1)

    Tuesday, September 10, 2002

    Here goes nothing

    I shouldn't be doing this. I'll be going up for tenure soon; I occasionally daydream of occupying a high position in government; and I like semicolons way too much to be pithy. Plus, my sixth-grade English teacher scarred me for life about having too many "I"s in my writing, which may render me incompatible with blogging. So why do this?

    There are a lot of reasons, but the best comes from Jonathan Rauch's Kindly Inquisitors: "We can all have three new ideas every day before breakfast: the trouble is, they will almost always be bad ideas. The hard part is figuring out who has a good idea." Rauch argued that the liberal scientific enterprise was the way to separate good ideas from bad. For what interests me -- foreign policy, economic policy, public intellectuals, pop culture -- the Blogosphere is now a vital part of that enterprise.

    So while I'll still publish weighty academic treatises and the occasional slimmed-down policy piece, this is where I plan on venting the rest of my new ideas (Maybe three a day -- two during football season). I have no doubt most of them will be bad, but they won't be boring.

    posted by Dan at 11:17 AM | Trackbacks (1)