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)!!
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.
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
By some interesting quirk of fate, there are exactly ten benefits that emanate from the promotion to full professor.....
THE TEN BENEFITS OF 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.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.
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.
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.
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....Go check it out.
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!
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:
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.
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.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.
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.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Behold my multi-multimedia strategy
My master plan to dominate
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.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.
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.
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!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
This will come as no surprise to my wife
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.
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.I believe I'm all caught up now.
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.
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.
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.
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.The column has its roots in this blog post from a few weeks ago.
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....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).
Friday, September 21, 2007
Why B+students are the worst
1) The death of TimesSelectGo check it out.
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.
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);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.
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.”Aunt Shirley is my late grandfather's older sister. I'm very fond of her -- despite her New York Yankee loyalties.
Friday, July 20, 2007
A dose of the old bloggingheads
1) The Senate sleepover;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.
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
a) The Official Blogwife does not really read the blog (she is constantly amazed that there are people who regularly read it);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.
Monday, July 2, 2007
Clearly, I haven't been posting about Salma Hayek recently
I'm pleasantly surprised about my blog rating:
This result, on the other hand, is thoroughly unsurprising:
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?Oh, and along the way Bob cajoles me into issuing a public challenge.
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.Well, that should be sufficient overexposure for a few days.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Short-shorts, Jello wrestling, and a good word about Tom Friedman
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.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I'm a bad, bad man....
... for thinking that this picture brings sexy back way better than Justin Timberlake.
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;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?
UPDATE: The good news is that I did indeed appear in the story. The bad news is that the b-roll did not. Curses!!
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.
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.
The blog here will not be neglected, but all my American politics-type stuff will be over there.
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.
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.
1) The Jon Chait netroots article.Go check it out!
Monday, May 7, 2007
Well, this was a bit of a surprise
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?
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Sympathy for a neocon and other musings
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.
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.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
A conversational waltz with Garance Franke-Ruta
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.
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.Sniff.
Give me 48 hours, and I'll be fine.
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.
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.
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....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.]
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.
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.
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.
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?
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):
Thursday, January 4, 2007
More bloggingheads goodness
1) Gerald Ford's "when I die" interviews (in which Eric and I confuse the Pueblo and Mayaguez debacles);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.]
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?
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.OK, I tag Jacob Levy, Laura McKenna, Dan Nexon, Kevin Drum, and Megan McArdle.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
My time on the F-list
My latest bloggingheads.tv debate with Henry Farrell is now available. Among our topics:this establishment.
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?AUTHOR'S NOTE: Use cereal bars as deus ex machina to end play if necessary.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
"You have a good voice for media-whoring"
Well, I'm paraphrasing:
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.
Thursday, November 9, 2006
Watch me get tipsy on video
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;
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Affordable housing.... good schools
ESTHER: Mordechai?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.
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).Go check them out!
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:
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
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 SederReaders are warmly encouraged to explain this set of rather odd correlations.
Monday, July 10, 2006
I think Barbara Ehrenreich needs a time out
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.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.
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.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
What happens when I go on vacation
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.
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....
WHAT I'LL MISS ABOUT CHICAGO:
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.WHAT I WON'T MISS ABOUT CHICAGO:
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.Time to turn the page. On to Boston!!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Am I a liberal in bloggers' clothing?
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?
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.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.
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?
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
[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.
Monday, March 6, 2006
I get around...
One of the virtues of driving cross country several times is that you can produce this map:
[Yeah, but you study international relations. What about the rest of the world?--ed.] Then you get this 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.
Monday, February 27, 2006
My mad math skills
Well, this is a relief:
This, on the other hand, makes me seriously doubt the testing methodology:
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.]
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!
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 . . .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.]
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."....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"?
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:Read all three pieces -- combined, their advice point the way towards a sober but hopeful picture of Iraq.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....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:
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.
Thursday, December 8, 2005
I'm always the last to find out....
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.]
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?]
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:
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?
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!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.
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:
[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:
[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.
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?
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.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Seven days later....
Among the things I've learned in the week after tenure rejection:
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:
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.]
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!!
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.]
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.
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:
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.
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!!
Friday, August 5, 2005
My Normblog profile
If you're dying to know my favorite proverb or my one useful piece of life wisdom, go check it out
Friday, May 6, 2005
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:
That David Greenberg fellow will also be guest-blogging here:
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?
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.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Bravo to the public relations staff
The hardworking PR team here at danieldrezner.com has had a good week:
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!!
Friday, April 1, 2005
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.
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.
From Rothkopf's essay:
Really, read the whole thing.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
My all time favorite Internet quiz
I think I can live with this result:
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:
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!!]
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:
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.
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:
Readers are hereby encouraged to write in their resolutions.
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.
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.
Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Au revoir pendant une courte pĂ©riode
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:
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.
1) Macaroni and Meat
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?"
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.]
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):
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!
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).
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.
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."
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?'
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:
Friday, August 27, 2004
I'm 1% certain that I'm 1% smarter than Chris Bertram
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.
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.
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!!
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:
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.]
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.
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.
Friday, July 23, 2004
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.
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:
[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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
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.....
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, April 22, 2004
My network news debut -- mark two
[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.
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
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.
Sunday, April 18, 2004
Dedicated to the international readers of danieldrezner.com
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:
I'm moving down the learning curve -- very, very, slowly.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Yes, I'm at a conference again
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.]
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:
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:
Read the whole thing.
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:
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.]
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:
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.
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
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.
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?
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:
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.
Thursday, February 26, 2004
The day Andrew Sullivan wishes he was me
UPDATE: Here's the Chicago Maroon report on the event.
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!
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]
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"
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:
NOTE: the comments on this post do not reflect the opinions of the blog's proprietor.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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 Andrewâ€™s account to start posting (I'd written my introduction in advance). Immediately the imp within me starts whispering, â€śHey, you could do anything you want. Change the background color to chartreuse! You're the king of the world! Go wild!!â€ť Itâ€™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, itâ€™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
And the people bowed and prayed
Seriously, the one downside of MT Iâ€™ve noticed is that I donâ€™t bother with quick-link posts â€“ 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 Iâ€™m delighted to see Robert Tagordaâ€™s clean post about Dean â€“ 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.]
Hmmâ€¦ what else to write about? Thereâ€™s the Iranian earthquake â€“ except that thereâ€™s nothing to write about except some variation of â€śItâ€™s horrible.â€ť P.J. Oâ€™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 â€“ yes, very sad, but what else is there to say? In this case, even charity links wonâ€™t necessarily do much good, as Bam doesnâ€™t appear to need any supplies â€“ the damage has been done.
Bob Herbertâ€™s column? Oh, it's so tempting â€“ 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 Iâ€™ve blogged about this too recentlyâ€¦ donâ€™t want to sound like a broken record.
I notice the LAT and WaPo stories, which dovetail each other nicely. However, Iâ€™m not entirely sure how to frame the post. Worry that the administration is screwing up? Intrigue at Brent Scowcroftâ€™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 donâ€™t think I quite nailed it. Occasionally this happens â€“ too many ideas to mold into just a few paragraphs.
I click over to Slateâ€™s Todayâ€™s Papers feature and see the mention of the NYT Halliburton story. Eric Umansky was harsh on the Times:
Iâ€™ve been making the argument that the Halliburton contracts are not evidence of either systemic corruption or specific corruption for some time, so itâ€™s nice to see the Times come to the same conclusion. I post it.
10:00 AM: I log onto the Daily Dishâ€™s AOL account to check mail. 150 new messages await me. Admittedly, 50 of them are offering me glimpses of Paris Hiltonâ€™s sex tape, but thatâ€™s still a lot in twelve hours. One of the e-mails mentions the AFA poll about gay marriage. Iâ€™ve only posted about this topic once on my site. But itâ€™s a good, counterintuitive story, and I remember Eugene Volokhâ€™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. Letâ€™s log on and see how things are goingâ€¦. Wait, why canâ€™t I access the Daily Dish? Itâ€™s down! Ahh!!!! I f@#$%ed up somehow!! In less than twelve hours, Iâ€™ve single-handedly destroyed Andrew Sullivanâ€™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, whoâ€™s day care center is closed for the week. No one at the store goes, â€śHey, thatâ€™s Dan Drezner!! Heâ€™s subbing for Sullivan this week!â€ť 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.
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Let's go to the mailbag!!
The following is an (edited) collection of the most... "out there" responses I've received, and will be updated as the day goes along:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, November 27, 2003
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.]
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:
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:
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.
Monday, November 10, 2003
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?
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."
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!!"
[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.]
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:
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.
Monday, October 6, 2003
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 oneâ€™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 Iâ€™ve written about â€“ let me apologize for the displays of pride, pettiness, slander, belligerency, cruelty, and offensiveness â€“ be they intentional or not.
Wow, that feels good.
Friday, October 3, 2003
THE COMPLETE ONLINE ARTICLE ARCHIVE
"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
"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
"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
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:
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.]
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.
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).
As for the show itself, I'll post a link to the archived audio if it goes up. My wrap up thoughts:
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:
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!
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.
Wednesday, September 3, 2003
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!!
Tuesday, September 2, 2003
For the rest of today I'll be guest-blogging over at the Volokh Conspiracy. I'll be back tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Interesting company I keep at Amazon
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.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
What made me laugh today
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.
Sunday, August 10, 2003
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.
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!!
Thursday, July 24, 2003
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:
He's right -- it was pretty easy.
Happy birthday, JBD!!
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:
2) Did Antonin Scalia really use the phrase "so-called homosexual agenda" in a Supreme Court dissent?
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."
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 cafĂ©s! (Click here for a panoramic look at one of the best cafĂ©s 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.
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.]
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.
What to do while I'm away? A few suggestions:
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:
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).
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.
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?
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.
Sunday, April 6, 2003
When worlds collide
For the past two days, Iâ€™ve been hobnobbing with other political scientists at the Midwestern Political Science Associationâ€™s annual meeting, which is always held in the gorgeous Palmer House in downtown Chicago. It hadnâ€™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 â€“ surprisingly â€“ discomfort. Part of this is the â€śworlds collidingâ€ť phenomenon of having my professional â€śscholarâ€ť persona overlap with my public â€śbloggerâ€ť persona. This was the first time I had to reconcile those two parts of my life.
Another source of my discomfort was the â€śoutingâ€ť of my political views, which are to the right of most of my colleagues (though not that far to the right â€“ contrary to Blogosphere perceptions, most of my fellow political scientists do not yearn for a Marxist revival). Itâ€™s not that I keep my beliefs a secret â€“ itâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ I certainly hope the same does not hold for my scholarly work.
Thereâ€™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?â€”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 wouldnâ€™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 itâ€™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.
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!]
Thursday, March 13, 2003
Shameless media plug
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.
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.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Blogging will be intermittent for the next couple of days. I'll be participating in a conference at Duke on "rethinking international relations theory."
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
WHO THE HELL IS DANIEL W. DREZNER?
A brief introduction, in the form of a Q&A:
Q: Who are you?
A: Iâ€™m an assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Iâ€™ve previously taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Donetsk Technical University in the Republic of Ukraine for Civic Education Project. Iâ€™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 didnâ€™t need the help).
Iâ€™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). Iâ€™ve written a fair number of articles in both policy and scholarly journals. Iâ€™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. Iâ€™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: Whatâ€™s your political affiliation?
A: Iâ€™m a small-l libertarian Republican who studies international relations, which means Iâ€™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 donâ€™t have tenure â€“ 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 Iâ€™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. Iâ€™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 todayâ€™s world; what should I be reading?
A: Go to my book recommendations page and find out!!
Q: Isnâ€™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:
Q: Iâ€™ve perused your blog, and Iâ€™m noticing an annoying editor guy pops up on occasion. Whatâ€™s the deal? Are you schizophrenic?
A: This is a tic Iâ€™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 thatâ€™s all I am to you? An outlet for cheap laughs?â€”ed. Go bug Mickey for a while.]
Q: Why do you have such a God-awful picture on your departmentâ€™s web site?
A: It was a bad hair/skin day and Iâ€™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.
Friday, January 31, 2003
Iâ€™ll get back to real posting tomorrow, once Iâ€™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 Iâ€™d consider defecting to if I didnâ€™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, Iâ€™m afraid I must insist on holding it in New Zealand. Why? Well, for starters, itâ€™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 countryâ€™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 Zealandâ€™s steadfast environmentalism and its historically enlightened policies (compared with Canada, Australia, or the United States) towards the indigenous population.
Finally, itâ€™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, Iâ€™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.
Thursday, January 16, 2003
For the next two weeks I will be on vacation, bicycling, hiking, and kayaking in New Zealand with the Officially Certified blogbrother and blogfather.
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.
Saturday, October 12, 2002
THOUGHTS ON BLOGGING
Itâ€™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 Iâ€™ve concluded:
2) People are reading. In the two weeks Iâ€™ve been keeping count, Iâ€™ve had approximately 5,000 visits (not visitors) to the blog. These ainâ€™t Andrew Sullivan numbers, but given that I havenâ€™t really advertised it beyond the occasional e-mail, itâ€™s still impressive. [How do you account for your success?â€”ed. A combination of my topical, erudite posts and a healthy number of links in Instapundit. Oh, hell, itâ€™s 99% due to Glenn.] According to... well, one American University blogger, I'm a "big-time blog." Iâ€™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.
â€śOne 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.â€ť
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 Republicâ€™s &c, The American Prospectâ€™s Tapped, The National Reviewâ€™s Corner, Slateâ€™s Kausfiles, MSNBCâ€™s Altercation, ABCâ€™s The Noteâ€¦ you get the point. Because these blogs are attached to high-traffic web sites, theyâ€™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 thatâ€™s who magazines/networks will hire. Academics, because they have a comparative advantage in being public intellectuals, and because theyâ€™re used to expending effort on financially unrewarding activities. Like Richard Posnerâ€™s take on public intellectuals, I donâ€™t think this trend is necessarily a good one.
For me (especially since Iâ€™m a prof) the goods outweigh the bads. But as my research demands heat up, Iâ€™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.
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?