The Science of Hotness

As “John notes below”:http://tmc.local/2013/09/19/political-scientists-are-pretty-smart-given-how-incredibly-hot-we-are/#comments, hotness science has made some remarkable theoretical and empirical advances since my “2009 post”:http://tmc.local/2009/01/21/hotness/. Nonetheless, the claim that political scientists are… Read More

Why Do Policy Makers Hate International Relations Scholarship?

Paul Avey and Michael Desch have a “forthcoming article”: in _International Studies Quarterly,_ that supplements the ranking work that Erik summarizes below. The conclusions bear… Read More

Nate Jensen on publishing articles

This is a “piece”: that all political scientists interested in publishing articles in peer reviewed journals should read. Read More

Why Are Business Gurus Overconfident Jerks?

"Andrew":http://tmc.local/2013/09/12/the-writing-style-of-aggressive-business-gurus/ asks me to expand on this below - as it happens, I do have some thoughts that I couldn't shoehorn into the essay. He's also right that my ideas are influenced by the "Niall Ferguson debate": While there _are_ some good business writers - the best ones are practical sociologists, with a lot of interesting insights into how organizations and institutions work. Still, most business writing is bad, and some is quite extravagantly bad. My half-developed theory of this borrows from David Kreps' famous arguments about "corporate culture": (institutional access required). Kreps, a game theorist, is trying to figure out why and how "business reputation can be an asset":http://tmc.local/2012/01/13/google-david-kreps-and-the-dread-pirate-roberts-problem/. A lot of his answer has to do with corporate culture. We live in an unpredictable world, which means that firms cannot write 'complete contracts' e.g. with their employees, which would cover every possible contingency and eventuality. This might worry employees or contractors, who fear that in the event of an unpredictable occurrence, the firm will not stand by them. Their fears may lead them not to want to commit to the firm. Read More

Why Care About the O’Bagy Affair?

“Tom Ricks”: and “Dave Weigel”: partially defend Elizabeth O’Bagy, the think-tanker who pretended she had a doctorate from Georgetown. Ricks’ take is that Washington DC… Read More

SWIFT, the NSA and Glenn Greenwald

The most recent Greenwald document release – of a Powerpoint suggesting strongly that the NSA has a backdoor into the SWIFT financial messaging system –… Read More

How Slavery Changed the US South

Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell and Maya Sen find in a new paper that if it weren’t for the legacy of slavery, white Southerners today would… Read More

Risky political science

“Via Kevin Drum”: a “story”:,0,3977147,full.story about the political costs of certain kinds of political science research. When a pair of graduate students from little-known Brandman… Read More

NSF cancels funding round

As “Nature”: reports, the NSF has cancelled its target dates for this round of political science funding. As best as we currently know, the NSF… Read More

The NSA and Internet balkanization

Kevin Drum “argues”:, _contra_ John Naughton and James Fallows, that the NSA program won’t cause an ‘international uprising.’ bq. it’s really not clear to me… Read More