Tagged: phd problems

Mathis Lohaus

Links: Grad School Pros and Cons; Job Search; Understanding Putin

He studied law, but seems interested in IR. (Source: Kremlin.ru via Wikimedia)
He studied law, but seems interested in IR. (Source: Kremlin.ru via Wikimedia)

In an article from 2011, Karen Kelsky (who works as a consultant to graduate students) criticizes academic supervisors. According to her, professors often fail to advise their grad students on planning publications and their career choices.

Another more recent piece introduces a new approach for university career centers. Basically, the idea is to break up the division between the job markets inside and outside of academia: “If graduate students are to maximize their efforts, then academic departments and career services need to pool theirs and work together”.

But should you even be working towards a PhD? Foreign Policy just published a very interesting discussion with people from American IR departments and foreign policy schools. The subtitle: “Do policymakers listen? Should you get a Ph.D.? And where are all the women?” It also has a fascinating graph on which IR scholars are valued by foreign policy practitioners, which reminded me of last year’s discussion about IR and the public sphere.

Dan Drezner wrote about whether to go to grad school in 2012. His piece focuses on women in academia, but also has a couple of interesting links to the discussion in the American blogosphere.

OK, so (against a lot of good advice) you have decided to pursue an academic career. The bad news is: from now on, your writing style will be terrible. The good news is: nobody will notice, since most papers are hardly read after publication. [Note that the article implies that the number of citations equals the number of readers, which is not fully convincing.]

Now, to something completely different. I enjoyed these two pieces about Vladimir Putin: First, Tyler Cowen offers four different ways to “model” Putin’s behavior, pointing out that “[a]ssumptions about Putin’s rationality will shape prediction”.

Second, Eric Posner analyzes the claims made in the Russian president’s speech to the Duma: “Vladimir Putin, international lawyer”. The crucial bit of analysis: Putin has signaled that “the United States claims for itself as a great power a license to disregard international law that binds everyone else, and Russia will do the same in its sphere of influence where the United States cannot compete with it”.

Sören Stapel

Links: Open Access, Teaching, Painful PhD Problems, Quantitative Methods, Maps, and Movies

With the summer break still going on and some more substantive blog posts in the pipeline and waiting to be written, here again some links that I found interesting over the last two weeks – all of them more or less related to the profession.

Publishing and open access. Over at the Disorder of Things, two related articles take up the open access problematique / discussion. The first article has a list presenting seven propositions on open access. This article is followed by an interview with Eva Erman, chief editor of Ethics & Global Politics, a fully open journal. As we all have a more or less clear idea of how running a polsci / IR journal looks like, this interview nicely shows what it means to edit an open access journal.

Teaching. On Inside Higher Ed, Andrew Pegoda has a great essay on lessons learned in college teaching and what he has experienced over the last couple of years. (h/t to DuckPM; in early July, he also published is own thoughts on teaching introduction to international relations)

Methods. After Phil Schrodt revealed he would soon retire, my twitter feed literally exploded. That’s how I noticed a very great article he presented at APSA 2010 proposing the Seven Deadly Sins of Contemporary Quantitative Political Analysis. His seven points are:

1. Greed: Kitchen sink models that ignore the e ffects of collinearity;
2. Pride: Pre-scienti c explanation in the absence of prediction;
3. Sloth: Reanalyzing the same data sets until they scream;
4. Lust: Using complex methods without understanding the underlying assumptions;
5. Wrath: Interpreting frequentist statistics as if they were Bayesian;
6. Gluttony: Linear statistical monoculture at the expense of alternative structures;
7. Envy: Confusing statistical controls and experimental controls

The APSA paper is more fun to read since he provides lots of pop culture allusions and is way more sarcastic than the more polished version he will publish in the Journal of Peace Research, but the latter one is a bit shorter (here). Apparantly, he also plans to expand it into a book.

Fun facts and trivia – it still summer and the more fun stuff should not come off too short:

In case someone is going to ask me once again how / whether my PhD project over the last year, I will just forward this list of 25 deeply painful problems of a PhD student. (h/t to Tobias)

You’re more of the visual learner? You want to know more about the world? Here is a great collection of comparisons portrayed in maps, i.e. countries invaded by Britain or global internet usage based on time of day. (h/t to Zoe)

And, finally, over at Marginal Revolution, two movies have been promoted because they approach the brutality and personal consequences of killing from two highly interesting, but very different point of views. Check out this very succinct review. (h/t to Mathis)