Tag Archives: pop culture

Links: Coase; End of IR Theory; Spying and Leaks; Twerking and Colonialism

endofhteory

Transaction Costs

  • Ronald Coase passed away on September 2. Here is a brief discussion of his most famous contributions, of which “transaction costs” matter most for political scientists.

The End of IR Theory?

  • In case you somehow missed it: The Duck of Minerva is running a symposium called “The End of IR Theory?” together with the European Journal of International Relations. It spans “twenty-five planned posts consisting mostly of teasers of articles in the special issues and responses to those articles”. Here is an overview of all blog posts, and you can find the special issue here.
  • Steve Saideman offers a related post, looking at the types of theorizing and hypothesis testing that are being published in IR journals. (Also see Wiebke’s posts in this blog.)

Spying and Leaking

“If the US has demonstrably lied to the EU about the circumstances under which it has been getting access to SWIFT, it will be hard for the EU to continue with the arrangement (and, possibly, a similar arrangement about sharing airline passenger data) without badly losing face.”

Twerking and Colonialism

Links: Pop Culture; Data; Fossil Fuel

Happy Ascension Day! (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Happy Ascension Day! (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

To the surprise of some members of the team, it’s a holiday in Germany. A great chance to catch up on some links…

  • At ISA, I really enjoyed a panel on using popular media to teach International Relations. Rhonda Callaway and Julie Harrelson-Stephens talked about employing the Hunger Games to illustrate IR theory, and Marco Fey and colleagues (from Frankfurt’s Peace Research Institute) applied Tannenwald’s “nuclear taboo” to Battlestar Galactica.
  • Not everyone was convinced — shouldn’t we spend more time teaching actual history instead? Yet, pop culture and social science seem to mix well: Jane Austen was a game theorist, many IR scholars love their sci-fi, and the zombie question is well-established by now…¬†(BSG link via the Duck)
  • Oh, and of course this is not limited to political science. Economists, too, like to think about important topics like how to feed all those orcs in Lord of the Rings, or transactions involving ‘military assets’ in Game of Thrones (spoiler alert!) …
  • Well, at least every minute spent analyzing fictional events helps to avoid silly mistake with your large-n analyses… in any case, Alex Tabarrok has some tips for researchers and readers of quantitative work.
  • Speaking of data analysis: I’m really intrigued by recent developments regarding data-driven journalism as well as new data sources for social scientists. Jonathan Mayer (of “Do Not Track” fame) just published part 2 of a set of data on U.S. legal rulings in a machine-readable format, and the “Global Dataset on Events, Location, and Tone” (GDELT) looks fascinating – although Jay Ulfelder says it’s not easily accessible just yet.
  • Finally, in case you’ve missed it, please read Charles Mann’s article in the Atlantic on the future of fossil fuels. (Plus: replies by Dan Drezner and Erik Voeten.)