People often claim that publishing in US outlets is be perceived to be optimal, and English is the lingua franca in IR. But those from a non Engliish-speaking background are confronted with the problem of deciding whether the paper should be written in English (and be published in English journals) or whether it is more advisable to write in one’s native language.
In the last edition of the German flagship IR journal ‘Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen (ZIB)‘, Matthias Albert and Michael Zürn issued a plea to also publish in German. They neither say that one should publish in one’s native language exclusively, nor that the ratio of English language to native language authored papers should be determined by any arbitrary rule. IR scholars should rather publish both in English and in their native language. It’s a great piece, and I suggest reading it, but I also want to address some bits and pieces that I find hard to swallow. Continue reading →
There are many “facts of (IR) life” that need to be explained to beginning graduate students–those regarding professional development, comprehensive exams, publishing, etc. But I don’t think I’m alone when I write that the biggest hurdle to finishing the degree is the dissertation.
What (meaningful) advice can I give graduate students about the dissertation stage? By no means am I an expert on the dissertation process, but listed here are a few things I wish I could have told myself early on.
In the New York Review of Books, Mark Danner has a captivating article on Dick Cheney’s legacy: First, the “war on terror” has changed the United States; human rights are ignored and the “dark side” of military and intelligence operations has been vastly expanded. Second, the decisions after 9/11 have changed the face of the world, and not in a good way. Danner then goes on and paints a picture of the man himself that will send chills down your spine:
[T]here is a kind of stark amoral grandeur to this answer that takes one’s breath away. Just as he was likely the most important and influential American official in making the decision to withhold the protection of the Geneva Conventions from detainees, Cheney was likely the most important and influential American when it came to imposing an official government policy of torture. It is quite clear he simply cannot, or will not, acknowledge that such a policy raises any serious moral or legal questions at all.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have published their 2014 World Press Freedom Index. As they have done in earlier years, the NGO called out the United States: “Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it.”
Traditionally, RSF rankings are more strongly influenced by individual cases and physical security than the report prepared by Freedom House (FH). Their “Freedom of the Press” is usually updated in May.
The 2014 version of FH’s “Freedom in the World” report (on political rights and civil liberties), however, has just been published.
This column provides new evidence from 76,046 papers published during 1985-2004 in the top 202 economics journals. It shows that GDP per capita accounts for 75% of the variation in the country-focus of publications, suggesting the overrepresentation of the US is not an anomaly. Yet a closer look at top-five journals reveals a US bias that cannot be explained by data or researcher quality.
This topic will look familiar to loyal followers of the blog. The paper by Das and Do adds something new (at least for me) in that it looks at which areas are the subject of academic research in addition to studying where the authors of published papers are located. The (gated) full text can be accessed here.
At the “Thesis Whisperer” blog, David Alexander reflects on finishing his PhD thesis “by publication”, i.e., by putting out a number of (published) academic papers rather than working towards a single research monograph. That’s very common in many fields, but might be food for thought for our readers with a European political science background…
every two weeks the CGP posts a question related to an important topic in current affairs – and presents short but profound comments from distinguished International Relations experts and practitioners from all over the world
Speaking of new blogs: Dan Nexon, of Duck of Minerva fame, now runs a personal blog called Hylaean Flow. Much of it will probably deal with insights from his role as editor for ISQ and the publishing process in general (via the Duck, where they also posted the new Game of Thrones trailer, just in case you missed it)
Tyler Cowen presents opinions from different people on “Which countries will have the next financial crisis?” If you’re a citizen, resident or investor in one of the following, now might be the time to worry: Denmark, Sweden or Norway (high private household debt), Singapore (a lot of loans), Malaysia or the Philippines (economic bubble), Ukraine (although Russia helped), Canada (real estate bubble), Thailand, Turkey, Greece, India or Indonesia (Tyler’s picks).
One key question is the relative worry weights you assign to private debt vs. bad institutions.
What about the rest of the world? The eurozone is seeing ongoing credit contraction and perhaps deflation too. Japan just announced a surprisingly large and apparently persistent current account deficit. And the United States? Things look pretty good, but in fact by the standards of historical timing we are soon due for another recession.
Gold medals won by China in the Sochi Winter Olympics
Oscars won by American Hustle
Days the temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Washington, D.C.
Mentions of the word “progress” by Barack Obama at his State of the Union Address
I’ll pick my answers after finishing this blog post… (via Tobias Bunde)
A far more serious forecasting exercise was just published by Jay Ulfelder. He and Ben Valentino used a survey to plot the likelihood of “state-led mass killings” around the world:
It is very important to understand that the scores being mapped and plotted here are not probabilities of mass-killing onset. Instead, they are model-based estimates of the probability that the country in question is at greater risk than any other country chosen at random. In other words, these scores tell us which countries our crowd thinks we should worry about more, not how likely our crowd thinks a mass-killing onset is.
Also note that less than 150 people took part in the survey. Still, the method is neat.
In another post, Jay sheds some light on how and when he is going to post his 2014 forecasts for coups. Again, it turns out that attaching probabilities to very rare events is extremely tough. The post also illustrates that choosing a data source can be driven more by administrative reasons (who publishes when, how often, and how transparently) than by trust in its quality (or: optimal fit for the purpose)…
What are the best International Relations journals? How do we know if one journal is better than another? And how should this affect your decision about where to send a manuscript?
Phillips considers surveys (TRIP) and citation indexes (Thomson-Reuters, Google, etc.) that might be relevant to come up with a ranking. You won’t be surprised by the top 10. But the data, the discussion and follow-up questions, and the (critical) comments are well worth reading…
John Quiggin pokes fun at the recent discovery of two Earth-like planets “a mere 1200 light years away”. So, time for space travel? Well we shouldn’t bet on getting there any time soon, since (assuming linear scaling) “the total cost comes out roughly equal to the value of current world GDP accumulated over the life of the universe”. Make sure to read the comments, unless you’re busy making travel plans…
Finally, I’d like to recommend two items that have nothing to do with International Relations, but everything with the nature of “proof” and “truth” in academia: