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.)

About Mathis Lohaus

Postdoctoral research associate at University of Greifswald. I have a PhD from Freie Universität Berlin, where I was a member of the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (BTS).

I’m interested in international anti-corruption, comparative regionalism, international law, human rights, international political economy, learning about macro economics, and of course pictures of kittens.

More information and contact details can be found on my website.

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