The Duck of Minerva


17 May 2005

Because everyone is doing it. I mean everyone. Even John Ikenberry is going to be blogging at Plus, all the cool kids are non-anonymous now.2

Who am I? I’m an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. My official webpage is pretty spare, but it does have a picture of me looking kind of ‘old-school Jewish socialist’ in Copenhagen. In 2005-2006 I’ll be a fellow at the Mershon Institute at Ohio State University.

I have a doctorate in Political Science from Columbia University. I majored in International Relations and minored in Political Theory. Most of my work is in International Relations Theory, and I tend to study historical international politics, which means I lack the kind of expertise that translates well into commentary on daily events. It makes sense, therefore, for this blog to be occasional in nature [update: now that the Duck is a collective, that looks unlikely…]. Since I’m not tenured, and have a lot of academic work to do, that seems about right to me.

My politics are, when push comes to shove, New Deal Liberal. Most of the time I struggle to reconcile my social-democratic and libertarian tendencies, which is no small task.

I once described my views on foreign policy as “New Republic”-ish. I am less of a liberal hawk than I used to be, in no small measure thanks to the rise of neconservativism. I have developed grave doubts about aggressive democracy promotion, yet I remain very much in favor of humanitarian interventions, especially in the face of genocide. At the same time, I find myself increasingly drawn to international-political realism. We’ll see how this all turns out.

I enjoy speculative fiction, a wide variety of music, and I am a casual follower of Major League Baseball. Yes, I am a nerd… but a proud one.3

1My wife suggests that blogging has now “jumped the shark.” What she means is that blogs were once like the early world wide web – a place to find cool and different stuff – but are now turning into the adolescent world wide web. Blogs are increasingly a distribution system for experts, journalists, and other aspects of conventional media; alternatively, they are hubs for traditional on-line communities (e.g., Daily Kos).
2Yes, I do have an anonymous blog. No, I’m not telling.
3My book chapter on the Borg and American foreign policy is cited in the Wikipedia.