The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Still here….

October 18, 2005

Astute readers will already have noted the lack of new content here since last Thursday. I can’t speak for the rest of the crew, but I’ve been swamped with genuine academic work. I expect a flurry of posting will start again within the next few days.

In the meantime, a very few links:

* I suspect the Reuter’s editor who came up with this title must have been feeling a bit punchy.

* My colleagues at Georgetown, Robert Lieber and Tony Arend, discuss Bush foreign policy over at the Mortara Center blog. Check it out.

* Henry Farrell just posted a very interesting set of comments on a working paper written by Glyn Morgan and Margarita Estevez-Abe. The paper, and Henry’s comments, concern the normative evaluation of European welfare states.

My general observation about these issues is inspired by a terrific talk by Sheri Berman that I attended last year. The problem with European-style social democracy is not inherent to social democratic values, but that Social Democrats are too often concerned with preserving a set of institutions (the European welfare state that developed in the post-war period) despite the fact that these institutions may now be outmoded; in classic Weberian form, they have confused procedural means with ultimate ends. That is not to say that many Social Democrats are uninterested in reform, or that they do not implement reforms. Rather, Social Democrats have not yet developed a coherent program for reforming European economic and social policies based on social-democratic principles.

Sound like anyone on this side of the Atlantic?

P.S. Thanks to all those of you who suggested blogs to link to. I have much updating to do.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.