The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

The APSA Drinking Game

September 8, 2010

The following, unless otherwise specified, result in the taking of one drink for every observation/sighting at the Annual Conference of the American Political Science Association. The Duck of Minerva is not responsible for any liver damage or unfortunate choice of panel questions that may result after participating in this game.

  1. Someone wearing their conference badge at 2am or more than a mile from the actual conference site.
  2. Bow-ties.
  3. Observing two people talking where one person is looking over their shoulder for someone more important.
  4. Someone carrying their own book around.
  5. Young scholar gushing in the present of a senior scholar (+1 drink bonus if that senior scholar is looking over his/her shoulder for someone more important as per #3).
  6. Running into someone who knows you, but you have no idea who they are. (Alternatively, going up to someone you know to talk to them and then realizing that they have no idea who you are. +1 if they are looking for someone more important as per #3).
  7. Running into your grad school nemesis/an old flame /unfortunate conference one-night stand.
  8. Any question longer than 2 minutes, or where any individual actually has no question but just wants to talk a lot. (+1 if there is less than one minute left before the lunch break starts.)
  9. A panel with no questions.
  10. A panel where the number of panelists outnumber the audience (Easy!)
  11. Finding someone who goes to a panel every session. (Hard!)
  12. Academic fist-fight (where insult to a scholar where he/she is in the room); Academic catfight (where the insult to a scholar is given where he/she is at the conference, but not in the room) (+1 drink for actual fist-fight).
  13. Hung-over presenter (+1 if possibly still drunk).
  14. iPad (+1 if academic is clearly searching for ‘illicit material’ on observed iPad)
  15. A poster presentation that was clearly designed the night before in a fit of panic (ie: with crayons on hotel bar napkins.)
  16. Panelist drinking something that is clearly other than water (+1 if any condition in #13 applies).
  17. Exhibit hall stalker (someone clearly trying to meet all of the people they came to see in front of the book hall entrance or beside the Cambridge University Press booth (+1 if eating all of the chocolates from CQ Press).
  18. Desperate/lonely Liberty Fund/Heritage Institute representative trying to make eye-contact with you.
  19. Finding a book that you have endorsed in the book hall that you actually haven’t read.
  20. Meeting someone not actually giving a paper on American electoral studies.

I would like to thank the many contributors to this list which was established over the course of the weekend at the APSA Conference in Washington DC. I’m assuming most would like to stay anonymous for various reasons. Suggestions welcome – particularly for the ISA edition that will be coming this March.

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Stephanie Carvin is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Her research interests are in the area of international law, security, terrorism and technology. Currently, she is teaching in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, technology and warfare and foreign policy.

Stephanie holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and published her thesis as Prisoners of America’s Wars: From the Early Republic to Guantanamo (Columbia/Hurst, 2010). Her most recent book is Science, Law, Liberalism and the American Way of Warfare: The Quest for Humanity in Conflict” (Cambridge, 2015) co-authored with Michael J. Williams. In 2009 Carvin was a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University Law School and worked as a consultant to the US Department of Defense Law of War Working Group. From 2012-2015, she was an analyst with the Government of Canada focusing on national security issues.
Stacie Goddard