The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Things I Learned at ISA

March 20, 2011

In descending order of seriousness but not necessarily importance:

1) According to a study presented at this workshop by Helen Turton (a whip-smart student at Exeter) the most commonly used methodological approach in the field is not quantitative analysis but rather interpretivism. Also (this from preliminary findings by Daniel Maliniak and Ryan Powers – I look forward to the published version): the most widely cited papers in the discipline of international relations are not the big boys of the theoretical canon [oh, yes, they’re all apparently boys, except Marty Finnemore] but rather a very specific set of niche studies on the democratic peace. The working paper is still in the vault pending revisions, but click here for their current web appendix with an absolutely *stellar* network visualization (click to enlarge).

2) Judging by the standing-room-only attendance at Stephanie Carvin’s zombie panel (plus subsequent bar-room talk and tweets), a comparable cult of niche studies on zombies appears to be in the works. Jesse Crane-Seeber‘s work is one example from the “zombie mainstreaming” school.

3) Sake apparently isn’t as hard on my system as tequila. This bodes well for future conferences.

4) Poker is more fun if you a) use Small Arms Survey playing cards, and b) make sure someone present actually knows how to manage a game properly. (Thanks Keith and Rob.)

5) Not that correlation is causation, but IR professionals and foreign policy bloggers apparently can’t go off the grid en masse for a few days without all hell breaking loose. I’m just saying…

[cross-posted at Lawyers, Guns and Money]

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Charli Carpenter is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is the author of 'Innocent Women and Children': Gender, Norms and the Protection of Civilians (Ashgate, 2006), Forgetting Children Born of War: Setting the Human Rights
Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond (Columbia, 2010), and ‘Lost’ Causes: Agenda-Setting in Global Issue Networks and the Shaping of Human Security (Cornell, 2014). Her main research interests include national security ethics, the protection of civilians, the laws of war, global agenda-setting, gender and political violence, humanitarian affairs, the role of information technology in human security, and the gap between intentions and outcomes among advocates of human security.