Day: January 10, 2013

Coauthorship – Like Bad Marriages and Struggling Nonprofits

It’s that time of year again: the time when professors team up with their best buddies/colleagues/random-people-who-publish-in-the-same-area and endeavor to write a brilliant ISA/Midwest/APSA paper.  At least, that’s what the spring semester always means for me.  I like working by myself, don’t get me wrong, but I also enjoy working with others. And, I don’t think I’m alone here: coauthored work is quickly becoming the norm in political science.  In general, coauthored work gets in better journals and ends up getting cited more (See: this,  this, or this, for example).  That makes sense, right?  Two (or more) very smart people, working together on their very smart idea.  Like marriage partnerships, a coauthor relationship allows you to join forces for a common goal: at least 1 “offspring,” preferably placed in a top-10 journal.

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Get the Lead Out?

Lead bullets

Yesterday, Dan Drezner’s “one post about American gun violence” explicitly linked the post-Newtown debate about gun violence to Kevin Drum’s interesting and provocative Mother Jones article on the disturbing relationship between lead (Pb) in the environment and criminal violence. “If the White House is smart, they will take, verbatim, Kevin Drum’s suggested policy proposals for eliminating lead from our nation’s homes and topsoil.”

Like many of us at the Duck, Drezner is an IR scholar who frequently blogs about foreign policy. However, as a group, we are somewhat hesitant about entering into debates about domestic political issues that are remote from our primary areas of expertise. In this case, however, Drezner quite laudably attempts to find seemingly reasonable common ground between the anti-gun left and the gun lobby. Specifically, he plausibly asserts that a wide array of interest and identity groups should support a proposal to reduce lead in the environment: Continue reading


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