Day: January 30, 2013

The Minerva Project: Time for a Disciplinary Appraisal?

MinervaA little over four years ago the U.S. Department of Defense issued its first Minerva grants. These often substantial awards have produced a significant number of publications by some of the “best and brightest” (including long-term Duck of Minerva guest blogger Josh Busby) in the field and, whether directly or indirectly, shaped the nature of (at least) contemporary security studies. But it seems to me that we haven’t had anything resembling a robust discussion about consequent costs and benefits to political science, international relations, and security studies.

A brief search online doesn’t turn up much. Sean Kay has a piece in Defense Horizons that praises the program. An older news-style piece in Science by Jeffrey Mervis suggests both why the discussion matters (“That type of funding is on a scale most social scientists have only dreamed about”) and why it might be difficult to have. There’s–and I almost hate to say this–predictable nastiness about the whole thing from some anthropologists. But other than that….

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