Day: May 15, 2013

A Global Survey of IR Students – Might be Worth Pitching in your Classes

Daryl Morini, an IR PhD candidate at the University of Queensland whom I know, has put together an interesting global survey for undergraduate and graduate students of international relations. It looks pretty thorough and might make a pretty interesting student couter-point to TRIP. Eventually the goal is an article on our students’ attitudes toward the discipline; here is the full write-up of  the project at e-IR. So far as I know, nothing like this has been done before (please comment if that is incorrect), so this strikes me as the interesting sort of student work we should support. Daryl’s made an interesting effort to use Twitter as a simulation tool in IR, so I am happy to pitch this survey for him. Please take a look; Daryl may be contacted here.


Women’s Income, Household Chores, Divorce, and the Need for a Norm Cascade

In between making organic cupcakes for my daughters’ school, completing a grant application, tending my organic vegetables, and finishing an R&R for a journal, I came across this little gem of a working paper (thanks to Freakonomics Blog).[1] This new research shows the following:

“Couples where the wife earns more than the husband are less satisfied with their marriage and are more likely to divorce. Finally, based on time use surveys, the gender gap in non-market work is larger if the wife earns more than the husband” (abstract).

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A Terrific Piece on “The MOOC Moment”

Via a Facebook friend, an analysis of the sound and fury surrounding MOOCs by Aaron Bady:

Where this urgency comes from, however, might be less important than what it does to our sense of temporality, how experience and talk about the way we we are, right now, in “the MOOC moment.” In the MOOC moment, it seems to me, it’s already too late, always already too late. The world not only will change, but it has changed. In this sense, it’s isn’t simply that “MOOCs are the future,” or online education ischanging how we teach,” in the present tense. Those kinds of platitudes are chokingly [sic] omnipresent, but the interesting thing is the fact that the future is already now, that it has already changed how we teach. If you don’t get on the MOOC bandwagon, yesterday, you’ll have already been left behind. The world has already changed. To stop and question that fact is to be already belated, behind the times.

There’s a striking similarity between this kind of rhetoric and early globalization discourse. Indeed, one of the best ways to force change is to argue that the transformation is already happening.

I very much recommend reading the whole piece and not simply the excerpts I’ve culled from it. Bady does a much better — and more systematic — job than I did of linking together what Kohen calls “edutainment,” TED talks, and MOOCs. But among the many gems in the essay is this critical insight about MOOC discourse: Continue reading


ISA International Ethics Book Award

The International Ethics section of the International Studies Association announces its annual book award competition for 2014. The award is given every year at the International Ethics section business meeting at the ISA Convention. Next year, the convention is in Toronto, March 26-29.

The prize will be an award of $200 along with a plaque to honor the author’s work.

Books eligible for the award must fall into the broadly defined category of international ethics. This includes, but is not limited to, books on international descriptive ethics, international normative ethics, metaethics, comparative ethics, international religious ethics, international political theory, and international legal theory. Books not clearly falling into one of the above categories may be considered if members of the Selection Committee agree that it is worthy of consideration. Eligible books can be either single- or multi-authored. Edited collections will not be eligible. Textbooks, translations and memoirs are not eligible.  (Please see a list of past winners below.)

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Abenomics is a Not an Excuse for Comfort-Women Denialism

protesting-comfort-women-by-bloggerswithoutbordersOne of the traditional responsibilities of sane conservative parties is to write-out of respectability and legitimacy the scary, nut-job right-wing fringe. There can’t be a ‘no-enemies-on-the-right’ strategy, or you wind up with anti-Semites, racists, and black-helicopter guys grabbing all the media attention and delegitimizing wider conservative goals. In the US, Bill Buckley explicitly intended the National Review to screen out the John Birch Society and the American Mercury. In Germany, the CDU/CSU keeps the nationalist/neo-Nazi fringe at bay. (I worked for both GOP and CSU legislators in the past, so I’ve actually seen this in action. The late-night/AM newsradio listeners come out of the woodwork to tell you all about Jewish banker conspiracies and stuff like that.) In Japan, that means the LDP has to tamp down the endless Pacific War revisionism that keeps popping up. And for as much as I think Abenomics is an important Keynesian antidote to the right-wing monetarist-austerity hysteria of the last five years, it’s also increasingly clear that Abe’s victory allowed the Japanese version of the Birchers to get all sorts of air time they shouldn’t.

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