Day: June 24, 2013

Welcome Changes in America’s Funemployment Rate

QMAs the Great Slump continues to grind down Western twenty-somethings, some welcome news: America’s funemployment rate is slowing.

Funemployment, as the Los Angeles Times put it, is the trend by which twenty- and thirty-somethings, finding themselves cast aside from their temporary and entry-level jobs, turn instead toward self-improvement.

Of course, this information might be unwelcome: perhaps Generation Y is merely discovering that there’s nothing fun about unemployment. That turn toward bitterness might explain the rising popularity of Old Economy Steve.

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Call for Participants: Interpretive and Relational Research Methodologies

“Interpretive and Relational Research Methodologies”
A One-Day Graduate Student Workshop
Sponsored by the International Studies Association-Northeast Region
9 November, 2013 • Providence, Rhode Island

International Studies has always been interdisciplinary, with scholars drawing on a variety of qualitative and quantitative techniques of data collection and data analysis as they seek to produce knowledge about global politics. Recent debates about epistemology and ontology have advanced the methodological openness of the field, albeit mainly at a meta-theoretical level. And while interest in techniques falling outside of well-established comparative and statistical modes of inference has been sparked, opportunities for scholars to discuss and flesh out the operational requirements of these alternative routes to knowledge remain relatively infrequent.

This ninth annual workshop aims to address this lacuna, bringing together faculty and graduate students in a pedagogical environment. The workshop will focus broadly on research approaches that differ in various ways from statistical and comparative methodologies: interpretive methodologies, which highlight the grounding of analysis in actors’ lived experiences and thus produce knowledge phenomenologically and hermeneutically; holistic case studies and forms of process-tracing that do not reduce to the measurement of intervening variables; and relational methodologies, which concentrate on how social networks and intersubjective discursive processes concatenate to generate outcomes.

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Agree with Heinlein’s ‘Citizens vs. Civilians’? then this US Military History is for you

Starship-Troopers-starship-troopers-13578603-1024-768

I was asked by a participating member of the H-Diplo/ISSF network to review The American Culture of War. Here is the original link to my review, but it’s off in some far corner of the internet, so I thought I’d repost it here. In brief, I found the book a pretty disturbing rehearsal of right-wing tropes about the military in a democracy, especially from an academic, and there’s no way I’d ever use it with undergrads as Routledge suggests. The underlying moral driver is the ‘chicken hawk’ principle – that those without military experience are not morally qualified to lead DoD and should otherwise defer to uniformed military. At one point the author actually says that, because the US Army ‘distrusts’ Congress, the Army should ‘guide’ Congress. Yikes. Do Americans (and the author) really need to be told civilian authority runs the other way, and that that’s in the Constitution? I find that sort of military elitism democratically terrifying and reflective of the post-9/11 militarization of America that is now the single most important reason, IMO, to end the war on terror.

I would just add the following update to the review: Both the book and review were written before Petraeus’ resignation, but it should come as no surprise that the text lionizes Petraeus. His resignation is therefore a pleasing schadenfreude for the frightening post-9/11 military hero-worship of the US right. Here we go:

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Monday Morning Linkage

Duck and DroneHey.  Here’s your linkage…

Data Mining

Drones

Disasters

Discontent

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