The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Dear Friends of Patty

March 31, 2014

Dear friends of Patty,

The news is awful.  The second battle with leukemia is over, but this time, Patty lost.  The last effort to treat the disease failed, as she died last night.  I thought her friends in the IR business should know.

I found out about her struggle late during the first round of her fight, but was kept apprised via a community info-sharing/coordination group the second time.  It is clear that Patty was just as brave, stubborn, tough, and all that the second time, but it was apparently not enough.

Over the past year or two, I have been sending Patty silly pictures to try to lift her spirits.  It was all I could do from a distance.  That and promote her book.  And damn, it is a mighty fine book (I have changed my twitter and facebook avatars to her book), explaining the tradeoffs and dynamics involving American choices between alliances and coalitions of the willing.  I just wish she could have been promoting it at the ISA.

Of course, I wish I spent more time with Patty over the years, as she has been an awesome conference buddy.  I almost got the chance to be her colleague, but that job search did not work out for me so many years ago.  It would have been terrific, as she has been a fierce ally of mine even though we rarely connected–just at conferences.  She had a great sense of humor (which means she laughed at my jokes), was been such a voice of reason, and provided great service to the profession.  She had such a great spark of humanity.

I am already missing Patty.


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Steve Saideman is Professor and the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. He has written The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy and International Conflict; For Kin or Country: Xenophobia, Nationalism and War (with R. William Ayres); and NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (with David Auerswald), and elsewhere on nationalism, ethnic conflict, civil war, and civil-military relations.