The Duck of Minerva

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ISA Blogging Update: Committee Reports Recommendations

January 5, 2015

Last winter, the ISA executive committee proposed new rules for editors of ISA journals that would restrict their blogging.  This led to a pretty hostile reaction.  At the ISA meeting, the proposal was sent to committee.  The committee has circulated its report and recommendations.

What do they recommend?  Basically, the recommendations:

  • suggest some language that would clarify that all ISA officers, including editors, would expected to be professional in their various endeavors.
  • indicate that expectations for blogging would be the same as the expectations for everything else ISA officers do.
  • that there would be no need for disclaimers on blogs since this would really mean that ISA officers would have to put disclaimers on everything they do.

Will this proposal pass at the Governing Council in February?  I expect so, since it largely reflects the tenor of the discussion last winter, and it is hard to see that a majority would emerge to revise these proposals.  I could be wrong.  And, no, I will not be in the room this time, as I am not a member of the Governing Council this year.  Instead, I will be outside the room, reading to be consulted and queried when they consider the proposal to form the Online Media Caucus.

Overall, I am pleased with this outcome.  I may have to re-read it a few times and talk to folks, but the basic idea–that we expect everyone to be professional and that blogging is essentially just another form of outreach–seems to be quite good indeed.

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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.