Steve Saideman

Under Review: Cite This!

by on 2014-10-18- Leave a reply

The boon and bane of our academic enterprise is that we get feedback all the time on our work.  Our work is better for it--that the hack-iest stuff I read is always stuff that is not submitted to any kind of refereeing process and relies instead on editors who seem to be blind to the hack-ness.   The bane is that, well, rejection and criticism can not only delay publication but also hurt feelings.  When well done, reviews further the enterprise.  However, sometimes, reviews seem to make the authors dance in relatively unproductive ways.  There have been lots of tweets and posts complaining about robustness checks--that reviewers have been asking authors to submit dozens (sometimes hundreds) of additional analyses.

My grievance du jour is something else--reviews that focus on stuff that one "should have cited."

Continue reading

Belated Friday Nerd Blogging: Scottish Secession Edition

by on 2014-09-14- Leave a reply

I am not a fan of Scottish independence, so I thought we should get equal time from the Yes/Aye side:

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: NATO Week!

by on 2014-09-05- Leave a reply

I have been lax in my Friday Nerd Blogging duties lately.  Partly because I have been so obsessed with NATO and its summit.  Now that the communiques are launched, it is time to relax and embrace that fave NATO song:

Continue reading

NATO: Silly Proposals and Enduring Realities

by on 2014-08-23- 2 Comments

I was going to post about my talk in Toronto on NATO , but now I have a slightly different NATO post to write: a response to this piece by Anne Applebaum proposing that Obama magically fix NATO.  Given that the title of my talk was “The Present and Future of NATO: More of the Same,” it is inevitable that I would be a skeptic of Applebaum's piece.  

Continue reading

Thinking About Governments and Violence

by on 2014-08-14- 1 Comment

I got into an extended twitter discussion about the 1992 LA riots.  Why?  Because that event helped to inform much of my thinking about ethnic conflict and because I see in Ferguson some key similarities despite the on-going events being about police aout of control rather than riots.  How so?

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: Stata and Death

by on 2014-08-08- Leave a reply

Fun post that sorts the patterns of life and death in Westeros and beyond.

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: Force for Change

by on 2014-07-18- Leave a reply

A depressing series of news days lately.  What can make us feel good?  Jon Stewart?  Stephen Colbert?  Star Wars?  How about all three?

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: Laugh It Up Fuzzball Edition

by on 2014-07-11- Leave a reply

What epitomizes American summer more than baseball?  Star Wars!  Well, Star Wars + baseball:
Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: Independence Day Edition

by on 2014-07-04- Leave a reply

Silly sci-fi covered in patriotism sauce?  There can be only one speech we can post here:

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging Extra: GoT Games

by on 2014-06-13- Leave a reply

Too good and with the finale coming up, we need to double dip:

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: GoT Music

by on 2014-06-13- Leave a reply

With the finale of this season of Game of Thrones upon us, I thought this take on the theme might be a suitable Friday Nerd entry.

Continue reading

Path Dependence, Iraq Edition

by on 2014-06-12- 3 Comments

With the fall of Mosul to the jihadists of Syria and Iraq, there is much blame-casting to be had.  Some are blaming Obama for not keeping a residual force in Iraq although it is not clear that a small US force would have kept the Iraqi military from breaking.

This always, always frustrates me because it ignores what the US faced in 2009--the accumulation of dynamics produced by the bad decisions of the past.  In this case, if people remember, there were many stories where Iraqi elites said two things: yes, we want the U.S. to stay, but no, we cannot say that in public.  Why?

Continue reading

And The Winner Is?

by on 2014-05-27- 5 Comments

Obviously, too soon to tell.  But with the new Obama announcement setting an enddate-ish, my nominee might just be:

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: Preparing for the Future or the Past

by on 2014-05-23- Leave a reply

I was a fan of X-Men long before I was a fan of Poli Sci.  So, I am eagerly awaiting the chance to see Days of Future Past, which may or may not do kind things to one of the very best X-tales. +

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: Godzilla Edition

by on 2014-05-16- Leave a reply

Brian Cranston and Godzilla apparently did not get along that well:

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging Part Two: Who Says There is a Gap?

by on 2014-05-02- Leave a reply

One of the constant refrains one will hear in civil-military relations is that there is a gap between the civilians and the military--a deep, wide gap in values, perceptions and so on.  Well, here is some proof (not great video) that the gap is over-rated:

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: Make Mine Marvel

by on 2014-05-02- Leave a reply

This summer may be the most Marvelous yet with Captain America 2, Spider-Man 2, X-Men Days of Future Past (otherwise X-Men First Class 2) and Guardians of the Galaxy.  Sure, not all are by Marvel Studios but all are based on Marvel Characters.

Continue reading

Doing the Stability-Instability Dance

by on 2014-04-26- 2 Comments

The stability-instability paradox is a concept from nuclear deterrence land: that if two sides both have nuclear weapons that can survive a first strike, it might just create deterrence at the strategic level AND free up both sides to engage in violence at lower levels.  Sounds just like an air-headed theory that would never happen in reality because, you know, NUKES!*

* To be clear, I have not studied deterrence theory closely since grad school, so I may not have this entirely right, but I am pretty sure I have the basics.

Continue reading

Friday Nerd Blogging: Exceptional That Proves the Rule

by on 2014-04-18- Leave a reply

I stopped collecting Spider-man long ago when it got all clone-tastic.  I tend to hate TV/movies/comic books that use clones in their plots.  However, there is one exception

Continue reading

Why I Participate At Political Science Rumors

by on 2014-04-10- 8 Comments

The first rule of the internet is not to read the comments for any op-ed one posts.  Why?  Because the cover of anonymity allows people to say awful stuff.  Of course, Twitter amply demonstrates that people will say awful things on the internet even when one can be clearly identified.  Anyhow, over the past several years, a series of websites have been gathering spots for both aspiring and experienced political scientists to exchange in rumors and opinions about the profession (to be clear, anyone can post so it might be economist students seeking to troll or other folks entirely).  Given yesterday's post about PSR, I thought I would explain my presence there.

Continue reading