What We’re Reading

Or, how we’re spending our summer “vacations”…

  • Melonie Fullick on “Risk, responsibility, and public academics“. 
  • Writing intro textbooks is apparently more lucrative than we might have guessed. Buried in a story about a textbook publisher’s bankruptcy: “Greg Mankiw, a Harvard University professor who advised Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is owed $1.6 million in royalties, according to the bankruptcy filing.” Since Mankiw has been producing this textbook for well over a decade now, this suggests that the $1.6 million is only some small portion of what the textbook has garnered him over the years. Krugman flags this because — from what we can tell — he hates Mankiw. Mankiw provides a story that suggests he’ll get paid.
  • Barry Blechman on cutting strategic nukes: “Reducing the size of our strategic [nuclear] force by one-third would save a lot of money — funds that could potentially shore up conventional air, naval and ground forces being hollowed out by the sequester-driven budget cuts.”
  • “29%:The share of college undergraduates who are traditional students.” Here.
  • Reflections of an IR lecturer here: “We’re trained on how to give conference talks, which we’ll give perhaps four times a year (and the median performance there is still pretty bad), and extensively workshopped in giving job talks, which my generation will probably give (at the median) about three times. But lecturing, which is our most common vehicle for expressing scholarship, is never clearly discussed. What makes a good lecture? What is an appropriate amount of time to write a lecture about a subject you know well–or, as happens to us all, about which you know almost nothing?”
  • Roger Berkowitz reflects on the debates sparked by Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” newly reanimated by Margarethe von Trotta’s recent film. He argues that many of Arendt’s critics misread and oversimplify her argument, which retains immense relevance to contemporary politics.
  • Louis Hyman at Symposium Magazine talks about the how, when and why of writing the history of capitalism. In related news, some feminist writers are rediscovering (reemphasizing?) Karl Polanyi.
  • An older post on sexual assaults in Tahrir: “In Tahrir Square since Sunday, when protests against Morsi first began, there have been at least 169 counts of sexual mob crime.”
  • On social capital and the Nazis: “Towns with one standard deviation higher association density saw at least one-third faster growth in the strength of the Nazi Party. [A]ll types of associations – veteran associations and non-military clubs, ‘bridging’ and ‘bonding’ associations – positively predict NS party entry. These results suggest that social capital in Weimar Germany aided the rise of the Nazi movement that ultimately destroyed Germany’s first democracy.”
  • Morsi’s downfall hammers Hamas”  — Relations between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Hamas were not as warm as many had expected upon Morsi’s election, but his fall and the military’s return to power could spell trouble for the Gaza-based movement. Political instability in Egypt could also encourage instability and violence in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
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This entry was posted in What We're Reading by Louis M Wasser. Bookmark the permalink.

About Louis M Wasser

Louis, a now repentant former Cairo-based journalist who has returned to the bosom of the ivory tower, is currently a doctoral student in political science at Yale. His contributions to the blog will focus on the Middle East and North Africa, political violence, and natural resources, among other things.

One thought on “What We’re Reading

  1. Pingback: Friday’s Reading List | Smoke & Stir

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