Field Work

I will be in Orange County, CA and Seattle, WA the last week of May and first week of June conducting field work for my dissertation. Should be fun “practicing history without a license” as my co-chair is fond of saying. But in truth, I think good empirical research on foreign policy needs archival work now more than ever. I can only show so much with a formal model or regression; as important as those are to rigorous social science, getting into the historical weeds is equally as essential because it shows us which of the variables we thought were important actually are.

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MPSA 2017

Seminary Coop

Midwest post-mortem

Last week I attended the Midwest Political Science Association annual conference in Chicago. AS conferences go, I was pleased with the event and the payoff was well worth the time and energy it cost to attend.

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Su on International Religious Freedom

Wonderful new book, Exporting Freedom (Anna Su 2016), on the rise of religious freedom in American foreign policy. Anna Su looks at the construction of the international legal regime during the 20th century and finds that the efforts of promoting international religious freedom long predate the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. Although I’m skeptical that some of the early cases could rightly be read into the history of American foreign policy regarding religious freedom, I am open to persuasion and, more importantly, she didn’t write this book on the grand strategy of international religious freedom.

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