Wednesday, December 28, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Note: As I receive additional information, I am updating the table. I also have added some additional commentary, and may add more.

Speaking of SPSA papers, I have been working for some time (mentioned early on here) on determining how many political scientists blog. We know that there are a large number of bloggin’ law profs–see Concurring Opinion’s Law Professor Blogger Census 3.1. Indeed, several of the top blogs are written by law prfos: Glenn Reynolds, Stephen Bainbridge, Ann Althouse, and Eugene Volokh to name a few).

While I am of the opinion that blogging is a fantastic medium for academics, there isn’t the same sort of blogging presence for political scientists, despite the obvious synergy between studying politics and blogging. Of course, the obvious exception to that statement is Dan Drezner.

I won’t even call this a full census, as I have not completed the work. I am posting to show preliminary results and in the hopes that those listed will correct me if I am in error, help fill in the blanks, and point out any sites that I may have missed.

I have collected data on blogging polisci grad students and also on those with polisci Ph.D.’s who aren’t currently working in academia (e.g., James Joyner, Andrew Sullivan, and Tom Grant). However, that information is incomplete, and therefore not included at this time.

Indeed, operationalizing “blogging political scientist” isn’t as easy as I wanted. Originally I was looking only for individuals with Ph.D’s in political science, and teaching in a political science department. However, there are those who are not in polisci departments (e.g., Paul Brewer), those who are in polisci departments, but whose degree is not in polisci (e.g., Mike Munger) and those who neither have a degree specifically in polisci and also do not work in a polsci department, per se (e.g., Mark A. R. Kleiman).

At the moment I have excluded those with doctorates in philosophy who teach in the philosophy departments, yet teach political philosophy. There are also some example of methodologists working in the area of politics that I have not decided how to classify.

Update: I would note that not all bloggers are created equal, insofar as some of the persons on the list blog quite a bit more than others. On many of the group blogs there is a dominant blogger (or bloggers) and then others who only contribute occasionally. Also, there are several political science professors who have posted once at the Huffington Post (for example: Graham Allison). However, since Allison, and a handful of others, posted only once, and those posts were months ago, there didn’t meet the minimal threshold for being a “blogger.”

I would consider the purest form of blogging to be blogs set up and run by an individual and regularly updated. Still, establishing a precise threshold is difficult to do, so as long a blogger demonstrated some level of ongoing activity or potential for activity, I included them in the list.

If a blog was dead for some time, or if a person only posted a single post, I excluded them from the list.

Here’s the breakdown based on academic rank:

Non-tenure track510.00%

Update: Information above changed to reflect that one member of the list caegorized as “post-doc” should be listed an “Assistant.”

Here’s the census, to date:

Brewer, Paul The Public Brewery

Associate Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee AP
Brooke, Chris The Virtual Stoa Non-tenure track Oxford Theory
Burden, Barry Political Behavior Blog Associate Harvard AP
Cline, Andrew R. Rhetorica Assistant Missouri State Univ. AP
Crane, George T. The Useless Tree Professor Williams College CP
Dion, Michelle La Profesora Abstraída Assistant GIT CP
Drezner, Daniel W. Daniel W. Drezner Associate Tufts (was U of C) IR
Farley, Robert Lawyers, Guns and Money Assitant University of Kentucky IR
Farrell, Henry Crooked Timber Assistant George Washington University IR
Franklin, Charles Political Arithmetik Professor University of Wisconsin AP
Frymer, Paul Polysigh Associate UCSC AP
Geras, Norm normblog Emeritus Univesity of Manchester Theory

Gordon, Michael The Buggy Professor Emeritus UCSB IR
Griffith, Mark F. Political Man Professor Univ. of West Alabama AP
Hacker, Jacob The Coffee House Assistant Yale AP
Ikenberry, G. John America Abroad Professor Princeton IR
Jackson, Patrick Duck of Minerva Assistant American Univ IR
Jentleson, Bruce America Abroad Professor Duke IR
Kayyem, Juliette N. America Abroad Lecturer Harvard Policy
King, Gary Social Science Statistics Blog

Professor Harvard AP
Kleiman, Mark A. R. The Reality-Based Community Professor UCLA Policy
Klinkner, Philip Polysigh Associate Hamilton College AP
La Raja, Ray Polysigh Assistant UMass Amherst AP
Lawrence, Chris Signifying Nothing Visiting Duke AP
Lemieux, Scott Lawyers, Guns and Money Assistant Hunter College-CUNY AP
Levy, Jacob T. Jacob T. Levy Assistant University of Chicago Theory
Lublin, David Polysigh Associate American University AP
Lynch, Marc Abu Aadrvark Associate Williams College IR
McMahon, Kevin Polysigh Associate SUNY, Fredonia AP
Medvid, Stephen Polysigh Assistant Franklin and Marshall AP
Munger, Michael C. Mungowit’s End Professor Duke AP
Nexon, Dan Duck of Minerva Assistant Georgetown ???
Nye, Joseph The Huffington Post Professor Harvard IR
O’Kelly, Ciaran Neither Indifferent nor Sceptical ??? ??? CP
Payne, Rodger Rodger A. Payne’s Blog Professor University of Louisville IR
Pitney, Jr, .John J. Polysigh Professor Claremont McKenna AP
Pseudonymous Professor Chaos Instructor Anonymous IR
Pseudonymous The Jawa Report Instructor Anon AP
Rummel, R.J. Democratic Peace Emeritus University of Hawaii IR
Sadow, Jeffery Between the Lines Associate LSU, Shreveport AP
Shugart, Matthew S. Fruits and Votes Professor UCSD CP
Skinner, Richard Polysigh ??? ??? ???
Slaughter, Anne-Marie America Abroad Professor Princeton IR
Steinberg, James B. America Abroad Dean Texas-LBJ School Policy
Strolovitch, Dara Polysigh Assistant University of Minnesota AP
Taylor, Steven L. PoliBlog Associate Troy University CP
Teles, Steven The Reality-Based Community Assistant Brandeis AP/CP
Tillery, Jr, .Alvin B. Polysigh Assistant Notre Dame AP
Warren, Dorian Polysigh post-doc University of Chicago AP
Yadav, Vikash Foreign Exchange Assistant The American Univ (Cairo) IR

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8 Responses to “Blogging Political Scientists Census-Beta Version”

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    1. Mark Says:

      Dear Steven,
      It looks like I said that political science is at the start of blogging and that media and law are way ahead of us.

    2. Fruits and Votes » Blog Archive » Blogging Political Scientists Census Says:

      [...] ofessor Matthew Søberg Shugart @3:19 pm Steven Taylor has an updated and expanded census of blogging political scientists. I have added a permanent link to the post on F&V [...]

    3. A Knight’s Blog » Bloggin’ Profs Says:

      [...] 8 pm

      If you are interested in the intersection of academics blogging, check out something I have been working on in regards to blogging political scientists. For a study of blogging law pro [...]

    4. Christian Johnson Says:

      Will you be doing a census of Graduate Students again, say in the near future?

    5. Rongos Says:

      “If a blog was dead for some time, or if a person only posted a single post, I excluded them from the list.”

      I haven’t seen any posts by Alvin since his introduction at Polysigh. Furthermore, Dorian has only posted once, to my recollection.

    6. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

      Thanks for that note. On some of the group blogs it is harder to determine how active the bloggers have been.

      I need a way to differentiate between types of bloggers, as clearly some are far more engaged in the enterprise than are others.

    7. Rongos Says:

      “I would consider the purest form of blogging to be blogs set up and run by an individual and regularly updated. ‘

      One question: how does content factor into your analysis? What if a Pol.Sci. Ph.D. blogs on a subject unrelated to his/her training? Are you tracking pol. sci. Ph.D.s who blog on, say, the virtues of Italian wines, Major League Lacrosse, or document their pregnancy?

      Furthermore, what about blogs–like yours–which often include information not really related to your professional expertise? Also, how do you define “professional expertise” in such a fragmented discipline as Pol.Sci.? Your blog, for instance, has 2433 posts related to US politics whereas you have only 270 related to Latin America–which I gather from looking at your academic site, is your specialty.

      This is not meant as a criticism of you or the blog–I’m just trying to figure out where you’re going with this paper.

      I would argue that the “purest form of blog,” in the context of academic blogging, shouldn’t necessarily be measured by the number of posts, but rather by how the academic engages with his/her expertise in the public sphere.

      Blogs such as Political Arithmetik, I think, are good models. Charles presents important information directly related to his expertise that one can not easily get from another source.

      He may not post everyday, but, frankly, if he filled his blog out with reflections on television shows, sports teams, etc…, I dont think that his position as an academic would matter all that much.

    8. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

      These are valid questions, and ones that I have considered.

      The simple answer is that the first goal here is largely counting. It is difficult to analyze the issue of blogging political scientists without first accounting for them.

      In regards to content, I would argue that the very nature of blogging means that it is highly unlikely that a given blog would dedicated 100% to one’s academic discipline. Charles’ site is perhaps as close as it gets, along with the Harvard group blogs.

      Still, the idea that I find intriguing is the ability to have a more casual forum for discussing politics (and life).

      For example, Matthew Shugart’s Fruits and Votes has a great deal of very good discussion that focuses on Matthew’s expertise regarding elections and institutions. Yet, he also blogs on baseball and fruit cultivation. Does that detract from the fact that he is a political scientist? No, I don’t think that it does.

      In my own case I would say a few things. My core regional expertise is, in fact Latin America. However, my basic are of study is elections and institutions. As such, there is quite a bit in regards to US politics that I am interested in. Further, I have spent the last 8 years in a position where I have to be more of a generalist, which has broadened some of my interests.

      Beyond that, I think while Charles’ site is an excellent one, I don’t see it necessarily as the perfect model (although, really, seeking out the perfect model for a blogging professor isn’t my goal). Rather, I think that a discussion of politics that is inclusive of those not in the discipline is probably closer to what I personally would like to see. And throwing some non-politics is rather humanizing, I should think.

      In regards to the “purest form of blog” I am contrasting what say Charles, Matthew, or even myself do, versus Jospeh Nye contributing here and again to the Huffington Post or the contributors to the TPM Cafe site.

      Back to the content question–I have already been thinking about the issue of what to do with some of the sites, which are not sufficiently “academic”–but of course, I need a measure for that, and I have yet to determine one.

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