Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Chronicle Compares College Rankings…






30 Ways to Rate a College – Measuring Stick – The Chronicle of Higher Education. I like the graph here which displays all of the criteria prominent ranking systems use. Above is just a small bit of that image. But I think the bottom-line here is that it can be useful to look at many…

Lim on Obama’s Leadership Gap; the NYC Mosque






This is my colleague Elvin Lim on Obama’s lack of leadership on the NYC Mosque issue. Obama is compared to Polonius and we are told that Obama is not being professorial enough. Definitely worth a read: Out on a Lim: Obama’s Leadership Gap.

The WTO, Summer 2010






The World Trade Organization (WTO) has been central to my research agenda for a long time now. I am currently in the process of completing a book manuscript that examines African participation and influence in global economic governance. I begin with the assumption that they have to work through coalitions, and then proceed to consider…

QAC Summer Research






To stay on the theme of the great work our students are doing here at Wesleyan, I wanted to highlight the summer research projects that students completed with our Quantitative Analysis Center. Each summer, a group of students is given the opportunity to do original research under the guidance of a professor here at Wesleyan.…

Summer: Work, Vacation, and Balance






A popular question I get during the summer is, “how is your break?” I wish that I could say that my “break” was wonderful, but that wouldn’t really answer the question. The fact is that we don’t really get a break as professors. Summers are when we try to squeeze in all of our major…

Odede on Poverty Tours






I’ve been meaning to post on this. Kennedy Odede, one of our majors, was recently published in the New York Times on the subject of “Slumdog Tourism”. It is definitely worth a read, especially if you are a Westerner considering a trip to a developing country. See it as an opportunity to reflect on what…

Forbes: Wesleyan University is #15






There are lots of college rankings out there. Forbes just released their annual ranking, which is one of the few (the only?) that combines public and private colleges and universities. They claim their index is constructed to focus on the “student’s point of view”. I’m not 100% sure what that means (how do we determine…

My new co-authored article on patronage






David K. Leonard, Jennifer N. Brass, Michael Nelson, Sophal Ear, Dan Fahey, Tasha Fairfield, Martha Johnson Gning, Michael Halderman, Brendan McSherry, Devra C. Moehler, Wilson Prichard, Robin Turner, Tuong Vu, Jeroen Dijkman. 2010. “Does Patronage Still Drive Politics for the Rural Poor in the Developing World? A Comparative Perspective from the Livestock Sector.” Development and…

The spread of norms and the UN vote to make access to water a human right






A friend from my Peace Corps days posted on Facebook the UN press release that the General Assembly has adopted a resolution “Recognizing Access to Clean Water, Sanitation as Human Right, By Recorded Vote of 122 in Favour, None Against, 41 Abstentions.” This isn’t exactly getting major press coverage. And, indeed, just because the UN…

Obama, Midterm Elections, and Foreign Policy






I am far from being an expert on American politics and elections. But I do tend to pay attention when they intersect my interests in international relations and I’ve gleaned a few tidbits from my Americanist colleagues: foreign policy preferences can impact voter attitudes (Aldrich et al. 2006); there may be “two presidencies” (domestic and…