Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Poli Sci & Blogging

Robert Farley on political science and blogs:

This article is a response to John Sides’April 2011 article “The Political Scientist as Blogger.” Core argument is this: Sides treats blogging (and what I tend to think of as associated “public intellectual” activities) as adjunct to a successful political science career.  I, on the other hand, think that we should take seriously the possibility that these activities should become the main course of a successful career in political science (and other fields).
I've been blogging regularly for over six years now, but I'm not ready to go this far. The essential question is of "blog as research" vs. "blog complementing research." I'm not sure how we would measure the former (Dan Drezner makes a similar point). On the other hand, I agree with this:

we have to take seriously the problem that career incentives in our field do not support the efforts of scholars to make significant, timely policy contributions early in their careers
That is absolutely true. What we need to figure out is what outcomes we want. However, blogging per se shouldn't be an outcome--you could write two lines of junk, add a picture of your cat, and that is blogging. Instead, it could potentially be one means of reaching broader audiences outsides academia, i.e. engagement. Individual faculty members could explain how their blogging and other such activities lead to external recognition of some kind that reflects well on the department and university.


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