Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tabling ISA Proposal

So the International Studies Association has tabled the ridiculous proposal to censor journal editor blogging. Something about this whole episode has been bouncing around my mind and I am trying to sort it out. Basically, there seems a disconnect between "ISA" as a big organization and actual people who write policy. As far as I know, no one has ever said anything about who wrote it, and what prompted them to do so. I don't mean this in terms of calling them out or shaming them, but rather getting at the root of why this happened in the first place.

This prompted a very quick Twitter exchange with Steve Saideman, where I asked if bureaucracy was part of the problem, and he thought no.

Perhaps "bureaucracy" isn't exactly the right word, but I feel like instead of responsibility, or open discussion, the issue takes on Robert's Rules of Order-speak: it is "tabled" and "sent to committee." It may just go die in committee. Of course that has nothing to do with Steve, who made an admirable and successful effort to draw public attention to the proposal.

I'm glad he was successful and it is going away, but a bigger question persists: what are the characteristics of academics who believe blogging is unprofessional? Why do they believe that? What type of discussion would be optimal to bridge the obvious gap? I hope those sorts of questions are addressed rather than just having it tabled and sent to committee to die.


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