Greetings readers! You’ll notice that the site looks quite different, and indeed has a new title. This is because my coursework in my Ph.D. program has ended, and I’ve moved into a new phase of my research and professional life: preparing to write a dissertation. Calvin sums this process up perfectly:
With all this in mind, here’s what to expect from Blue Helmets Big Data going forward:
1) Commentary and analysis on peacekeeping. I’ll be analyzing ongoing missions and events on the ground. I’ll also be writing about peacekeeping theory, and the socio-political and economic aspects of peacekeeping that go beyond operational questions.
2) Technology. My research focuses on technology and peacekeeping, so technology will still be a focus of this blog. In particular though, I’ll be writing about the issues and questions about using communication technology in conflict-affected settings. Topics could include everything from how mission analysis cells in peacekeeping missions are using tech in a practical way, to the moral and ethical issues of using technology in conflict-affected communities.
3) Statistics and analytic methodology. These posts might get math-y, but my goal is to make them accessible to non-quantitative readers. They should be conversation starters, and encourage readers from different methodological backgrounds and traditions to critically analyze what works and what doesn’t in conflict research.
With all that in mind, I’m also going to try my hand at getting friends and colleagues from these professional spaces to contribute guest pieces. While I enjoy writing, I want to create a space that takes the discussion beyond my own research and opinions. If you want to contribute or have an idea for a themed series of posts, let me know! I’m going to try to have new content weekly to keep my thinking fresh, and to provide regular opportunities for community discussion. I’m excited to be starting this new phase, both with my academic work and this website!