Kristof, Columbia, and the ‘Public Intellectual-Professor’: Part 1

This will be a two-parter since there's a lot in it. It's been interesting reading the initial article about why professors need to be involved in public debate from Nicholas Kristof and seeing the rejoinders, particularly Michelle Goldbergs' article about Columbia University's decision to let two of their best professors of public health go. I'm … Continue reading Kristof, Columbia, and the ‘Public Intellectual-Professor’: Part 1

Samoa Post: End of semester observations

So I've been in Samoa for a semester now, working with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and getting things in order to do dissertation fieldwork. I'll probably post again before the end of the year, but here are a few key themes that have emerged in conversation as I've developed relationships with my … Continue reading Samoa Post: End of semester observations

Social Network Analysis: A cool analysis of how SNA worked during the American Revolution

Lots of people saw Kieran Healy's humorous and thought proviking post about how some very basic matrix algebra and centrality analysis can be used to identify people within social networks using basic metadata.  This article by Shin Kap Han goes into more depth about centrality and the power of weak bonds; I found the analysis of the … Continue reading Social Network Analysis: A cool analysis of how SNA worked during the American Revolution

Disaggregating Peacekeeping Data: A new dataset on peacekeeping contributions

Jacob Kathman at the University of Buffalo has an article in the current issue of Conflict Management and Peace Science about his new dataset on the numbers and nationalities of all peacekeeper contributions by month since 1990.  This is a pretty fantastic undertaking since peacekeeping data is often difficult to find, and no small feat … Continue reading Disaggregating Peacekeeping Data: A new dataset on peacekeeping contributions

Samoa update: A little informed consent, a lot of economics

I'm embracing my status as a political scientist working in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MCIT).  While a lot of my experience in the tech space tends to be tool-centric, I'm finding more and more that the challenges on the user end (in this case Samoa) are related to policy and economics. The … Continue reading Samoa update: A little informed consent, a lot of economics

Peacekeeping, economic growth and technology

The economics of peacekeeping are difficult to unpack but there are signs that when a mission has a strategy that includes long-range economic planning, it can have positive long term effects on the host country’s economy.  This could help us understand the strategic value of communication technology as not just a tool for good governance … Continue reading Peacekeeping, economic growth and technology

Complex Peacekeeping and Tech: Don’t forget the politics and the people

General H.R. McMaster recently published an op-ed in the New York Times on the folly of thinking war can be easily won, and the intellectual gymnastics policy makers will do to maintain that illusion.  As I read his analysis, many of his observations are germane when thinking about the drive to "tech-up" peacekeeping operations.  McMaster's … Continue reading Complex Peacekeeping and Tech: Don’t forget the politics and the people

China to United States: We’ll see your “investment” and raise you a peacekeeping deployment

How apropos that my last post was focused on why the United States needs to think of investment in Africa in terms larger than ROI, especially if we want to compete with China. Apparently China got the memo, since they're committing to send a multi-dimensional peacekeeping force to support the MINUSMA mission in Mali that … Continue reading China to United States: We’ll see your “investment” and raise you a peacekeeping deployment

“Africa’s Silicon Savannah”…What will Kenya get from Konza?

I was on BBC earlier today and came across this article on Konza Technology City, a tech center that will be built in Kenya outside Nairobi.  In a bit of excitement I posted a comment on Facebook that this could be a boon to investment...then I re-read the article.  I think that, indeed, it could be … Continue reading “Africa’s Silicon Savannah”…What will Kenya get from Konza?