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Howdy

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Rob made a brief introduction in his official “welcome” post. Thanks, Rob! And thanks to the LGM community, which has already thrown down the gauntlet. Still, tradition—and a dose of caution—suggests that I should write some words to introduce myself.

You can find my academic biography at my Georgetown University faculty page. There you will see that I’m an associate professor in the Department of Government and in the School of Foreign Service, that I spent 2009-2010 working the Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia (RUE) unit of the OSD(P), and that I have an unfortunate fondness for Kangol 504s. That is, there’s nothing unusual about my recent appearance with Rob on Foreign Entanglements.

I’m also the lead editor for International Studies Quarterly (see also). This is why I am now compelled to note that the opinions that I express here should in no way be construed to represent those of the International Studies Association, its officers, or its membership.

What you won’t find at my official academic biography is that I helped establish and coordinate the unofficial foreign-policy cell for the Sanders campaign. This is, if that’s possible, even more unimpressive than it sounds. But it reflects my deep commitment to developing and forwarding progressive foreign policy.

As Rob already noted, I founded the Duck of Minerva, although my status there is now that of a “permanent guest.” I do expect to do some cross-posting and cross-fertilization—which continues a older tradition of dense network ties between the Duck and LGM. But there’s a very specific reason that I asked the LGM team about coming on as an occasional contributor. While no one would ever confuse the politics of my blogging at the Duck as anything other than left-liberal, much of that blog’s identity is oriented toward international-relations scholarship. In my view, the election of 2016 is an “all hands” moment for liberals, progressives, and leftists. For much of what I expect to write about in the coming years—that is, more nakedly political material—LGM provides a more appropriate outlet.

Indeed, I started blogging in 2005, too late to make the ‘big time’ of the first wave, but long enough ago to watch the blogsphere’s explosive growth, peak, and decline in relevance—particularly on the left-hand side of the political spectrum. It will be interesting to see how much of that is tied to larger trends—the rise of alternative platforms, the professionalization of former bloggers, and so forth—and how much of that might be reversed by the coming political climate. It seems to me that, given the state of things, progressive blogs may once again have an important role to play.

Regardless, what else might you know about me?

  • I love ketchup. I put it on potatoes, eggs, veggie burgers, tofu dogs (I don’t generally eat meat)… whatever. Erik Loomis is a culinary philistine when it comes to this great condiment. Tomato ketchup is an ingenious means of combining umami and sweet, and it compliments—nay, enhances!—the flavor of many foods. I also have warm feelings toward Siriacha—although even I recognize that the fad may have gone too far—and hot sauces of many other varieties. You know what else I really like? Russian hot mustard.
  • I have four cats. Three of them are orange tabbies. Because orange tabbies are the best. One of these—Ifrit—likes to take showers. You can see him (pre-diet) drinking from within the shower steam starting at the 1.10 mark in this Buzzfeed video. Be wary lest I start posting #codeorange cat photos.
  • My teaching rotation includes a class called “Interstellar Relations: The Politics of Speculative Fiction.” I do write on such matters once in a while. But I am in neither Steve’s nor SEK’s league.
  • I am currently working on projects—a surprising number funded by the Norwegian government in one way or another—on hegemony, international order, and power politics. And yes, Trump’s election both makes my research feel both more urgent and more at risk of being Overtaken by Events.

I really have no idea how much I’ll be posting here. Editorial work takes up a lot of my time. But expect my own post on SEK in the near future—a variation of something you might have seen on Facebook.

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