Last week’s Scottish Referendum ended with a resounding NO vote on independence from the UK. Since winning a clear majority in 2011, Scottish National Party (SNP) had led the charge for independence from the UK. Scotland’s then First Minister and head of SNP, Alex Salmond, bet his political future on getting Scotland out of the union so it would have more control over its finances. What Alex Salmond was promising the Scots was a change after 300+ years in the UK, they would have control of their resources and set out their own foreign policy. On paper, this looks like a great deal, so what went wrong for SNP and why did Scotland say NO to independence? Is there a lesson to be learned here for other federations and unions dealing with separatist movements? (more…)
How do you become relevant? How do you get your name out there? How do you get your opinion heard?
These are some of the questions I get asked almost on a daily basis now. My colleagues, acquaintances and even strangers seem to be getting more interested in finally building a proper online presence. Especially in the world of academia, getting your name out is crucial. It can not only land you a job eventually but it can help build a public persona that is more valuable than a permanent position at times (think positions like adviser to think tanks and media houses, both of which pay significantly better than an academic position). Based on this growing interest in building a brand name for ourselves, I thought I would do a special post starting with a quick guide to building an online presence. (more…)
This is a variation of the book review I wrote for my Graduate Course in International Politics. The work I submitted is similar to this but is way more formal. I originally wrote this to submit but then realized it may back fire big times. So, instead of getting rid of this, I am posting it here for all of you to enjoy.
Every now and then there is a book that plays on fantasy to makes you question reality. Daniel Drezner’s Theories of International Politics and Zombies is that book. Easily one of the most creative books written on politics in the recent past, IP & Zombies takes serious theories and mixes them with pop culture references to build an argument that is fun to read and easy to understand. Taking on the recent obsession with everything undead, Drezner makes zombies the basis for an intriguing discussion on political theories in the times of the undead. (more…)
As part of the 6th Annual Graduate Conference at my department, we had Dr. Irfan Nooruddin give a key note address. Dr. Irfan Nooruddin is one of the most sought after and respected comparativists in political science academia. So it is little wonder that he is leaving Ohio State this fall to take up the role of endowed chair of Indian Studies at Georgetown in Washington, DC.
His keynote was essentially the most honest summary of what we all attempt to do and what we need to learn to do it better. It made such a profound impact on me that I decided to share his words with all of you. (more…)
Ending anything is horrible. Be it donuts, a burger or a trip, the end is always painful. I deal with endings in most awkward ways (Just for reference, I cannot bring myself to say bye to people, I just vanish… I know that is the shit thing to do… am still working on that). It is only recently I have figured out how to manage them properly. So on the last day of my DC Adnanventure, I refused to be awkward about it, instead I gave myself a challenge, to enjoy and not plan a single second till I got home.
So having moved to Extended Stay America for the last day in Virginia, I had to wake up really early to get back to town. Why did I have to wake up early? Because I do not have a car and I rely on public transport. So I wake up and wait for the bus, then wait for another bus and then eventually catch the Metro in to town. This whole effort normally ends up taking about an hour and a half. Normally I am cranky making such an effort but as this was last day in town and given that my bus was at 9 PM, I had nothing better to do or at least that is what I thought. (more…)
The first two days were ultra hectic. I had been constantly travelling, hardly getting any sleep and trying to see as much of everything as I could. So on Day 3 I made it a point to slow down a bit and kind of enjoy what was around me. Woke up relatively late around 9 and ventured down to the lobby restaurant for my free breakfast. At this point I would like to take the time and thank Best Western for easily having one of the best breakfast menus of any hotel in their category. Great breakfast that was thoroughly enjoyed as the sun was finally out.
Having already seen the Air and Space Museum, Congress and the White House, my agenda was to finally go through rest of the Smithsonian museums and basically just walk around for a bit getting the feel of the city. So on advice of my Americanist friends (These are my friends who specialize in American Politics as part of their Grad Studies) I started the day at the American History Museum. History in general fascinates me but recently American History has become my area of interest. I feel that we can see the future based on the past and that our personalities are built up on our shared history. Add to this the fact that I live Atlanta, Georgia… which is one of the largest cities in the South; I have developed a special interest in the North South divide as well as the Civil War. (more…)