5 Lessons from Teaching Undergrads

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Answers to the Map Quiz – Apparently Disney World Africa Exists

I have always enjoyed teaching but after this semester I know this is what I want to do for rest of my life. Having taught in 3 different ountries, this is the first semester I was teaching at a large state university in the US with a class size of over 65. 85 students to be exact. I thought I share the top 5 lessons I have learned from this experience as I want to start a conversation on the best practices so teachers can contribute and learn from it. So as a start, I am sharing my lessons. Continue reading 5 Lessons from Teaching Undergrads

Adnanventure 2015 – Ola Miami

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MIAMI – I am coming (hehehe)

Finally the semester is over and it is time for Adnanventure 2015. This year the adventure is bigger, better and awesomer or at least that is what I keep telling myself. The plan is to not have a plan and just take thing as they come. I will be there between 11th and 16th of May. Continue reading Adnanventure 2015 – Ola Miami

Building a Super PAC – My Most Audacious Idea Yet

PAC NANRecently I have been working on a paper that deals with the impact of Political Action Committees (PAC) on politics in Washington DC. Through the course of writing this paper and talking to professionals, I have realized that most people have no idea what a PAC actually does. Continue reading Building a Super PAC – My Most Audacious Idea Yet

#WeWillNeverForgetToForget — our #Fail

*Article originally appeared in DAWN

It is a defense mechanism at this point: turn every issue, every incident into a dichotomy; an either/or, a good side/bad side, and then argue over who is right and who is wrong.

That is the only way Pakistan is dealing with issues right now. It is the #TeriTeamMeriTeam way of doing things. Continue reading #WeWillNeverForgetToForget — our #Fail

Lessons From Scotland’s Referendum

Originally written for THE WORD THEATER 

BRITAIN_SCOTLAND_2113410gLast 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? Continue reading Lessons From Scotland’s Referendum

Building an Online Presence – A Beginner’s Guide

social-networksHow 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. Continue reading Building an Online Presence – A Beginner’s Guide

Book Review: Theories of International Politics and Zombies

IMG_20140503_024656This 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. 

* The book is available online at Princeton University Press and at Amazon*

 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. Continue reading Book Review: Theories of International Politics and Zombies

4 Pieces of Advice for Every Political Scientist

@StateAs 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. Continue reading 4 Pieces of Advice for Every Political Scientist