Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Congratulations to Professors Sousa and Fields

...who have both been named "distinguished professors" by the university following their most recent faculty evaluation. The designation of distinguished (or "extinguished," as Professor Haltom would say) is awarded to those senior members of the faculty who stood out for their contributions to the university. Both Professor Fields and Sousa are exceptional colleagues, and we are happy that the university recognizes this as well. Congrats!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Law Clerk Blog---is back!

Some time in our distant past we wrote about a blog set up by a number of law students who were blogging about their summer clerking experiences. One of the contributors is a former student in the department. Well, it's back and better than ever: (sorry, link was bad; fixed it now).

Many musings by seven students on life inside The Firm.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I realized that the right hand column wasn't showing up in Internet Explorer very well.

I went to fix it.

I deleted most of the template settings that make this thing work. Bear with me as I try to restore everything to it (more or less) once was.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The School Year Waste

A recent piece in the media on all the items thrown out by students at the end of the year, and how schools are trying to deal with it. At UPS Politics and Government Professor Dan Sherman has been trying to encourage sustainability by finding ways to recycle, donate or otherwise re-use student castoffs. But as we all know, it's always easier to throw something in the trash than find a new home for it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Medieval IT Support

Professor Fields forwarded this to me; a humorous reminder that all technologies were once new and odd. It's in Norwegian, so you'll have to squint at the subtitles.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Professor Fields in Japan


Elaine: Hiroshima

In all the hubbub before the end of the semester I never got a chance to blog Professor Fields' trip to Japan in April, where he led a group sponsored by UC Berkeley.

Japan 07 093
He brought back some great pictures; you can see the slideshow here.

Japan 07 067

Monday, May 21, 2007

Commencement Address 2007: Elizabeth Cousens '87

Elizabeth Cousens '87 gave this year's commencement address. A Rhodes Scholar and Vice President of the International Peace Academy, her speech was reprinted in full in Sunday's News Tribune. An excerpt:

"Let me start with a confession. When I was sitting where you are, at that time planning to head to Oxford University for graduate school, I didn’t begin to know what I wanted to do with my life.

I knew what I was interested in – politics, negotiation, the interplay between values and interests. I knew what grabbed me – anything international. And I knew a few things that made me angry – willful ignorance, hypocrisy, cruelty. I also knew that I had been fortunate enough to receive an exceptional education, and that it would somehow inform the choices I would make, but I wasn’t at all sure how.

Twenty years ago, we were also at what would soon become clear were the dwindling days of the Cold War, though we didn’t know it at the time. (Remember the Cold War?) People are now rather distressingly nostalgic about its stability, but it was an era with its own contradictions, its own uneasy reconciliation between principle and power, its own demonstrations of courage alongside bad faith, its own perils, its own possibilities."

Read the whole text here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Spotty Summer Blogging

As grading winds down I recognize that I'll be posting less frequently this summer. Everyone gets a break from my nattering.

Here's something random: The Nine Biggest Myths of the Workplace. Worth a read-through.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

2007 Graduation Recap

Haltom hams it up

Congratulations to all of our PG graduates this year. We had a great reception on Saturday before commencement, with a chance to meet family and send along our best wishes to all our newly minted alums. A few photos below; you'll find many more here, ora as a slideshow here. I've also listed the titles of our senior thesis, and marked those that were given awards for best in their field.





Best wishes to all of our graduates!

Senior Theses

PG 430 Seminar in International Relations, Professor Seth Weinberger

Kait Alley: The Consequences of Neglect: The International Security Implications of the HIV Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa

Jennifer Badewitz: Water Management for Developing Nations: A Framework for Addressing the Threats of Water Scarcity

Ryan Dumm: U.S. Foreign Aid and the Palestinian Authority: Evaluating Efforts to Destabilize Hamas

Lindsay Heppe: Getting U.S. Grand Strategy Right: The Role of Legitimacy and Multilateralism in the War on Terror

Chelsea Howes: Nixing NGO Niches: A Case for the African State (award for best paper in the seminar)

David Johnson: Genocide and the Media: Shaping Intervention

Helen MacDonald: Developing Sub-Saharan Africa

Emily Moody: Nuclear Terrorism

Christopher Pohlad: U.S. Engagement Policy and the Prospect of a Liberalized China

Jennifer Swift: Looking Forward Through Looking Back: An Economic Criticism of Democratic Peace

Jennifer Zimburean: The Environmental Catch-22: Developing in the Name of Sustainable Development

PG420 Seminar in Comparative Politics, Professor Karl Fields

Erik Connell: Giving the People What They Want: The Connection between Proportional Representation, Social Democracy, and Public Satisfaction" (award for best paper in the seminar)

Ingrid Greiser:

Brian Stewart, A Comparison of the European Union and the United States: Overcoming Obstacle to Allow Federalism

PG 411 Seminar in Public Law, Professor Bill Haltom

Brianne L. Adderley: Entitled and Engendered: The Effects and Results of Title IX

Sara Pasquariello: The Evolution From God to Designer: The U.S. Constitution v. Creationism
(award for best paper in the seminar)

Katherine Amelia Miller: Facing the Malpractice Fairytale

Lauren Elizabeth Miller Fat or Fiction: The Construction of Frivolous Lawsuits
Margaret E. Scully South Dakota’s Public Enemy Number One: Women Who Do Not Want To Be Barefoot and Pregnant

Courtney A. Williams : Turning the Page and Un-Reeling the Truth Behind Civil Litigation

Brian D. Bennett: The United States and Compensation Seeking: Relatively Litigious or Litigiously Relative

Robin Fay: Why Americans are Losing the Battle against Corporate Polluters: A Look at Toxic Tort Litigation through Asbestos and Silica Cases

Christopher A. Windsor: Why Lawyers Have no Friends

PG 440 Seminar in Political Theory, Professor Bill Haltom

Seminar in Political Theory, Professor Bill Haltom

Paula P. Patten: Founding Fathers and the Separation of Church and State: What type of Separation Did They Intend?

Mark Wilding: The Impact of Hannah Arendt’s Theory of Action, with Special Attention to Jurgen Habermas (award for best paper in the seminar)

Ronald Foster: Modern Trilecticism: Mortality, Action and the Body Politic

Peter James McAfee: Terrorism’s Effect on Political Equality in the United States: An Extension of Robert Dahl’s On Political Equality


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Out of touch

I've been busy with some things and fallen behind on the blog. Coming soon: Graduation recap and a trip to Mercy Corps in Portland...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Farewell, Professor Hansen

We are losing some great visiting colleagues this spring. Professor Hansen, who joined us this semester from the University of Passau, departs today for home. While here he offered courses in political theory and European politics, and provided an important European perspective on current international events. We have been pleased to have had Professor Hansen on campus several times as our guest in past, and we hope that he will grace our institution again in future. Best wishes, Professor Hansen! We will miss you.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Graduating Seniors--Can we help?

Hey PG majors and minors who are graduating, need some contacts? Folks to talk to about career opportunties, schooling, living in this or that part of the country or world?

Well, then, email me. We've got a huge repository of alums who are willing to share their experiences and give advice. Lots of this can be found on the delicious site; but you should also email me. Let us know how we can help smooth your transition into the real world.

Liz Perry '03 Offers Advice on Grad School

First, congrats to Liz Perry '03, who this fall will be starting graduate school at UCSD as a Masters student in Latin American Studies. She writes that in addition to classes, she'll be a Research Assistant for the Latin American Studies department and will be participating in the Mexican Migration Field Research and Training Program (MMFRP).

After getting that good news, I asked Liz if she'd mind my blogging her good news and maybe her thoughts about applying to grad school now that she's headed out. As with so many alums, she penned a thoughtful addition that is a must read for anyone thinking about going back to school. Thanks for everything, Liz, and keep us posted.

Congratulations to all ’07 graduates!

What I learned about applying to graduate school or choosing between them? As the class of 2007 gets ready to depart and other students move a year closer to completion, there are a few things that I learned when applying to grad school that may be helpful for others interested in applying to Masters programs down the road. I’ll spare the details, because by the time it comes to applying to grad school most everyone has developed their own style for success that is unique & time tested. However, these few things I consider to have contributed to my confidence in my final selection of schools and acceptance of UCSD’s offer.

1. Starting early. Starting early gave me the time needed to research programs, talk to students & professors, visit two schools (not necessary, but helpful in making my decision), and to research contributing faculty and recent publications (and read many). Interestingly, I added UCSD’s program at the last minute (after having spent months researching), a program I may not have considered if I had started the process later.

2. Keeping an open mind. I applied to seven different programs and, if asked, wouldn’t have said that UCSD was my top choice after applications were submitted. However, I now feel confident now that it is the right fit for me. Although I collected all the information I could on each program, some info wasn’t available until after acceptance: such as unique research opportunities (only offered after acceptance), the level of advocacy by contributing faculty for admitted students, or the support the program receives from the University (evident in financial aid opportunities).

3. Staying in touch. While I think each professor that helped me in the process would consider their contribution minimal, it was tremendously helpful to have their support and input when it came time to make choices. As I was making final decisions, I was bombarded with information from each program about why they were best. Professors at UPS were able to offer me unbiased information and opinions that were fully geared to what was in my best interest (even those that I didn’t take classes from). Beyond how Professors (and cohorts) can be helpful in future job and educational endeavors, it is great to stay connected to people who contribute to your growth, as many of my cohorts and professors did for me.

Liz Perry ‘03


Take the Folks Someplace New For Dinner

Family is coming into town for graduation, to help haul you away for summer, cut the six foot tall mess of a lawn you never mowed at your rental. Whatever the case, now it's time to be able to come up with something a bit more nuanced in your dinner offerings--by which I mean, when they offer to buy dinner, what options can you provide? There's lots new to choose from...

Masa for Mexican with flair?
Asado for the smoky steaks?
Matador so you can eye the over-21 set at play?
TwoKwoi for sushi in the shadow of UWT and the TAM?
Stadium Bistro for a refined and intimate atmosphere?

There's more than you find on Ruston Way; if you want to get the skinny, check out News Tribune critic Ed Murietta's blog, Ed's Diner. Lots of good talk and mean sniping back and forth in the comments to boot.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Getting that email juuuuust right

Ned Culhane '06 pointed to the recent publication of "Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home." A good interview with the authors here, with some discussion of the do's and don'ts.

One thing I don't see often mentioned is that students need to junk or sequester those email addresses they created before college if they crafted monikers that no longer look so cool. I personally feel funny answering emails from students who have addresses like "maxipimp" or "Soawesome". Or if you can't part with that hip part of your existence, don't use it for formal email, having your UPS email routed there (instead of vice versa).

And don't forget to send return emails to acknowledge the end of a communication if you've initiated it. Employers and others appreciate a final email, especially if it provides some sense of resolution and an expression of appreciation for their efforts on your behalf. If you're asking someone to do something for you, it's your job to wind up the conversation and thank them for their time.

Graduation Blues? Go to Scotland--

Just in, and just for the graduated---

Dear All,

Just a short note to let you know that the Hansard Society is now accepting applications for the exciting new postgraduate Hansard Society/University of Edinburgh Research Scholars Programme.

The Autumn 2007 Programme will run from 22 September – 15 December, 2007 and Scholars will be based in Edinburgh. Therefore, if any of your graduate (or recently graduated) students are interested in studying British politics at the University of Edinburgh, and doing an internship at the Scottish Parliament or in other prominent political organisations, please let us know.

This is the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Union between the English and Scottish Parliaments, and the recent Scottish Parliament elections have resulted in a narrow win for the Scottish National Party. What could be more exciting for students of parliamentary democracy than to engage with a new Parliament – founded in 1999? And in one of the most beautiful northern European cities: birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment, home to Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ian Rankin and J.K.Rowling.

Full details about the Hansard Society /University of Edinburgh Research Scholars Programme can be found on our website at:

Should you need any further details on the Hansard Society or the Hansard Scholars Programmes, please do not hesitate to ask.

All good wishes,
Angela Wrapson
Programme Director
Hansard Society Scotland


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Weinberger in the News Tribune

I've been under the weather, so in addition to not grading I've not been blogging much. But a quick shout out to Professor Weinberger, who published an editorial piece in The Tacoma News Tribune on questions of legality as they concern the Iraq war. You can find the piece here: "Tragic isn't the same as illegal."


Monday, May 07, 2007

Perils of Transparency

A couple of people have commented to me about the recent case of a student teacher who was set to graduate from Millersville’s School of Education--until they caught wind of a picture of her wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup under the caption "drunken pirate". You can read about it here.

Two things:
First, a reminder to students that with an online presence, they are less opaque than they think--what happens in Las Vegas does not stay in Las Vegas, so to speak. Photos, blogs, anything else you might regret sharing in future, may well be there, not easily deleted.

Second, there are shifting and still unresolved questions about privacy and repercussions in a world with so much electronic data. As with anything, the norms (and legal precedents) will lag behind technological change.

More Congrats to Jon Roberts '10

I just heard that Jon Roberts '10 has been awarded not one, but two scholarships for next year: The Religious Leadership Award, which is "awarded to students interested in lifelong religious leadership" and Cyrus Ames Wright Ministry Scholarship, which is awarded "to students pursuing professional religious leadership." Given how important is the intersection of faith and politics, I'm pleased that Jon is pursuing a degree in Politics and Government. Way to go!

Friday, May 04, 2007

London US Embassy Internship, Fall 07

Don't come back in the fall, work in London instead:

The U.S. Commercial Service has an active internship program through the year, and we welcome applications from suitable candidates to work alongside our staff at the U.S. Embassy in London. We are currently seeking interested applicants for the Fall Semester 2007.

The U.S. Commercial Service is the export development arm of the United States government, and the office in the U.S. Embassy London is one of the most active in the world. Our work pursues two key objectives:
  • To assist U.S. companies with their efforts to enter the U.K. market through representation, direct sales, licensing agreements, or joint ventures.
  • To assist U.K. companies in forming business relationships with U.S. companies by representing U.S. products, importing goods, or through joint venture and licensing arrangements.
To support these objectives, the office counsels U.S. companies, analyzes information on the U.K. market, facilitates contacts with U.K. businesses, promotes U.S. products in the U.K. and European marketplace, and advocates U.S. business interests.

The intern's work assignments will provide exposure to our full range of activities and services, in which every attempt will be made to give hands-on experience where appropriate. It must be stressed however, that the immediate requirements of the mission program must take precedence over other considerations. Intern assignments may include:
  • Collecting and analyzing formation for use in market research reports
  • Responding to enquiries from U.S. companies
  • Assisting our staff in the preparation of trade events and trade missions
We prefer interns with International Business, Business Administration or Marketing majors, but we will consider other appropriate students. If you have suitable students who would be interested in this opportunity, please ask them to send me their resume along with a cover letter, a writing sample, and two letters of recommendation to the address below. Should we wish to consider the candidate further, we will arrange to interview them either by telephone or in person. Once an intern has been accepted, we will ask him/her to complete a number of application forms, and to supply a photocopy of his/her passport. All acceptances are subject to a security clearance that generally takes about eight weeks to complete.

In order to qualify for an internship, potential candidates should be:

Available for a minimum of three months
Able to work for a minimum of four full days per week
Enrolled in an academic program
In possession of a U.S. or U.K. passport
Please note that interns do not receive any pay or expenses, and no housing or other financial assistance is provided.

If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact me. The enclosed flyer may be an additional useful resource for posting in your Career Center.

Lisa Cogan
Commercial Assistant
U.S. Commercial Service
U.S. Embassy
24 Grosvenor Square
London W1A 1AE
Tel. +44 (0) 7894 0472

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Rachel Martin '96 on Military Ethics

Rachel Martin '96, correspondent for National Public Radio, had an interesting piece this morning on how "West Point is putting new emphasis on teaching what's right and wrong on the battlefield". You can hear the report on NPR's website; the clip is here.


UKIP: Professor Share's Final Dispatch from London

A final dispatch from Professor Share before he returns to the States following his semester leading a study abroad program in London.

The UK and Europe: The UKIP view

Earlier in the semester I took my British Politics students here in London to the UK office of the European Parliament. Our speaker there vigorously defended the European Union and bemoaned the fact that Britons are the Europeans who are least supportive of the EU. The UK’s late entry, its refusal to accept the Euro, and numerous "opt-out" clauses had made many in Europe question the UK’s commitment to the EU. The European Parliament representative complained that the UK press regularly misinforms its readers about the EU.

Del Young, UKIP

In order to give my students a radically different perspective, I invited to my class a representative of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), which advocates the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The press often unfairly lumps the UKIP with the racist British National Party (BNP), although the UKIP does support strict limits on immigration and the preservation of traditional "British" values. Our speaker, Del Young, a member of the UKIP executive committee, pointed out that as a Black he would not be allowed to join the BNP.

The UKIP argument about the EU reflects in many ways the popular British sentiment about the European Union. The UKIP opposes the idea of a single European "state" and views the EU as too remote, too costly, too bureaucratic, too undemocratic, and too ambitious. The UKIP flatly rejects the idea that the UK economy would be worse off without membership in the EU. It claims that the EU is destroying British sovereignty and cultural distinctiveness, and will eventually threaten its "special relationship" with the US and the Commonwealth. The UK views the major UK parties as essentially in agreement about continued membership in the EU. While closer to the Conservatives on most policy matters, Young (a former Tory himself) was bitterly critical of David Cameron’s attempt to emulate Tony Blair by abandoning traditional Conservative views. He viewed prime ministers from Heath to Blair as "traitors" to the UK.

The UKIP did surprisingly well in the EU elections of 2004, winning 16.8% of the vote and gaining 12 seats in the European Parliament, benefiting from the use of proportional representation in those elections. Ironically its only seats are in an institution it wishes to abandon! The UKIP recently picked up two seats in the House of Lords when two Conservatives peers jumped ship. The UKIP is hoping to win some local council seats in the May 3 elections (some of those elections use PR), and would like eventually to win seats in the Commons (although the single-member district electoral system makes that unlikely).

My students responded to Young’s presentation by asking some excellent and pointed questions. The first student noted that while Young accused the major parties of corruption, three of the 12 UKIP MEP’s (Members of European Parliament) had been forced to resign on corruption charges. Another student noted that if the EU hadn’t imposed on the UK PR voting for European Parliament elections the UKIP would not have won a single seat! A third question noted that the UKIP supports membership in the UN, but not the EU, but that both institutions compromise the UK’s sovereignty to some extent. In response to one excellent question about the UKIP’s prospects given the electoral system, Young admitted that some within the UKIP would be content to have the party act as a pressure group on the Conservatives, rather than as a serious contender for power. Young said he values the UK’s single-member district system as a successful British tradition, but also conceded that it pretty much guaranteed that his party would remain on the fringes.

For more information about the UKIP, see the party’s website at:


Farewell, Professor Ross

As our semester draws to a close we bid a fond farewell to Professor Andrew Ross, who was a visiting faculty member in our department this year. Professor Ross is headed east: In 2007-08 he will be a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at Ohio State University, and starting in fall 2008 he will join the faculty at Ohio University as an Assistant Professor of Political Science specializing in international relations.

Many thanks to Professor Ross for all his contributions to the department and we wish him the best of luck with his new job.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Zinchuk's back in town

Long ago I blogged about Jen Eidum Zinchuk '03, who went on Peace Corps to the Ukraine, got married, went to grad school in Budapest, grew unhappy being away from her husband, and brought him back to the States. Our bonus is that they decided to set up home here in Tacoma. A few days back they dropped by the office and I got to meet Sasha in person, who is rapidly mastering English and learning the ways of all things America. Jen is looking for work around town and they are setting up a videography business as well. Catch up on their lives at Jen's blog here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

From Social to Academic Networks

Academic Library 2.0 Concept Model, Detailed (final version), originally uploaded by habibmi.

This is pretty interesting--from Michael Habib's masters thesis, "Toward Academic Library 2.0: Development and Application of a Library 2.0 Methodology". What I like considering here is the way in which the boundaries between different modes of networking or communcation are permeable (to some extent) and overlap. All this is part of my recent interest in whether more student-oriented networks like Facebook can help facilitate contact between students, faculty, and alums. I know that the recent expansion of Facebook to the off-campus world has made some students upset, but also shows the levels of networks that can and do exist. The question remains to what extent these networks should interconnect.

Thanks again to Randy Thornton for the cite.

May Day

The balloon, originally uploaded by polbar.

Since it's May 1, I thought I'd link over to some beautiful photos of the Soviet Union taken in the 1960s and early 1970s, like this one of May Day 1973 in Moscow. Worth a look back into the past; see the whole set here.

Saturday: Voices of a People's History

The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice Presents

Voices of a People's History

Saturday, May 5th, 7 PM, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice presents Voices of a People's History of the United States at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, in downtown Olympia. Dramatic readings celebrating the enduring spirit of dissent will feature true life narratives from American historical figures including Tecumseh, Sojourner Truth, Mark Twain, Susan B. Anthony, and Winona La Duke. Author Anthony Arnove, who co-edited the book Voices of a People’s History with Howard Zinn, will narrate the event. Readers include actor Brian Jones, actress and Associate Director of American Friends Service Committee’s Northwest Region Nina Laboy, President of the Iraq Veterans Against the War in Seattle Chanan Suarex-Diaz, local readers and performers Erica Lord, Nomy Lamm, Vaude deVille, Rachel Reclam, Holly Gwinn-Graham, Cindy Corrie, and, also, a surprise guest.

Popular Mexican music for Cinco de Mayo will be provided by Hugo Flores, Miguel Perez-Gibson, and Daniel Perez Gibson at 6:40 PM.

The event is part of the Foundation’s Peace Works Program and will benefit its Middle East scholarship program.

The program will be wheelchair accessible and ASL interpreted. Doors open at 6:15 PM. General Admission tickets are $10 at the Washington Center Box Office (360-753-8586), at Rainy Day Records (360-357-4755), and Orca Books (360-352-0123) in Olympia. They can be purchased online at

The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, continues the work Rachel Corrie began and hoped to accomplish. Peace Works is an annual memorial conference/event, now in its second year. Through it, the Foundation aims to provide a forum for exploring the meaning and practice of justice and peace as they affect the social, economic, political, environmental, and spiritual aspects of people’s lives.

Contact: Alice Zillah, Operations Manager
Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice