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Thursday, January 6, 2005
Conference Blogging
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 7:52 pm

All is well in New Orleans after Day One of the SPSA. Nothing earth-shattering in the panels today, although my suspicion that some political scientists use quantitative methods just so they can write a paper around some fancy numbers was further bolstered. Clearly some use them to good avail, but, sadly, the former are more plentiful than the latter. I am wholly convinced that a lot of PoliSci Ph.D. programs teach these methods (and push them as The One True Political Science) while ignoring the fact that they aren’t good for everything. Of course, I am not a quant guy, so perhaps I am biased…

For example: I learned today that divided government means that a president is less likley to be successful with his legislative agenda. Further, the greater the ideological space between a Chair of a Senate committee and a given President, the less legislative success that President will have vis-a-vis that committee. Now, I am pretty sure I knew that, but since these results were statistically signcant at the .01 level, I now know its true.

Meanwhile I see that Steven L. has been doing a great job keeping PoliBlog going in my semi-asbsence. It is pretty nifty to have original content to red on one’s own blog.

Filed under: Blogging, Academia, Today's List | |Send TrackBack


  1. Don’t think you’ll want to go to my panel, then.

    BTW, apparently SPSA didn’t get the memo that it’s Troy University now :)

    BTW BTW… we should get a drink or something.

    Comment by Chris Lawrence — Thursday, January 6, 2005 @ 10:25 pm

  2. The Southern is traditionally one of the lamest of the regionals. The Midwest is just a bigger version of the Southern-with its utter dominance by the Americanist quantoids. Although it is so much bigger that you can often find something interesting.

    The other thing the Midwest has going for it is that it is in Chicago-one of the greatest cities in the US-nothing beats the ornate lobby of the Palmer House to see old friends.

    New Orleans is pretty cool, but, unfortunately, the Southern is usually held in crappy places, like various cities in Georgia. I guess it is tough since there aren’t any decent cities in the south-save New Orleans.

    My favorite regional is probably the Northeastern-although it is a bit pretentious. The Western is pretty fun, also.

    I have been to the Southwest once-nothing special.

    I guess whichever way you cut it, political science conventions pretty much suck no matter what!!

    Have fun!

    Comment by Kappiy — Friday, January 7, 2005 @ 12:10 am

  3. This is my third time to attend theo Southern, I it has grown in terms of non-American panels. I have found it to be fairly pleasant.

    I have never gone to the Midwest, but I have number of colleagues who do electoral studies (my kind of quant-on balance more algebraic).

    I tend to go to LASA and the SPSA. I went to Public Choice once, but it was mostly not my kind of thing.

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Friday, January 7, 2005 @ 7:31 am

  4. Chris,

    I sent you an e-mail, but the short version is that I be in a breakfast meeting during your panel, so why don’t you meet me aroun 3:45 at Vieux Carre A (I am acting as a discussant for a panel in that room from 2:15 to 3:45).

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Friday, January 7, 2005 @ 7:32 am

  5. I’d say the Southern has gone downhill from my perspective over the past few years (then again, I’m probably biased since I used to work for the old executive director and administrator). MPSA is much better these days. APSA is like a plague of locusts.

    I just got roped into doing something at Pub Choice in March, so I’ll see how that goes.

    Steven: I’ll check my email-but I’m supposed to talk to someone about a job at 4 today. I’ll swing by your panel nonetheless; maybe we can do something Saturday.

    Comment by Chris Lawrence — Friday, January 7, 2005 @ 10:23 am

  6. Swing by and we wll figure something out.

    Comment by Steven Taylor — Friday, January 7, 2005 @ 10:28 am

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