I was not able to post much on this blog due to having to travel to the Peace Science Society North American Meeting at the University of Mississippi. During the travels the Paris attacks happened, and I can assure you we were all rather shocked at them (me a bit less since we had something like this happen in Ankara less than a month ago). I am not planning to post something on that because frankly I consider it bad science to analyse events as they are happening. The quest or relevancy is an important one, but it can easily undermine the more important quest of scientific rigor. And in the social scientific fields, at least in my opinion that is the priority.
Peace Science was great, and I had the chance to meet a lot of friends and colleagues. I was not able to enjoy all of the meeting due to a hick-up in flight plans, but from the stuff I got a chance to see the following stood out.
Roseanne McManus (Baruch) and her co-author Keren Yarhi-Ilo(Princeton) presented a really interesting paper on support signlas used by major powers beyond alliances. She focused on the US for data purposes but the findings and data was fascinating. Really looking forward to the expansion of this project to more powers and maybe a longer temporal domain.
You can check the presentation here
Alex Weisiger (Harvard) presented a paper of much interest to my own work titled. I will definitely keeping an eye for it.
"Polarization, Decisiveness, and the Pacification of Regions of War"
Peter White (Uni. Maryland College-Park) presented a nifty paper on how Crisis outcomes (ICB) affect the willingness of the military to engage in politics.
You can see the presentation here
Achim Ahrens (Heriot-Watt University) presented maybe the most innovative paper of all that I saw, and deserved all the awards and praise given to it. The title was "Conflict in Africa: Climate, Economic Shocks and Spill-Over Effects". It was an econometrics paper but also did some very interesting thing with satellite imagery and light/dark pictures of the electricity grids.
From posters I had the chance to only see a few of them due to doing my own.
Chris Ciego (Pennsylvania) had a topic of my own heart, looking at the effects of political violence of electoral behavior but focusing on Alabama during and after the civil war. This is the type of quantitative historical explorations I love, and his seemed really interesting.
You can see more here http://sites.psu.edu/pssi/wp-content/uploads/sites/12816/2015/11/PSS.pptx
Lisa Hultman, Desiree Nilsson, and Hanne Fjelde (PRIO,Uppsala) presented their work on peace-keeping and deterrence. It was using the GIS data compiled by PRIO-UCDP and was pretty interesting.
Check it out here
Finally Richard Stoll (Rice) presented work on the dreadnoughts arms-race, and despite not being able check it out well, I am mentioning it as a giving in to my big love of military history. The title was "Not Naval Arms Races But Naval Targeting"
All in all a good conference and worth the 4 connection flights to and from, from Istanbul. Bravo to the organizers and the presenters.