Monday, December 21, 2009

The Year's Best in Global Political Economy

. Monday, December 21, 2009

Drezner asks for five nominations for the Albies, his award for most paradigm-shifting articles/books/ideas of the past year in political economy, named in honor of Albert Hirschman. Here are my suggestions:

1. The article in IO by Mansfield and Mutz on sociotropic attitudes and their influence on trade policy. I'm not 100% convinced in the result (and the authors have not yet made the data available), but if it holds up to further scrutiny it will make several decades of research -- and the dominant models of trade politics -- obsolete.

2. Jeffrey Friedman's article [pdf] in the Critical Review on the financial crisis. The thesis isn't exactly new; libertarians have long argued that regulations lead to perverse incentives that have deleterious effects. But in terms of this particular crisis and the particular mechanisms that contributed to it, I think his argument carries a good deal of weight.

3. Skyler Cranmer, Assistant Professor at UNC, has been doing work on network analysis and its implications for quantitative international relations research. His paper is under review, and thus not available for public consumption yet, but if his claims are true (and I think they are) they should have far-reaching effects on the discipline. I won't steal his thunder by explaining exactly what those claims are, but keep it in mind. Network analysis is already changing the IR game, and his work could carry that further. Perhaps this would be better on a 2010 list, but I've read the paper and seen it presented so I'm counting it for 2009.

4. The Freakonomicization of IR is finally upon us [pdf]. I guess I'm breaking my own rule because I first saw this paper presented in late-2008, but it's been circulating more this year. I'm not necessarily opposed to using instrumental variables when measuring latent concepts, but am I wrong in thinking that these studies usually raise more questions than they answer?

5. I'm reserving this spot for something I've yet to read: Beth Simmons' book on human rights, international law, and domestic politics. Everything I've heard of it has been good, and Simmons has always done good work, so I hope that when I get to it (hopefully in the next few weeks) it lives up to the hype.



Brian Hasbrouck said...

I really like the idea behind the paper on international soccer. I've already sent that to a few friends. Thanks!

The Year's Best in Global Political Economy




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