Is there ever a discriminate purpose to a blog? Is there any way to meld random thoughts into a cohesive agenda? No, but we’re trying.
As you may have guessed by our banner, or if you know us personally, most of our attention will be directed at Congress, our area of expertise, but undoubtedly other issues will make their way into this blog. Excluding the more random posts, our primary aim is to analyze political events through the lens of political science (novel, we know). This is not to say that we intend to generate peer-reviewable blog posts complete with exhaustive literature reviews and statistical models: quite the contrary. Still, we see a need for more rigorous analysis of political events. Similarly, political science struggles to make its way into the public mind. This is despite the laudable efforts of several polisci blogs which have recently received attention from a wider audience than the typical university classroom. We hope this blog helps carry the mantle that those other scholars have started. On the other hand, pundits aren’t the only ones who can say absurd things. We only hope our absurdity stands on more rigorous footing!
Similarly, we hope this blog establishes a forum where ideas and research can be discussed. In this way, our blog is consistent with our academic pursuits and obligations. Along with more general commentary, we’ll undoubtedly speculate about potential areas and avenues of research. We have several reasons for this: first, we are interested in your feedback. Grappling with raw ideas at their early stages is an important component of a research agenda. We believe exposing these ideas will undoubtedly strengthen our perspectives and academic ventures. Second, we hope this blog instigates creativity and the motivation to explore new ideas. Rather than relegate our ideas to the dust-bin we feel putting them “out there,” even if only in the framework of a blog, is a vastly superior option. Finally, blogging about politics is an excellent way for political scientists to build rapport with students. Students get a sense of our enthusiasm through lectures, but political science perspectives on current events often spur the best classroom debates.
In short, we hope this blog instigates academic and political debate from an institutional and congressional perspective.