January 2006

Another expedition in the works? My mother’s travel plans are coming together and, in a move that surprised me, she invited me to accompany her to either Greece of Malta at the end of March. In either case, we would be leaving on the 28th. After the Baltic in December, I suspect that the Mediterranean […]

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During today’s seminar, which was every bit as energetic as I expected, I was stuck by a question. The discussion centred around the grand and frustrating neo-neo debate, where neoliberals and neorealists fall over themselves to prove how much more scientific they are than one another. While this kind of thing blasted back and forth […]

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I spent most of today trapped in the Social Sciences Library (the oft-mentioned SSL) due to the gravitational attraction of a stack of books about neo-liberal institutionalism. Now, I have nearly finished an essay. This is especially welcome since it is due tomorrow morning at 11:00am, during our core seminar. The essay is about the […]

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The results of the statistics exam are back and, along with at least two other members of the M.Phil, I managed to get a distinction. While that is mostly reflective of the fact that I did statistics back at UBC, I am still glad to have begun my Oxford exam career on the right foot. […]

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One of the trickiest questions of environmental politics is always whether we are actually managing to deal with problems, or whether we are just shifting them elsewhere – either spatially or temporally. This is true on many fronts: with regards to pollution, with regards to resources, and with regards to the overall intensity with which […]

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The better part of today was taken up attending the Alternative Careers Fair, over in the exam schools. I attended two sessions: the one on ‘Arts’ because it included Philip Pullman and the one on ‘Environment.’ Neither was exactly what I expected. Overall, the experience was interesting – and it was good to meet Mr. […]

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Three months ago today, a collection of Oxford bloggers met at The Turf for beer and conversation. Now, a second instance has been proposed. The date and time proposed are February 10th (Friday of 4th week) at 8:00pm. The place: the Turf Tavern, off Holywell Street. I look forward to meeting an even larger cross […]

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Substantive stuff This has been proving quite the period on the international relations front: spats over gas between Russia and former satellite states, Ariel Sharon knocked out of politics, Hamas elected to power, the Iranian nuclear program again generating international attention, and the Conservatives emerging from twelve years of opposition in Canada to take a […]

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I just realized that I have another essay due on Tuesday, this one for the core seminar. For my own reference, and that of people in the IR M.Phil, here’s the big stuff for this term: 31 January : (Tuesday of 3rd week) Core Seminar : Paper 19 February : (Thursday of 4th week) Qualitative […]

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To me, today’s qualitative methods lecture embodied much of what is frustrating and unattractive about academia. It’s the parochialism, the turf-wars, the egos, and the navel-gazing. It’s playing an intellectual game with your fellow practitioners, rather than focusing on some project with external value. That value needn’t be the improvement of the world, per se, […]

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