Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Well, it's been a very interesting three weeks. I spent a very stimulating few days in Minnesota at a foundation strategic planning meeting, then traveled the next week to Berkeley, where I got great feedback at the department seminar, which I've been incorporating that. I'm continuing to actively pursue job opportunities. My giving circle chose the environment as its issue topic this year, and I'm putting together a speaker event next month to discuss it. Cathy and I spent a great few days' vacation in New Orleans for Jazz Fest this past weekend. Lots going on! I'll post more tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


3 hours writing, page count = 203

All right! I finished a set of revisions to Chapter 1 and sent it off to a colleague for comments. By next Monday, I'll circulate a polished version to my colleagues for seminar at Berkeley next week. I'm looking forward to feedback!

Thanks to this "week's" monitor, Geordan Drummond, in Philadelphia. I'll post again next week from Berkeley.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Moving around

4 hours writing, page count = 204

This includes time on Friday and today.

Incorporating the new data has required moving some other stuff around in Chapter 1, but it's been useful. After playing out how the measures of security-force configuration worked including population data, I'm satisfied that my comparative framework I'm going to send the chapter out for feedback tomorrow in advance of next week's seminar.

In other news, I ran last week for the first time in five months. All those weeks of physical therapy on my heel and shins (three hours a day including travel time, twice per week) have paid off. It felt great to run again. I'm starting off easy for the first few weeks, on doctor's orders, and am still going to PT in case anything flares up. First three times, nothing so far....

The next three weeks are going to be interesting. This week, I'll be in Minnesota Tuesday through Friday morning; a foundation out there invited me to participate in a strategic planning "design lab." Then on Friday, I meet with the interim executive director at the job for which I'm applying for the permanent ED position. Then, the actual interview takes place next Monday. The next day, Tuesday the 15th, I travel to Berkeley. I get back home Saturday the 19th. The following Wednesday the 23rd, we go to New Orleans for Jazz Fest, returning Monday the 28th. All that to say, my posting will be sporadic this month, and I'll be playing it by ear as far as monitoring. I'll post again tomorrow, and then again on the 16th after my seminar presentation.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Back on the horse

1 hour writing, 3 hours analyzing data, page count = 204

Well, I've started updating the revised Chapter 1 with the analysis from all the budget data I've gathered over the past month. There's a lot to be said - and quite a bit to be taken out, so I'll be at this for a couple of days. But it's good to be back writing again after so long in data-collection and analysis mode. Although what I'm writing will be so much richer because of this additional data....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Investment vs. participation

1 hour planning travel, 3 hours analyzing data, page count = 203

So my two trips to Berkeley are set. I'll be there April 15-19 to present the revised Chapter 1 and meet with my advisers, and May 16-23 to graduate, get my dissertation signed, and file (in that order). It's exciting to have an endpoint defined. Here's to a productive six weeks!

The MPR and PPR data has been very helpful in rethinking the mechanisms. Countries are aligning much more like I expected them to when those two figures are taken into account, but I'm still figuring out what the mechanisms there are. There are two measures: budget share is about state investment, and MPR/PPR are about societal participation. Tomorrow I need to think (and write!) about those two phenomena and how they interact to produce the outcomes that interest me.

I also spent a couple of hours job-hunting; there are quite a few interesting-looking positions out there, and I plan to submit a few applications on Friday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


2 hours compiling data, 1 hour emailing and planning travel, 2 hours analyzing data, page count = 203

Finished compiling force data for Peru and Bolivia. I'm now only missing Brazil army and police and Ecuador police for the endpoint of state formation. But for now, that's enough to work with.

As I suspected, adding in population size does make a difference. The military and police participation ratios (proportion of male population in the army and police, respectively) appear to have a relationship with regime outcomes, and in the direction I'd anticipated. But I need to take apart my measure of regime outcomes and make sure that's capturing what I want it to as well. An encouraging sign, anyway.

Still trying to figure out the right length for my May trip to Berkeley for graduation and filing. I may be able to cut a few days off the back end and be home for Memorial Day weekend, but I don't know for sure yet. TBD, hopefully in the next day or two.