Looking Back; Looking Forward

It is the end of the year, and we’re supposed to be reflective.  But not too much. After all, this is a blog. The colleagues in this lab are terrific and it serves to pause for a moment to reflect on one tiny aspect of their accomplishments this last year: their publications.  I do think publishing is broken, but not everyone is ready or able to abandon ship just yet.  You will read no whine about publishing here. Well, at least not today.  In any case, we have been remarkably successful as you can see below. Why?

One reason is that research in 2013 is a collaborative process. It took sixteen of us to produce the dozen or so articles listed below. This means that we can do a lot collectively, but each of us has to do a lot individually to make that happen.  Indeed, we can do more collectively than each of us can do individually. Partially, this is supported by good will and common purpose, but more than a sliver of dropbox, github, and skype are involved as well. And some tolerance for the 24/7 lifestyle that everyone leads.  We live in a fantastic world where anyone with a laptop and internet access can really collaborate with colleagues who might be (as “we” have been at various times) in London, India, Seattle, Pennsylvania, Korea, Mexico, Austin, Croatia, Madison, New York, Santiago, Berlin, or Boulder Colorado.

It is also important to recognize that we have made a decision to join together and work together on projects. Most of these projects have a common theme, sure. But that theme is fairly permeable and open. And, the amount of what we really do not know about political life remains enormous. As a result, opportunities abound. But “suddenly” we have a lot of new ways of thinking about and investigating the perplexing world we live in.  We are not really always stuck in the corner solving things the so-called Gell-man way (sitting in our office and thinking real hard).  That may be helpful, but so is doing proofs, writing simulation code, querying databases, and writing computer programs. These things are especially helpful after a bit of reflection, but it turns out that they work better if the ideas being investigated have been annealed by discussion and dialogue among interested colleagues, who often see weakness and nuance where if left to our own devices  we might not perceive even the most glaring imperfection, let along the smallest.

Collaboration with bright colleagues is terrifically fun, and I am truly grateful to have the opportunity to participate with them in this lab.  Here is a list of projects that we published in the year 2013, minus a few things still snagged by reviewer number three.. Stay tuned for more good things in 2014 and for a forthcoming post on current lab projects.

  1. Michael D. Ward, Nils W. Metternich, Cassy L. Dorff, Max Gallop, Florian M. Hollenbach, Anna Schultz, and Simon Weschle. “Learning from the Past and Stepping into the Future: Toward a New Generation of Conflict Prediction,” International Studies Review (2013) 15, 473–490.
  2. Michael D. Ward, Cassy L. Dorff. “Les réseaux, les dyades et le modèle des relations sociales.” Liber amicorum: Hommage en l’honneur du Professeur Jacques Fontanel. Ed. Liliane Perrin-Bensahel and Jean-Francois Guilhaudis L’Harmattan, March, 2013: 271-288.
  3. Kristin M. Bakke, John V. O’Loughlin, Gerard O’Tuathail, and Michael D. Ward. “Convincing State-Builders? Disaggregating Internal Legitimacy in Abkhazia.”International Studies Quarterly 58.3 (2013).
  4. Cassy L. Dorff and Michael D. Ward. “Networks, Dyads, and the Social Relations Model.” Political Science Research Methods 1.2 (December, 2013): 159-178.
  5. Nils W. Metternich Cassy L. Dorff, Max Gallop, Simon Weschle & Michael D. Ward. “Anti-Government Networks in Civil Conflicts; How Network Structures Affect Conflictual Behavior.” American Journal of Political Science 57.4 (October, 2013): 777-1028.
  6. Michael D. Ward, John S. Ahlquist, and Arturas Rozenas. “Gravity’s Rainbow: A Dynamic Latent Space Model for the World Trade Network.” Network Science 1.1 (March, 2013): 95-118.
  7. Xun Cao and Michael D. Ward. “Do Democracies Attract Portfolio Investment? Transnational Portfolio Investments Modeled as Dynamic Network.” International Interactions 39.1 (2013 in press): in press.
  8. Jacob M. Montgomery, Florian M. Hollenbach, and Michael D. Ward. “Aggregation and Ensembles: Principled Combinations of Data.” PS: Political Science & Politics 46.1 (January, 2013): 43-44.
  9. Kristian Skrede Gleditsch and Michael D. Ward. “Forecasting is Difficult, Especially about the Future: Using Contentious Issues to Forecast Interstate Disputes.”Journal of Peace Research 50.1 (2013): 17-31.
  10. Jan Pierskalla and Florian M. Hollenbach. “Technology and Collective Action: The Effect of Cell Phone Coverage on Political Violence in Africa.” American Political Science Review 107.2 (2013): 207-224.
  11. Matthew Dickenson. “Leadership Transition and Violence in Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations 2006-2010.”  Journal of Quantitative Criminology in.press (2013): tba.
  12. Simon Weschle. “Two Types of Economic Voting: How Economic Conditions Jointly Affect Vote Choice and Turnout.” Electoral Studies in press (2013).
  13. December 30 update: Jacob M. Montgomery and  Josh Cutler. “Computerized Adaptive Testing for Public Opinion Surveys.” Political Analysis 21.2 (2013): 172-192. 

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