Author Archives: Brandon Valeriano

International Relations Scholarship in the Age of Trump

The electoral college victory of Donald Trump has been devastating for too many reasons to count, from the impact on the middle class, the poor, minorities, and even Texas. This man is a threat to our nation’s well-being economically, politically, and socially. Those saying everything will be alright need to wake up the dire threat he and his team of deplorables are to ethnic minorities, people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, and other diverse groups. But we also must investigate the foreign policy impact of President Trump.

The team that Trump will appoint will be full of the scrubs and discards of the Bush Administration, in fact it is often made of those too extreme to even serve in polite society.  Instead of draining the swamp we are restocking it and throwing a few non-native invasive species in for good measure.  From John “lose ten floors of the UN” Bolton, to Sarah “you can see Russia from Alaska” Palin, to his team of Russia sycophants who will likely trade Ukraine and the Baltics for Russian support on our war against the Islamic State, nothing good can come from this election from the foreign policy perspective and this has a direct impact on the work we do as IR scholars. We must deal with this issue in our research.   11chappatte-master768-v2

Continue reading

Cyber Security and the Coming Failure of the UN’s Group of Governmental Experts

Cross posting with the Niskanen Center

Brandon Valeriano and Allison Pytlak

This week the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE), as part of the United Nations, is meeting once again in what has become a regular reflection of current thought in the field of cyber security internationally.  ‘Reflection’ is the perfect word to describe what the GGE does because it’s not clear to what purpose the group is moving. It might be a useful exercise to review what we know about cyber security at this point and why the GGE will fail to engage with the most pressing problems generated in and from cyberspace.   4bff43b07e8fed5ebcaad53875b35b28

Continue reading

Embracing our Failures

Guest post by Sara Mitchell, University of Iowa

My daughter recently played in the regional high school team tennis competition, she played singles in addition to the number one player on her team (#1 at regionals). On the drive home, my daughter noted that the coach had spent one-on-one time with the #1 player all week. She asked, “why does our coach spend the most time on the player who needs the least amount of help?”  In answering those questions, a lot of things about my experiences as an academic were useful. I told her that while my career has been very successful, I have been defined most by experiences where I failed. Interviewing for multiple senior jobs in the past few years and netting zero job offers was personally painful, but it also pushed me to think more about what I want for my career and how I can be successful on the job market in the future.   tennis_fail

Continue reading

Turning Over the Table: Failing or Succeeding in the Tenure Process

Navel gazing at the tenure process continues and anxiety can be crippling. The same unfortunate lessons keep coming up, the University will outlive us all.  We can be discarded at any time or for just about any reason, regardless of tenure. The problem is that many tenure post-mortem cases do not seem to accept this reality, we need to go further and speak some honest truths about the process and the institutions we work for.  2015-10-06-1444167615-5163152-20140824fallingshort

Continue reading

Never Tell a Soldier the Costs of War…

Jon Lindsay over at PV@G said most of what needs to be said about Eye in the Sky. I will only make a few points but mostly reiterate the need for any IR scholar to see this movie. It is frankly incredible but it is also a “hard watch.” It wasn’t exactly the best movie choice for my last day in Los Angeles, but it is something that needs to be seen by those in our community.  EITS_Ex_Original

Continue reading

What Can We Know About Cyber Security Data?

Jamie Collier and Brandon Valeriano

(This post was written with Jamie Collier and cross posted on his blog Cyber Security Relations here. Check out his stuff. This post might be bit too mean to Norse for a mass-market website so RI gets the benefit).

With Norse, a cyber threat intelligence firm, imploding due to a lack of confidence in the company’s data and other associate problems, there is clear cause for concern about the nature of cyber security incident data. Although we should not jump to conclusions — Norse’s failings are unlikely to represent problems in the cyber intelligence industry more broadly — it does nonetheless lead to questions. There are two lessons to learn from Norse and the use of cyber security data.  images

Continue reading

Reviewing an Editor’s Reviewing Peer Review

Sara Mitchell over at the Political Methodologist writes a great piece on peer review with many notes of wisdom that do not necessarily have anything to do with peer review.  Much of it borders more on career advice for both Senior and Junior faculty.

dilbert
I just have a few notes that were about to become a very long Facebook post that my family has no need to see.

Continue reading

Force Awakening…reactions, analysis, hype

Spoilers, maybe.  Who knows, everyone is so sensitive now.

Sorry Britain got it first, hope I am still here for Episode VIII…new-the-force-awakens-character-descriptions-for-finn-rey-kylo-ren-and-captain-phasma1

.

.

.

Continue reading

James Bond as an Autonomous Weapon

In a recent piece for the Conversation, I compared James Bond to a drone.  I think a mistake was made, James Bond is not just a drone; he is an autonomous drone.  This “man” is not concerned with headquarters, orders, or the state.  He is pure id, operating under some sort of ‘00’ code routine of kill before you are killed.   James-Bond-fighting-on-a-helicopter-607133

Continue reading

Russia’s Vaunted Military?

This New York Times piece on Russia’s use of power in Syria was so notable for its hyperbole and exaggeration, it woke me from my RI slumber.  As my old friend from UIC, Evan McKenzie noted “For the US media exaggerating Russia’s military power is a reflex.” It truly is in this case, the article is so bad that it could have appeared in Russia Today.  Lets cover it by using the NYTimes’ own words.   Mine are in italics0,,17590427_303,00

Continue reading