Tag: political science

  • Review: 'How New and Assertive is China's New Assertiveness' by Alastair Iain Johnston, Spring 2013

    [This review is part of a new experiment. I have read for general impressions, main points, and potentially useful material for myself and others. This is not a detailed methodological or theoretical examination, nor is it a conscientious summary. I have tried to consider both specialist and generalist audiences. Comments are very welcome, as I hope […]


  • On the unfortunate presentism of China political science

    From Neil J. Diamant on why we might want to study things before Reform and Opening in order to understand Chinese politics: “Given the short history of the PRC, and that much of what we have learned about its politics is based in the ‘pre-archival era,’ it is far too soon to relegate the foundational […]


  • Thinking about causality with both numbers and reason

    When you move from area studies to a social science, there are bound to be some changes of pace. Perhaps the most interesting problem to arise for me is how to understand causality and how to weigh the discipline’s emphasis on quantitative analysis with my considerably more developed skills in qualitative research and reasoning. A […]


  • Rational choice arguments should carry a standard disclaimer

    If every work that discusses reality under the rubric of rational self-interested actors carried this disclaimer, we all would be saved a lot of grief: Since human nature is profoundly complex and individuals rarely act out of unmixed motives, the assumption of rational self-interest that I have been using to develop this theory is obviously […]