Most Popular Posts of 2013

Between my day job, a data-intensive side project with Erica Chenoweth, some family stuff (see my wife’s three-week-old blog), and the impending holidays, I haven’t had the time or brain power to write much over the past couple of weeks. Oddly enough, I think the Chenoweth project has been the most taxing. My role involves aggregating and analyzing a bunch of ragged data sets, and I find that the mental processing power required for that work doesn’t leave much room for abstract or creative thinking.

In lieu of new content, I thought I would call out what the site stats tell me were my most popular posts from the year. Here’s the top 10, with some manual concatenation and the home page omitted.

10. What Causes Social Unrest? Apparently, Everything

9. Egypt’s Mass Killing in Historical Perspective

8. Big Data Won’t Kill the Theory Star

7. Some Thoughts on the Causes of Mass Protest

6. Assessing Coup Risk in 2012

5. Why Is Academic Writing So Bad? A Brief Response to Stephen Walt

4. A Few Suggestions for Social Scientists New to Twitter

3. The Future of Political Science Just Showed Up [on GDELT]

2. Yes, That’s a Coup in Egypt

1. Coup Forecasts for 2013 (and a map of them)

So…coups, forecasting, social unrest, Egypt, and advice for academics look like the big themes. That’s funny, because I would self-identify as an expert of sorts on just three of those—coups, social unrest, and forecasting—and one of my primary research interests, democratization, is nowhere to be found. And advice for academics? Heck, I’m not even one myself.

As it probably goes for every blogger, a few of the posts I most enjoyed writing landed nowhere near the top 10. But, hey, it’s a blog, so I get to call them out again. In no particular order:

* On the interplay between global, regional, and local forces in politics (here and here)

* On the quixotic pursuit of templates for democratic transitions

* On how social science is like microbiology

* And, appropriately enough, on blogs as catalysts for intellectual work

I’m hoping my brain will switch back into writing mode soon, but in case it doesn’t, let me just say thank you very much for reading and engaging with me for another year. Blogging continues to be a pleasure on balance, and as long as I can keep saying that, I’ll keep doing it.

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  1. I’ve especially enjoyed the ones riffing of complex adaptive systems, evolutionary theory etc They are fantastic my man !

  1. Top posts of 2013 « An Africanist Perspective

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