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The Sociology of Time

By Sally Raskoff I just finished reading a book called Einstein’s Dreams. Author Alan Lightman, a theoretical physicist, muses over what Einstein’s dreams might have been when pondering different conceptions of time. The stories are informed by theoretical physics and...

dial F for fabio

Need a workshop speaker? I’m here to help out! I work for free if it’s local, and I work cheap if you pitch in for travel costs. Topics: Black Power/Black Studies – Student protest and the rise of ethnic studies The Antiwar movement after 9/11 – How did the peace movement fight war in the […]

When Countries Develop, Women Get Smarter Faster

We’ve known for a long time that economic, social, and public health conditions influence learning in ways that affect people’s abilities to perform well on memory and math tests. But until now, the impact that improving these conditions...Show More Summary

Why Clacton Matters for Labour

A very quick something bashed out for LabourList this morning and published here. In case you missed it... Make yourself a cuppa, pull up a comfy chair, and watch. Since Douglas Carswell’s surprise/no-surprise defection to UKIP yesterday and the forcing of a by-election in Clacton, there will be some in the party tempted to adopt this attitude. Show More Summary

Local Council By-Elections August 2014

Party Number of Candidates Total Vote % +/- July Average/ contest +/- July +/- Seats Conservative 9 2,528 27.1% -2.2% 281 -160 +1 Labour 8 2,551 27.4% +1.7% 319 -89 0 LibDem 7 1,732 18.6% +7.5% 247 -11 0 UKIP 7 1,685 18.1% +2.8% 241Show More Summary

“Tourist, Shame on You”: On Disaster Tourism

Flashback Friday. When tourists returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, there was a new site to see: disaster.  Suddenly — in addition to going on a Ghost Tour, visiting the Backstreet Cultural Museum, and lunching at Dooky Chase’s — one could see the devastation heaped upon the Lower Ninth Ward.  Buses full of strangers […]

From Our Archives: Hurricane Katrina

August 29th is the anniversary of the day that Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and side-swiped New Orleans, breaching the levees.  These posts are from our archives: Was Hurricane Katrina a “Natural” Disaster? Profits Over People: The Human Cause of the Katrina Disaster An Iconic Image of Government Failure: Empty, Flooded School Buses Racism […]

How Harvard students are channeled into finance & consulting

Amy Binder has a really interesting new piece in the Washington Monthly on why so many grads of Harvard and Stanford go work for McKinsey or Goldman when they finish. Surprise (well, not really) — it’s organizational. Based on research she conducted with UCSD grad students Nick Bloom and Daniel Davis, she argues that elite schools […]

the complete failure of colin powell

One of the very first posts I ever wrote for orgtheory is an analysis of the Powell doctrine, which says, roughly, that you should only engage in war if you have over whelming political support and firepower. I thought the Powell doctrine was a mess from an organizational perspective: For an organizational theorist, there’s a […]

Douglas Carswell's Defection: High Stakes

I know it was wrong, but when Douglas Carswell announced his defection to UKIP and the forcing of a by-election in his Clacton constituency, I couldn't help but think "brilliant!". I imagine the prime minister was somewhat less chuffed. Show More Summary

Coasian Comparison

Josh Barro wrote a somewhat controversial op-ed in the NYT attempting to apply the Coase theorem to the negotiation between passengers on a plane about whether or not to recline their seats. Economist Greg Mankiw and political theorist Jim Johnson each posted a short reaction to the paper. See if you can spot the difference […]

New Orleans after Katrina: An Uneven Recovery

To mourn, commemorate, and celebrate the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  Photographer Ted Jackson returned to the site of some of his most powerful photographs, re-taking them to reveal the progress, or lack of progress, of the past nine years. You can see them all at; I’ve pulled out three that speak […]

soviet deep battle doctrine: policy so bad it’s good

A while back, I got into reading about Soviet “Deep Battle” doctrine. Here’s the Wiki summary: Deep battle encompassed manoeuvre by multiple Soviet Army front-size formations simultaneously. It was not meant to deliver a victory in a single operation; instead, multiple operations, which might be conducted in parallel or successively, would induce a catastrophic failure […]

New Orleans Voodoo: Before and After Hurricane Katrina

When Hurricane Katrina broke the levees of New Orleans and flooded 85% of the city, 100,000 people were left homeless. Disproportionately, these were the poor and black residents of New Orleans. This same population faced more hurdles to returning than their wealthier and whiter counterparts thanks to the effects of poverty, but also deliberate efforts to […]

How Not to Write About Rotherham

Sexual violence against women and girls comes in all skin colours, all languages, all forms of religious belief. One would hope its tacit acceptance by institutions laying claim to the protection of the most vulnerable lies in the distant past. Show More Summary

the islamic state’s leadership style

The Small Wars Journal has an article on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. Written by Gary Anderson, a retired Marine Corps colonel, it should be of interest to any scholar interested in leadership. The basic question is how the Islamic State suddenly defeated two states on their home turf. Anderson lays […]


Observant readers may have noticed a small change round these parts. If you're not among them, let your eyes float the the top of this page. There, nestling along with Home and About are seven new buttons; Sociology, Economics & Politics, Far Left, Gender, Sex, Books, and Games. Show More Summary

In Employers’ Eyes, For-Profit Colleges are Equivalent to High School

Holding a college degree, it is widely assumed, improves the likelihood that a person will be successful in the labor market.  This maxim draws individuals into college across the class spectrum and aspiring students who are low-income or non-white may find themselves enrolled at a for-profit college. Show More Summary

book announcement: party in the street – the antiwar movement and the democratic party after 9/11

It is my pleasure to announce the forthcoming publication of a book by Michael Heaney and myself. It is called Party in the Street: The Antiwar Movement and the Democratic Party after 9/11. It will be available from Cambridge University Press starting in early 2015. The book is an in-depth examination of the relationship of […]

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