End of Summer

With only three days left before our first classes, I think we can say with certainty that summer is finally over.  After returning from Prague I wasn’t sure how I would begin living and researching in Williamsburg, but I’m happy to say it turned out to be just fine. Here’s a short and sweet (like summer?) overview of where I’m going from here:

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Blogging on Research Ideas…and Research Ideas from Blogging?

Before this year I didn’t pay too much attention to blogs, especially ones focused on academic topics or international policy. In upper-level courses, though, I was introduced to  the work of some of the more well-known bloggers and saw how blogs can be both interesting and legitimate–quite an important lesson considering that many blogs popular with college students are, after all, focused on celebrity gossip, funny pictures of cats, and comedy videos.

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Fond memories of Prague

I started this blog awhile ago and thought it still deserved posting:

Though I’ve already written about studying abroad in Prague, the trip is worth revisiting to explain one other way it introduced a new perspective.

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Lessons in Data

Last week I experienced another great example of just how much careful data analysis matters in research. Anne Bernier and I began working on a new blog post for AidData on development assistance to Morocco, looking specifically at aid before and after sweeping domestic legal reforms in 2004 which granted greater rights and status to women. After I pulled information on aid commitments to Morocco over the last decade, I began examining the projects for noticeable changes between the years before the reforms and the years after–and specifically if anything about the “gender-related aid” changed after the reforms, indicating a response by donors.

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The Challenge of Non-DAC Donors

Foreign Aid, and donor behavior and aid effectiveness in particular, have become big questions in the field of international relations. In addition to the much-studied “established donors”—think traditional powers like the U.S. and Canada, most of Europe, and Japan and Australia—researchers and policymakers are now increasingly looking into “non-traditional,” “non-DAC,” and “emerging donors.”

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