Wednesday, September 02, 2009

CFA: GRIPP Postdoc at McGill, 2010-2011

The departments of political science and philosophy at McGill University, the Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP), and the Research Group on Constitutional Studies (RGCS) will offer one or more postdoctoral fellowships at McGill in 2010-11. Area of specialization is open within political theory and political philosophy, but we are especially interested in applicants whose research is relevant to at least of these GRIPP research themes:

1) The history of liberal and democratic thought, especially early modern thought;
2) Moral psychology and political agency, or politics and affect or emotions or rhetoric;
3) Democracy, diversity and pluralism.
4) Democracy, justice, and transnational institutions

Ph.D. must be in hand by 1 September 2010; preference may be given to candidates whose Ph.D.s will be in hand by 15 April 2010. Preference may also be extended to those with a knowledge of French, and to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

The fellow will be expected to be in residence at McGill for the academic year, and will be expected to take part in the intellectual life of GRIPP and RGCS, including regular workshops and conferences. There is no teaching requirement, but there may be an option to teach one class for additional pay.

Please submit CV, writing sample, research statement, graduate transcript, and three letters of recommendation to: GRIPP postdoctoral fellowship, Political Science, McGill University, 855 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal QC H3A 2T7. Review of applications will begin September 20. Contact Jacob Levy, , with questions.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


I've complained before about the APSA online service for annual meeting papers, PROceedings, which until this year used the terrible, terrible interface.

Now PROceedings is gone, so that's good. APSA's now using SSRN, which has numerous advantages-- conference papers will automatically show up on an author's page of other SSRN working papers, for example. And SSRN generates a stable URL for each paper, which PROceedings didn't do.

But... look at this mess. SSRN is ideal for searches by paper title or author. And its specialized subject-matter journals allow for browsing. But dumping hundreds of APSA papers into an unsorted pile means that browsing in this context is impossible. The APSA annual meeting is very usefully sorted into lots of divisions and organized sections, and for that matter into individual panels, to help people find the papers they want to attend. None of that categorization is carried over to SSRN.

Compare the interface with the online meeting program, which is better than ever this year. You can browse by division, or browse by tme, or search by keyword, or...

Wouldn't it be nice to be able to browse through the program and, when you reach a paper or panel listing, click right on a hotlink to go to the paper?

Instead it seems that the idea is: browse the APSA program, find a paper you're interested in, click over to SSRN, search for just that paper by author name. You can neither get to the papers from the program, nor see the program categories when you're looking through the papers.

(The other problem with SSRN, of course, is that it lacks full-text searches, for no reason I understand. But that's a chronic problem with them, not distinctive to the conference site.)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Conference conflicts

Whose idea was it to schedule the Midwest and the New England Political Science Associations at the same time next year? Not that I have any interest in ever going to Midwest again, but surely it's not in New England's interest to compete directly with the dominant regional association.