Tuesday, January 23, 2007

May be an important early indicator of something I'd rather not see happen

(Warning: inside baseball for poli sci folks.)

Have a look at the pretty pictures in APSA's latest job market survey.

We traditionally identify political science as made up of four core fiefdoms, ahem, subfields: American, comparative, IR, and theory. Then there's a lot of other stuff that some departments identify as available subfields or hiring priorities. Public law is the classic case, methods the obvious one in recent years.

By Figure 3, primary field for job listings, theory now looks like a member of the core four only as a matter of courtesy, and one doesn't place much stock in courtesy. The three other core subfields each had 180+ job listings. Theory at 62 is immediately followed by public law (60) and public admin (57, a surprisingly high number). It's a lot closer in magnitude to the trailing field, methods (28) than it is to any of the other three core fields.

Figure 4, tracking all fields listed in job ads (not just the primary fields) is even worse. After the big three, it's a big drop-off to... public policy, then public admin, then theory, with public law very near behind.
A few Oscar questions

1) What is the definition of 'adapted' such that Borat was an adapted screenplay? Yes, the character and shtick existed in another medium, but I wouldn't think that was sufficient. On the other hand, if one thinks that the movie was a complicated piece of performance art then maybe it was enough-- the shtick is the heart of the matter, whereas for most movies there needs to be a novel or a play with a plot and a number of characters before it's an adaptation.

2) I love Melissa Ethridge. But, good god, the song at the end of An Inconvenient Truth made me burst out laughing-- ridiculously over the top in its earnest preachiness, even with my standards for such things already having been battered by the movie I had just watched.

3) Ah, the wacky foreign language film rules and category. How entertaining is it that Water is the entry from Canada? Or that Best Picture nominee Iwo Jima can't be a foreign-language nominee because it doesn't have a non-US sponsoring country?

4) Surprised to see how little award business The Good Shepherd has done. I have the vague sense that The Departed, Blood Diamond, and The Good Shepherd were competing for the same oxygen, and that The Departed has ended up sucking most of it up. I wonder whether Matt Damon had a nominee's worth of votes, but they got split between Departed and Shepherd.