Come and do an MSc in International Politics in Dublin!

For this year, I’m the Director of the MSc in International Politics here at Trinity. On the one hand, that makes me biased. On the other, I can tell you that it provides a great opportunity to build on your undergraduate education with a rigorous training focused on the international dimension of politics.

“Who Gets What, When, How” at the global scale. Why? Human rights. Foreign policy. Political economy. Environmental politics. Violent conflict. War and peace!

Research-active scholars will teach you in small seminar groups. You’ll develop your analytical skills and your ability to express ideas to others. You’ll spend a year in a great city. If all goes well, you’ll have a credential from a highly respected European university steeped in history.

I’ve already started doing admissions, so you’d best get along to the course pages to find out more and start the application process.

From LaTeX to .doc for ‘Comparative Politics’

These are largely notes for myself, but maybe others will find them useful.

As per my previous post, I’ve had a paper accepted. The next task is to adjust the manuscript so that it conforms to the journal’s style sheet, and then to get it into a .doc file for submission. I write in LaTeX, so the latter, at least, is non-trivial. After about a day of experimenting, here’s what I came up with.

First, switch to biblatex for handling your citations. It’s really easy and makes life much better! To do this, and go quite far in getting towards the desired document style, add the following code in the preamble of your tex file.

\usepackage[style=verbose-trad1, natbib=true, sortcites=true, block=space, isbn=false, url=false, doi=false, dashed=false, dateabbrev=false]{biblatex}

Now make sure that (nearly) all of your citations use the autocite command, rather than citep. (YMMV with \citet commands.) One great thing here is that \autocite is smart enough to handle punctuation immediately following the command in the right way. So, using foo bar \autocite{Hicks2012}. will get rendered as something like either “foo bar (Hicks 2012).” or “foo bar.1”, where the note points to the full reference. You can now toggle between the two by simply setting a different style= in the biblatex options (above), and there should be basically no manual editing required.

That gets you quite far towards the correct styles, but not all of the way. Put the following in your tex file’s preamble to tweak various things. In fact, for my own purposes, I have separated this out into a tex file of its own (called ‘comparativepoliticsstyles.tex’), which I include with \input{path/to/comparativepoliticsstyles.tex.

% % % % From

% Remove 'In:' for all biblatex refs

% Remove 'In:' for 'article' biblatex refs

% % % % From

\printtext[parens]{% ADDED
}\nopunct% ADDED

% \setunit*{\adddot}% DELETED
\setunit*{\addcolon}% ADDED

% % % % From


% % % % My own formulation

% Suppress titles from opcit refs.

% Make footnotes the same size as the normal text.

Almost there. You now need to run mk4ht oolatex your_file.tex from the command line. This will generate a .odt file that you can open with OpenOffice, and then convert to a .doc file. You’ll need to use the Tools->Footnotes/Endnotes dialog to position all footnotes at the end of the document, thus making them endnotes. (This is possible on the LaTeX side, but I found that autocites with multiple references came up empty when I did this.)

That should do it, except for the idiosyncracies I’ve probably forgotten.

My first paper accepted for publication

I’ve (finally) had a paper accepted for publication. It’s a re-worked dissertation chapter, now entitled “Partisan Strategy and Path Dependence: The Post-War Emergence of Health Systems in the UK and Sweden“.

I argue that the UK got the statist and centralised National Health Service it did immediately after the Second World War because Bevan felt that this would prove more difficult for “the vandals opposite”, in the form of the Tories, to undo. This was important because the NHS was a significant mechanism for redistribution.

I contrast this with the the Swedish Social Democrats’ explicit rejection of an NHS model and subsequent pursuit of a more cash-centric insurance design. Such a model was both less redistributive and (potentially) more malleable for future governments. I argue that they took this course as they were able to rely on redistribution in other areas – notably centralised wage-bargaining – making health policy less politically divisive.

I need to make some minor revisions before publication, but a very recent draft is available via SSRN. The paper has been accepted at Comparative Politics.

Some new year inequality reading

As a warm-up for the re-start of PO4730 in a couple of weeks, here are some short reads that are relevant to things we discussed last term.

Updated 2012/01/03

More Op-Ed Ideas

Pointers to Some Data

For those taking classes (MSc and SS) with me who have upcoming assignments, you may find it interesting and/or helpful to take a look at some data that relates to some of the issues that we have been discussing this term.

As inequality has been a theme in both classes, I have uploaded an export of the “Top Incomes” data from Atkinson et al to the class WebCT pages. (It’s available from the web site directly, but the export can be slightly fiddly.) It is a .csv file that you should be able to open in any spreadsheet (e.g. Excel).

Klaus Armingeon and collaborators make available two data sets – “Comparative Political Data Set I (23 OECD Countries)” and “Comparative Political Data Set II (28 Post Communist Countries)” – on their website. This aggregates together data from a whole variety of sources. See the codebooks for details of the variables, but you’ll find measures of electoral turnout, female political representation, electoral proportionality, welfare spending, and numerous others. They provide the data in the Excel format.

The Quality of Government Insitute at Gothenburg makes available “The QoG Time-Series Data” that you can find by clicking on the “Data” tab to the left of the home page. This data set is even larger than the Armingeon et al ones, and covers many more variables as well as many more countries. Again, see the codebook. The file is available in the .csv format.

Updated (2011/11/10)

Frederick Solt provides “The Standardized World Income Inequality Database“.