Swiss Political Science Review now published by Wiley-Blackwell

Starting with volume 17 (2011), the Swiss Political Science Review is published by Wiley-Blackwell, under the editorship of Cédric Dupont and Florence Passy. This is a great development in the professionalization of the flagship publication of the Swiss Political Science Association, which will help to further increase its international visibility and its appeal for scholars not based in Switzerland. A large part of the credit for this accomplishment is due to the former president of the Association, Simon Hug, and to the former editor of the Review, Daniele Caramani. Check it out and consider it for your next publication!


Peer review by Twitter

Nature News (h/t Daniel Bochsler):

Blogs and tweets are ripping papers apart within days of publication, leaving researchers unsure how to react.

This reminds me of of that Peanuts strip in which the mysterious editor to which Snoopy keeps sending unsolicited contributions throws him a rejection letter wrapped around a stone.

Bad timing

From the March 2011 issue of Political Studies:

Case studies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two countries sharing close strategic relationships with the United States yet differing in the socio-economic foundations of authoritarianism and experiences with managing external and domestic calls for political reform, demonstrate that the unwillingness of the United States to condition its support for regional partners on human rights concerns constitutes one of the main reasons for the Arab world’s “democratic exception”.

Why is the University of Essex so ugly?

The University of Essex is well known among political scientists for several reasons: its political science department is excellent, the ECPR central services are located there, and it has hosted a methods summer school for over 40 years.

Especially because of the latter, many of us have had the pleasure to marvel at the ugliness of its buildings and get lost in their labyrinths in search of a lecture room or a computer lab (one swinging door after the other), wondering what the architects were thinking. Well, Daniel Hamermesh at the Freakonomics blog has the answer:

[T]he British government imposes a value-add tax on building extensions, so that if the buildings are joined on each floor, the extension is heavily taxed. To avoid this, the University struck a deal with the taxman to allow one internal door between adjoining buildings, allowing what is merely an extension to be treated as a new edifice and to escape taxation.