Notes on political science research


A Strong History

Back in grad school, we used to exchange 1- or 2-page summaries of journal articles with my peers. All of us read the articles (at least I did), but we shared the task of writing notes about them. We would collect summaries from fellow grad students at UCSD and post them to wikisum.com. You’ll find lots of summaries of classic books and articles there, although the summaries vary widely in quality depending on who wrote them.

Now that grad school’s over, we still read books and journal articles. And I still take notes on them. We post the notes here mainly for my own benefit–storing them in this format makes it easier for me to search through them. If these summaries are useful to you, great. If you’d like to discuss my reviews, please post a comment. If you’d like to start blogging here with me, please do, as long as you’re a professor or doctoral candidate in political science.

Political Reviews

Timing Is Everything

In recent years, political scientists have run a variety of field experiments to show exactly which methods of voter mobilization are most effective. However, those experiments have focused mostly on method, not on timing. In a recent article, Costas Panagopoulos used...

Motivating Voter Turnout by Invoking the Self

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests that we can dramatically boost turnout simply by reminding people to “be a voter” rather than “to vote.” When we ask people to “be a voter” and not just “to vote,” we lead them to think about...

What is Socialism?

What is Socialism?

Socialism isn’t communism – they’re two different systems with different values at their core. In fact, most socialists don't believe in communism at all! But if you think both systems have similar goals or outcomes. 

The character of King George III

The character of King George III

King George III was the king of England from 1760 to 1820. King George III became incapacitated and ill in the late 1790s, which led to his eldest son taking over as Prince Regent. The king's illness created a power vacuum that caused conflict between the two branches...

Our main goal is just to help others remember what we’ve read.