Thursday, 12 April 2012


Hello and welcome. I do research about security studies.

Right now I’m working a lot on civil war and civil-military relations. I think this stuff is fascinating: what happens when a rebel leader or a government gives someone a gun, or tells him he can order around a bunch of other guys with guns? What does he do then? I think it’s a particularly important question when there’s a civil war going on in the background, the future isn’t clear and your loyalties are divided. It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him, as we'll be hearing a lot more later this year.

So I'm starting a blog mainly to sublimate my occasional thoughts on these subjects. With any luck, I'll be posting about civ-mil and conflict news around the world, developing ideas, and publicizing research. 

Oh, and talking pop culture. Everyone loves pop culture. Especially pop culture references in poli-sci blogs. You can’t escape. Well, the lords of TV scheduling have decreed—oddly—that Season 2 of Game of Thrones start now that winter is going away, but at least there’s plenty of crazy to talk about.

In my own research, I look at why and when combatants in civil wars desert, defect, and split off to start their own factions, what their leaders do to try to stop them, and how well that works out for them. Hence the weathervane. But it’s a bit of a mistake: armies don’t just blow with the wind. Think of it as a weathervane with its own ideas of where to point.

The title of the blog comes from here

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