I have recently received two reviews on my writing pieces, which felt like a great achievement for a number of reasons. Five or six other journals rejected one article before it was actually reviewed. Another, a chapter for a prestigious collection, which I am co-writing with a colleague in Australia, finally got reviews from two prominent scholars in the field of water policy. Many of these comments are very critical. (more…)
I was recently taking breakfast with two friends in a quiet district of Amsterdam. While enjoying our salmon on omelet, and conversing in Dutch, we updated each other on our lives. A friend of my friend had a new job, he became a manager of a pharmaceutical company which works with plants. His job is to get permissions from authorities for new drugs which are 100% plant based. He told me that it actually does not matter if the drug works, all he needs for the permissions, is that the drug does not harm people. And he run experiments to prove that, and a lot of paperwork. (more…)
This year I supervise three Master students in their thesis work, and a few other written assignments of students. It’s the time when students come up with their proposals and try to work out a puzzle and a methodology around it. Now, research would not be called research if it was easy. It’s a lot of searching, and often, without knowing what one is really looking for. It’s a stupefying process. What is important to note, however, that it is a necessarily stupefying process, one that is supposed to be such. Unfortunately, our education system is just not designed to prepare students for that, one just confronts this emotional and intellectual challenge after the years of training in problem solving.
One of the beautiful things about science is that it allows us to bumble along, getting it wrong time after time, and feel perfectly fine as long as we learn something each time. No doubt, this can be difficult for students who are accustomed to getting the answers right. (more…)
Last week, on October 08-09, I took part in a workshop at the University of Duisburg’s Kate Hamburger Kolleg (Centre for Global Cooperation Research) named “Translation in World Politics”. It was very pleasing to see the ideas of policy translation making headway in other disciplines, and now also in International Relations and World Politics. I want to tell “thank you” to organizers of the workshop – Dr. Alejandro Esguera and Dr. Tobias Berger for organizing such a wonderful event, and for inviting me from so far to take part in it. It’s been fantastic… (more…)
Edward Said is primarily known for this views on Palestine and Israel and for this book “Orientalism” which defined and inspired the post-colonial studies, as discussed before on this blog. He, however, also left a dozens if not hundreds of essays and interviews — the goldmine for anyone interested in the issues of politics, literature, the art of living and struggles of (intellectual) exile and multi-culturalism. Said’s essay “On Defiance and Taking Positions” is very interesting as it tells us what it means, to him, to be a good academic and a public intellectual. Here a few extracts and quotes which drive his point home so powerfully. (more…)