Back in January of 2012 I found the following email from Erica Chenoweth in my In Box:
I hope this email finds you well, and that 2012 is off to a good start for you.
Barb Walter and I write you today because we are starting a blog tentatively called “Political Violence Cheat Sheet” (although you’re welcome to suggest other names) and we would like you to join us as a contributor. The goal of the blog is to be the go-to place for answers to questions related to the most pressing problems related to political violence. Specifically, we want to get the very best research and analysis from the very best scholars into the hands of decisionmakers in D.C. and abroad.
Our vision of the blog is to be smart, straightforward, a bit irreverent, clever, down-to-earth (sort of a Freakonomics but by political scientists studying civil war and conflict). We expect our readers to be (1) policymakers; (2) media and opinion leaders; (3) smart, informed citizens;
and (4) academics and graduate students.
In terms of content, we hope for the following rough mix: (1) 50% analysis. “Here’s a puzzle. Here’s what we think is going on.” Or: “Here’s some really interesting data or empirical patterns. What are the implications of this?” Or: “Here’s what we think is likely to happen in Syria, and here’s why.” (2) 30% links to interesting papers with short discussion thereof, and (3) 20% quirky, fun stuff.
In order to make this blog successful, we need you. You are one of the distinguished experts on this subject. You also have a great instinct for an important topic. You are engaging, interested in policy, and you write well. We also think it will be fun to work with you.
Again, we are very excited about this and see this as an opportunity to fill a gap in the blogosphere. Our tentative start date is April 1, 2012. Please let us know if you are interested. If you are, we will send details on the next steps.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Barb and Erica
Tonight Political Violence at a Glance won the award for the “Most Promising New Blog” for 2013 by the International Studies Association. Winning doesn’t suck!