Daniel W. Drezner

Pre-debate potpourri

Tonight is the first presidential debate in the United States, which means I could blog about how I killed a man once just to steal his Klout score and no one would care.  The fact that debates don’t seem to matter all that much in the grand scheme of things makes this fact pretty odd, ...

Tonight is the first presidential debate in the United States, which means I could blog about how I killed a man once just to steal his Klout score and no one would care.  The fact that debates don’t seem to matter all that much in the grand scheme of things makes this fact pretty odd, but there it is. 

So, while America’s foreign policy community operates in a state of suspended animation for the next twelve hours, here are some stories that might help you while away the time:

1)  Hey, it turns out that the sanctions against Iran really are crippling — so much so that even Mahmoud Admadinejad is admitting it and Benjamin Netanyahu now has sanctions fever.  Based on my own sanctions model, I’d predict that the sanctions are now becoming so costly that Iran will in fact be willing to compromise on its nuclear program — but any concessions will seem tiny compared to how devastating the sanctions have been. 

2)  It’s interesting that even IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has felt it necessary to weigh in on the Japan-China row

3)  This story about Paul Romer’s efforts to develop his very own Millennium Village a charter city in Honduras without all the ickiness of current Honduran modes of governance is just… bizarre.   Until I read this blog post — which makes it even more bizarre. 

4)  I get to explain the "bad boyfriend" theory of foreign policy in this BBC documentary on Obama’s foreign policy record, which you should really listen to because they were smart enough to interview Jack Goldsmith, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and a bunch of other smart policymakers. 

5)  You could spend the next twelve hourse doing a lot worse things than reading Nate Silver’s The Signal and The Noise.  I’ve only started it, but my own signal for whether it’s a quality book — how many times Philip Tetlock gets mentioned in the index — suggests that this will be a very worthwhile read. 

Tonight is the first presidential debate in the United States, which means I could blog about how I killed a man once just to steal his Klout score and no one would care.  The fact that debates don’t seem to matter all that much in the grand scheme of things makes this fact pretty odd, but there it is. 

So, while America’s foreign policy community operates in a state of suspended animation for the next twelve hours, here are some stories that might help you while away the time:

1)  Hey, it turns out that the sanctions against Iran really are crippling — so much so that even Mahmoud Admadinejad is admitting it and Benjamin Netanyahu now has sanctions fever.  Based on my own sanctions model, I’d predict that the sanctions are now becoming so costly that Iran will in fact be willing to compromise on its nuclear program — but any concessions will seem tiny compared to how devastating the sanctions have been. 

2)  It’s interesting that even IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has felt it necessary to weigh in on the Japan-China row

3)  This story about Paul Romer’s efforts to develop his very own Millennium Village a charter city in Honduras without all the ickiness of current Honduran modes of governance is just… bizarre.   Until I read this blog post — which makes it even more bizarre. 

4)  I get to explain the "bad boyfriend" theory of foreign policy in this BBC documentary on Obama’s foreign policy record, which you should really listen to because they were smart enough to interview Jack Goldsmith, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and a bunch of other smart policymakers. 

5)  You could spend the next twelve hourse doing a lot worse things than reading Nate Silver’s The Signal and The Noise.  I’ve only started it, but my own signal for whether it’s a quality book — how many times Philip Tetlock gets mentioned in the index — suggests that this will be a very worthwhile read. 

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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