Nothing is worse than when you type a lengthy blog post, and then it is somehow lost. Especially when you thought to yourself "I should probably copy this just in case....but, nah, I'm sure it will be fine." Anyways, the show must go on!
I am pleased to announce that I have been accepted to Indiana University's Department of Political Science PhD program. I have officially accepted the offer and will be enrolling this coming August. Although I have never visited IU or Bloomington, I am confident that this is the place for me. Just a few reasons:
Mongolia Specialists: CHECK (See Dr. Atwood)
Central Asia focus: CHECK (See CEUS)
Top-Ranked Program: CHECK (25th on US News, if that is important to you)
Full-Funding Offer: CHECK
I will be visiting April 1-4, to get a feel for the university, department, and city not to mention look for housing. At that time, and when I actually begin my studies I will certainly have a firmer grasp of what options are available to me, but I do have some preliminary thoughts on where to start:
1. I am increasingly interested in International Political Economy, specifically in issues around resource extraction. I have already been in contact with Dr. Scott Kennedy at IU, who has expertise in this field relating specifically to China. I suspect we will be working closely together while I am at IU and beyond. I think that perhaps comparing small state resource-rich countries' foreign policy might be an important and relevant way to narrow my focus.
2. There is the possibility that I will be able to pursue a dual-PhD with the Dept. of Central Eurasian Studies. Even if that doesn't work out, I will be definitely be getting my PhD minor in the department and taking full advantage of all they have to offer.
3. For my interests and goals, I firmly believe that language skills are the most important tool for my future research. To that end, I will be focusing the first 1-1.5 years on solidifying my Mongolian and Russian, before moving on to an additional language or two. At this point, I think Hindi might be the ideal choice, but Chinese (reluctantly) is also an option. I also am holding onto the idea of studying Burmese, although independently/summer intensives since IU does not offer this language.
4. On that note, I am still interested in making Burma/Myanmar an important case study in my work. IU lacks any Southeast Asian resources (as far as I can tell), but I certainly don't have to let this stop me. After all, I pursued Mongolian Studies without any Mongolian resources at USC, so it is really all in a day's work.
I'll be sure to update my interests after my visit and some chats with advisors at UBC and USC. I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens next.
Analysis, Thoughts, Ideas
This blog will be an online publishing site for smaller analytical projects, news stories that I find relevant to small state foreign policy and indigenous autonomy, as well as a testing ground for new ideas and new projects that I may pursue.