I am late in putting up the Brief Review for April. And this review calls for a disclaimer. I expect to review at least two or three political, economics, and foreign-affairs blogs this year. I assume it goes without saying that I endorse neither any specific opinion nor any general platform exemplified by these blogs. What I do appreciate, and what I commend, is good writing, and intelligent argument.
And with that, I introduce the blog The Duck of Minerva. (Well, "introduce" is a bit of presumption, as the blog dates back to 2005, and it's been in my blogroll for three years, and is read by more people than mine by a couple of orders of magnitude.) Strictly speaking, this is a tiny cheat, for I have mentioned or referred to the Duck before, but it was a while ago, relatively in passing, and (I think) only once. Besides having the best name for any political blog (though on some days, I like Stalin's Moustache better), The Duck has consistently smart posts, well written, and frequent enough to reward you most times you check back. There are, inevitably, a few posts about academia, but fewer than you would expect from a blog with authors at Georgetown and Amherst and etc., most if not all of whom are in search of tenure.
You get a bit of a spectrum at the Duck, so generalizing about its platform would be perilous; there are too many folk writing there (the list of guest bloggers is long), and no unanimity. Some folk there are what you'd call "Realists," IR-speaking, some are neoliberal and some are constructivist. In IR-speak these all have connotations and nuances. But I think I won't be far wrong if I call the Duck broadly Keynesian in economics, and roughly Clintonian in terms of Foreign Policy: a sort of liberal-hawk-lite. In short, you will not find here any dark mutterings about the Bilderberg Group or any Trotskyite nostalgia. Positions on Israel are consistently cautious. There's some general support of the #Occupy movement, but it is not foregrounded, nor is it grounded in anything like a critique of class in any Marxist sense . This is, I think, pretty much the standard temperature of academic political science and so of a whole swathe of the next generation of Congressional Aides.
I am often more radical in my sympathies than what I read here; more pessimistic too. But when I want to remember the best side of what the rest of the first world regards as sane, I read the Duck. After all, it is much more likely to be them than me in the halls of power.