Editor’s Notes, Semester Re-Cap, and a Call for Articles

Image Credit: Flickr/Thomas Huang

The semester is winding down here at the Patterson School, and that means most of us are making sure we have absorbed enough information about Chinese investments in Sri Lanka, Power Africa, the ineffectiveness of US foreign aid in garnering UN votes, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in order to ace our finals. For some of us, comprehensive exams have demarcated the borders of academia and the real world, where further examinations will be administered by the complexity of global politics and the answers may become policy. In any case, those leaving the Ex-Patt (and the Patterson School in general) are bound for great things and we are happy to have known them and received their advice and assistance in our own programs. We hope to remain in touch.

The end of the semester also means that this blog has survived the trials of Spring 2015 at the Patterson School without fading into the disrepair and obscurity that a full load of graduate classes often threatens side-projects with. The credit for that lies solely with the work of the Ex-Patt board members, who have consistently produced high quality posts for this blog on top of balancing life and the requirements of the program. If you haven’t had the chance to catch our new posts week by week, you might have missed a couple of this blog’s high points for the semester. The spectrum of insight and interests among the Ex-Patt board has made for interesting reading.Here is a quick re-cap:

Harry Richart wrote about club wealth disparities in European soccer and an especially interesting piece on the winners and losers of the drop in global oil prices.

Cassidy Henry’s ethical considerations on deporting refugees and uniquely insightful comparison of the Russian and Canadian health care systems are definitely worth your time.

Both Harry and Cassidy are graduating the program. Their presence on the Ex-Patt board and in the student room here will be missed. We also look forward to their future work (and maybe a blog or two here and there, just saying…)

The leaders of the Ex-Patt board (Travis and Kathryn) have made invaluable contributions to the blog this semester in addition to their responsibilities to the magazine and the organization as a whole.

Reading Travis Cady’s blog on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an approachable way to wrap your head around the trade agreement and gain from his keen insight. His piece on Nepal is both informative and personal and should be read by those looking to re-orient themselves to the reality of place, so often lost in the pictures of the seemingly unreal.

Kathryn Wallace’s take on data mining and terrorism exposes how modern technology and reactionary religious politics mix in cyberspace. Her blog on Star Trek was one of my personal favorites, combining international relations theory and science fiction for an enthralling take on a familiar universe.

Natalie Burikhanov wrote a very important piece on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the challenges the DRC government faces in mitigating this often overlooked side of conflict. It is very well-written and her recommendations are nuanced and well developed.

Another Africa watcher, Leslie Stubbs, has some great, in-depth blogs on African issues that are not often featured in the news coverage of the continent. Her look at the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and the conflicting maritime claims of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are interesting glimpses into her personal interests in this program.

Next, take a look at the articles that Taylor Land has contributed to the Ex-Patt blog. His pieces on peak oil and the effects of urbanization on the concept of the modern state highlight how academic work in economics and international relations mix to provide a better understanding of the complex forces that shape our world. I particularly enjoyed his blog on urbanization and think you will too.

Our resident Russianist, Clay Moore, contributed two articles well worth your attention, especially given the heightened tensions in Eastern Ukraine. His blog on the costs of Russia’s annexation of Crimea has joined the chorus of analysts considering the real costs of Russian foreign policy in its periphery. His look at the Baltics is equally salient, especially if you’ve been losing sleep over their position in NATO and geographic location near the re-opened maw of Putin’s Russia.

John Haupt’s blog on signaling should be seriously considered in the wake of escalating maritime tensions between Iran and the US near the tail end of the nuclear talks involving the two nations. It was also one of our most viewed posts of the semester.

Kelsay Calvaruso’s look at negotiating with terrorists and examination of the EU’s ten-point plan in response to the tragic losses of thousands of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa are perfect examples of the cross cutting relationship between diplomacy and security that features so prominently in international relations and of her talents as a writer.

Last, but certainly not least, Sarah Fiske’s blogs on the relationship between democracy, human rights, and economics and the dynamics of tough political decisions highlight the internal political considerations that drive so much of what we see enter the international political arena, and remind us once again of the dangers of “black-boxing” the analysis of individually intricate nation-states.

It’s been my pleasure to read and edit the Ex-Patt board’s blogs this semester and I look forward to learning at least as much as I did over the past couple of months when we continue to post every Sunday this summer.

Also, I am proud to announce that we are now accepting blog submissions from thinkers and writers outside of the Ex-Patt board for the first time. Please help us expand our perspectives and those of our readers.

The submission criteria are as follows:

Types of Submissions

Blogs and articles that relate to foreign affairs and international relations, with a specific desire for writing that touches on the subjects of development, international commerce and economics, diplomacy, international security and international relations theory. Creativity is encouraged and different perspectives are appreciated but blog submissions must maintain an academic level of discourse and remain respectful in their tone and content.


We are looking for 400-2500 word submissions. A little less or a little more is not an issue.


Submit in .doc or .docx format please


Links are important. They create an interactive experience for your reader on par with art/pictures and help develop your argument.

In addition, they serve as your citations in the blog format. If you have read, seen, or heard about what you are talking about somewhere else, please send me a link to that source, book, person, or whatever. You don’t need to be crazy about it, just be honest with yourself.

Please include your hyperlinks in the Word Doc that you submit.  Copying and pasting the links at the bottom of your blog submission is the preferred format outside of hyperlink insertion.


We welcome author suggestions when it comes to pictures and visual media to supplement articles.

Although, suggested pictures must either be in the public domain, under a creative commons license, owned by the author, or the author must gain explicit permission to use it.

This article explains public domain and creative commons licenses pretty well. It also provides a list of common art sources used around the web for blogs. We get most of ours off of the Wikimedia Commons or the Flickr Creative Commons (watch for symbols that denote terms of use though) and can usually find something pretty good there.

After you find one you like, simply copy and paste the link from your browser to the word document you are submitting to us. We need the whole page on the site where you are getting it from (like this), so we may properly cite it in the blog.

If you do not have time or do not feel like suggesting a picture for your article, we will be happy to find one that works for your post.

Submissions, Questions or Suggestions? Please send them to: submissions.expatt@gmail.com

Thanks for reading, come back and visit, spread the word, and submit to us!

Ryan Kuhns

Editor, Ex-Patt Magazine Blog


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