When the International Studies Association attempted to regulate the blogging activities of some of its members, the reaction was unsurprisingly hostile. The row has prompted coverage in academic outlets and mainstream publications, and reignited the debate about why academics blog.
Specifically, the leadership of the ISA, its executive committee, had proposed that the various individuals responsible for editing the ISA’s publications would have to cut ties with any and all blogs. The language attached to this proposal contained a very negative and mostly outdated view of blogging. The idea was that blogging is somehow contrary to professionalism.
Why all the noise? A few reasons stand out. First, universities, grant agencies and even governments increasingly expect scholars to reach out beyond the academic community and translate their jargon-filled work into shorter, clearer messages to the public and relevant communities, such as policy makers.
Blogging is ideal for this. Indeed, there has been much progress made in this effort. The Monkey Cage is a group of political scientists who have become so adept in this act of translation that they are now attached to the Washington Post.