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Introduction July 24, 2008

Posted by Sverre in : Uncategorized , trackback

Welcome to the brand new blog on political science, “Nachspiel at Polemarchus'”. Here I intend to write on topics of politics and political science based on my academic work as well as personal thoughts and opinions. Some of the stuff will certainly be academically oriented, but I intend to try and present things in form that will be readable to anyone without a master’s degree in political science. If I need to go into more academic detail I prefer to do that in attached files.

So who am I?

My name is Sverre Midthjell, im 27 years old and a master (graduate) student of political science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). I’m an active human being with diverse interests, usually juggling more balls than I can keep track of all the time. This is the latest ball – I hope it won’t go crashing to the ground too fast. If it does, I hope I’ll remember to pick it up again.

So why am I doing this?

I have two main reasons. Firstly, as a graduate student I continually produce a lot of written material. Each semester I put hundreds and hundreds of hours of work into something that usually only gets red by a couple of graders. And that’s on top of all the other thoughts I have throughout the year that never get put down on paper. What a waste! Well, that ends now.

Secondly, I think the feedback I get through my studies is rather limited. An ‘A’ or a ‘B’ on a sheet of paper helps me very little towards further developing whatever thought I’ve been writing about. If I manage to write somethign interesting, I hope this might make someone inclined to comment. And hopefully some of those comments will be comments that help me improve on arguments or otherwise help me learn something. Basically I want to become a better political scientist than I am today, and the more input I can get on what I do, the better.

So that’s it, really. I’m gonna share some of what I think with the world in the hope that the world can benefit from it. Hopefully the world will return the favour by giving me some useful feedback that I’ll benefit from.

So what’s with the weird title?

The well-read (or ‘nerdy’ if you prefer) reader might have caught the reference right away. It refers to Plato’s work The Republic, one of the most fundamental works of western political philosophy. If you haven’t read it, you can read it online for free hereThe Republic is written like a story of fiction, a discussion between Socrates and a number of other character. And this all plays out at something akin to a nachspiel at the house of a man called Polemarchus. In my dreams, the discussion created here will be as fruitful….

Well, so much for an introduction. The next post will cover a piece inspired by The Republic, about the Democratic Republic of (North) Korea, something I wrote for a class in democracy theory. Stay tuned!

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