Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ig Nobels for Political Science

There are awards given out every year to note research that, well, is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Nobel-prizing winning research--the Ig Nobels.  Given that research has been the theme of the week here at the Spew (and Globe and Mail), I am, of course, disappointed to find no political science on this year's list of Ig Nobels.

Of course, all good research projects start by insisting there is a hole in the scholarship of a topic (a lacuna, if you will).  So, the lack of political science Ig Nobels is really an opportunity for us to ponder what work in our field makes us laugh and then think.  Various takes on the McDonald's peace come to mind.  As does a certain book on the application of Theories of International Relations to Zombies.  The problem with Drezner's Z-book is that it deliberately attempts to be funny (I think it actually is, others may disagree).  I am not sure Ig Nobels are given to work that is deliberately satirical.  The list of this year's winners suggests that it is the only accidentally or unintentionally amusing that wins.

So, I ask my readers: what work in the past couple of years compares well to the Ig Nobel winners?  What piece of work would you nominate for an Ig Nobel-like prize?  I have to go to the dusty archives to come up with some nominations (or browse the web).  Inspire me with your choices.

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