Ingrid Robeyns and Scott McLemee are joining CT

by Harry on September 5, 2006

I have the privilege of telling you about our new permanent additions to the roster. You’ll remember that Ingrid Robeyns joined as a guest for a week last month — well, now she’s back, and permanently. Ingrid is a Belgian economist and political theorist working in the Netherlands, and you can find out more about her (and perhaps a bit more about what to expect) at her personal website. Scott McLemee is a journalist of longstanding, formerly at the Chronicle for Higher Education but more recently at Inside Higher Education, and a Texan, of which he is evidently very proud. I’ve known of Scott (though we’ve never met) since the late 1980’s, and suspect that I am one of the earliest admirers of his work, many of his early articles having been published in journals and magazines which I used to sell, and of which I was one of very few readers! I’ve actually met Ingrid several times, and know her pretty well, so for me she won’t just be a virtual presence. 

Welcome aboard both of you, its great to have you on the team!

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09.07.06 at 9:59 am



Scott Eric Kaufman 09.05.06 at 3:19 pm

Eventually, every blog will be required to list Scott McLemee as a contributor. I’m tempted to cave in myself, actually…


Scott Eric Kaufman 09.05.06 at 4:09 pm


kid bitzer 09.05.06 at 4:13 pm

so who’d you drop?

I mean, I’m always happy to see new people and all.


lemuel pitkin 09.05.06 at 7:31 pm

Scott McLemee is TEH BOMB. I’ve been reading his stuff, on and off, since the mid-90s — not as long as Harry, but well above the median I would guess.

I suppose he’s being brought in to replace Ted Barlow, and Ingrid at least in part to help with gender balance — not at all a bad thing in my book.


astrongmaybe 09.05.06 at 8:32 pm

Is this the CT Galacticos policy?


Russell Arben Fox 09.05.06 at 10:13 pm

Good choices, CT! The best group intellectual/academic blog around continues to get better.

Scott, will you continue at Cliopatria and your own occasional blogging, or does CT demand a total content commitment from you?


belle waring 09.06.06 at 12:05 am

w00t! let’s start rocking that feminism tag!


Brendan 09.06.06 at 3:29 am

Anyone who has a link on his blog to a live video of Throbbing Gristle doing ‘Discipline’ (for nine and a half minutes!) must be worth listening to. I listened to it this morning and apart from the fact that my fillings are still ringing, it has put me in exactly the right mood to sit at a desk and stare at a computer for eight hours.


Scott McLemee 09.06.06 at 5:18 am

Thanks for the welcome. And in answer to Russell: Yes, I’ll continue at Clio, and also at my own site, which is due for an upgrade. More like “pathetically overdue.”


David Kane 09.06.06 at 6:51 am

Gender balance is great and SL is a genius, but am I the only one who would like to see more ideological diversity among the CT authors? Why not invite someone from a place like or or Now, there is nothing wrong with having 15 authors who, AFAICT, don’t vote Republican/Conservative just as there would be nothing wrong with having 15 male authors. But most CT authors/readers would find the second situation intolerable. Not so, I guess, the first.


jayann 09.06.06 at 7:00 am



Patrick S. O'Donnell 09.06.06 at 7:22 am

As regards Ingrid Robeyns: Anyone conversant in Amartya Sen’s capability approach to issues of equality and freedom in general, and distributive justice in particular, deserves a public forum. And after looking over the CV it only confirmed my hunch that both her heart and mind are in the right place…to the benefit of the common good.


harry b 09.06.06 at 7:40 am

They’re in for Tom and Ted.

We don’t have a line on ideological purity/diversity (or anything else for that matter, except molesworth), so I’ll express my view which is basically this. We have, in fact, a fair amount of diversity here (it may not seem like that from America, but it would from anywhere else), and we are lucky to have a good number of smart and combatative right-of-center commenters. I think of the project as a left-of-center forum for interesting and non-ideologically pure discussion (if that’s not a contradiction in terms). That doesn’t preclude having a right-of-center member or two, but it is hard to see how they would fail to feel like outsiders in a projetc so conceived, and part of what makes CT work is that none of us feel like outsiders (even if some of us, eg me, feel like we’re not always pulling our weight and are a bit awed by some of our collaborators). So I don’t think the absence of right-wingers from the roster is anything to apologise for, and including some may have undesirable consequences which might outweigh the benefits of their contributions.


Matt 09.06.06 at 8:01 am

Plus, the Jane Galt people (or anyone who would base a name on Rand!) wouldn’t be smart enough. Harry’s probably too kind to say so, so I’ll do it for him.


Kevin Donoghue 09.06.06 at 8:21 am

We don’t have a line on ideological purity/diversity (or anything else for that matter, except molesworth)….

I bet d-squared privately thinks molesworth sux worse than linuks.


harry b 09.06.06 at 8:31 am

kevin — do you really think that dsquared would keep such an opinion private? I don’t. daniel?


Chris Bertram 09.06.06 at 8:40 am

Gosh, I’ve just discovered a picture of Daniel digging a hole in which he plans to throw our Macs


ingrid robeyns 09.06.06 at 12:36 pm

Ha, gender balance, I knew someone would raise it.
What about a language balance – the world looks different if you had to learn English in school rather than from mom and/or dad, and there’s no people for whom language is more political than the Belgians.
Or perhaps it was geographical concern – the world looks sometimes very different from outside the UK-USA Axis.
Or what about aging balance (dare I ask…?)
Whatever the (alleged) reasons, thanks for the warm welcome – I am exited to join the team!


harry b 09.06.06 at 12:57 pm

It is very hard to know whether gender balance is a true consideration in any particular case. You’ll notice that under no description of gender balance are we gender balanced, unless you adopt an absurdly socially constructivist conception of gender and say that some of the men are women by gender. I think its better to have people from both genders on board, but each person is going to be asked because we think they’d be really good and would fit well with what we have.

Age balance? I’d be fine with a better age balance, as long as it did not lead to a demographic drift that jeopardised the line on molesworth.


jayann 09.06.06 at 2:19 pm

unless you adopt an absurdly socially constructivist conception of gender and say that some of the men are women by gender.

I do, I do, but don’t know any of the CT men so can’t classify them:). Seriously (and pace some of the wilder postmodernists), sex is the biological category, gender the social construct. (I know it’s incredibly old-fashioned to say so.)


harry b 09.06.06 at 2:32 pm

jayann, yes, that’s the way I think of it too, and I should have been more careful. I guess I was making fun of the idea that you could have gender balance with only men involved (even though obviously you could in principle — I just don’t think that is what would matter). Sorry, it sounds like I’m taking this more seriously than either of us are.


lemuel pitkin 09.06.06 at 3:34 pm

I figured Ingrid wouldn’t appreciate a mention of gender balance — no one wants to be seen as filling a quota. And I’m sure that she’s a worthy addition regardless. But gender balance does matter, and you can’t deal with it if you don’t pay attention to it — which means making an extra effort to look for female contributors. Good on CT for doing so.


Adam Kotsko 09.06.06 at 6:29 pm

If only you could find someone left of center who is doing theology/religious studies, this blog would finally take off.


Anthony 09.06.06 at 7:03 pm

23: But where would they find such a person?


gmack 09.06.06 at 8:26 pm

I’m very glad to hear this. I’ve learned a lot from Ingrid’s academic work, and enjoyed her earlier blogging.


David Kane 09.06.06 at 9:41 pm

Thanks to Harry for clarifying CT’s (perfectly reasonable) goal to be a “left-of-center forum.” I think my description of CT as the “Little Green Footballs of the academic left” is funnier — and not an insult since I like LGF! — but to each his own. I’ll see what I can do to join the ranks of “combatative right-of-center commenters.” It is a dirty job . . .


Adam Kotsko 09.06.06 at 10:46 pm

Whenever conservatives are part of a “balanced” group, they always end up taking up a disproportionate amount of time and energy, just because they tend to be so emotionally needy.


Matt 09.06.06 at 11:26 pm

Thankfully there’s significanly less hate speech and calls to wipe our opponents off the face of the earth here than one finds on the LGF!


dsquared 09.07.06 at 6:51 am

I would just clarify that I love the nigel molesworth books to bits (I am also the contributor who bears the closest facial and sartorial resemblance to molesworth) and the literary taste issue which has had me biting my tongue for years is not that. Wild horses could not drag it out of me what it is. Bloody Marvel comic books for God’s sake. oh sorry.


lemuel pitkin 09.07.06 at 9:01 am

Marvel comic books? Marvel comic books???

For christ’s sake what’s wrong with you? DC is superior in every way.


John Emerson 09.07.06 at 9:18 am

Am I the only one who would like to see more ideological diversity among the CT authors?

I hope so, if Jane Galt is your idea of diversity. There are some who would like to see a nice anti-globalist or ultra-leftist here, but our voices are cruelly suppressed by The Man (as played by Belle, in case you didn’t know who wears the pants around here.)

What you might try to do, though, is get some IQ diversity, and give mediocrity its voice. Everyone laughwed at Senator Hruska, but his words were prophetic. And in fact, by that method you will probably get a George Bush little-government libertarian conservative, thus achieving ideological balance as a bonus.


lemuel pitkin 09.07.06 at 11:13 am

There are some who would like to see a nice anti-globalist or ultra-leftist here

[Raises hand, squirms frantically in seat] Me too!

How about Max Sawicky? He has the right politics and writing chops to match McLemee’s. His comrade Barkley Rosser might be an even better fit, come to think of it. How about Doug Henwood — ditto, and he even did a guest blogging stint here (and so far as I know he has no blog to call his own, boo hoo.) How about Ken MacLeod — we’re all SF fans here, right? Or, I know, Yoshie Furuhashi. Try her out as a guest first, but if what you’re looking for is a mix of hard Leninism, awesome yet unpretentious erudition and, nothing-alien-to-me humanism, Yoshie’s your gal. Her politics will be too third-world nationalist for your tastes, but wouldn’t it be nice to have someone smart to your left here to argue with?


jayann 09.07.06 at 11:28 am

yes, that’s the way I think of it too

harry, I’m relieved to hear it! — I feel in a small minority these days.

, and I should have been more careful

oh no problem. And I did know what you were saying.

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