APSA After-Action Report

IMG_4539Later on I’ll post a summary of my APSA panel on the Harry Jaffa—Walter Berns feud, which was a lively affair. To the left you can catch me and Hadley Arkes after the dust had settled.

It turns out that one of the biggest unexpected controversies at the just-concluded American Political Science Association annual meeting was over . . . whether infants could enter the exhibit hall. Apparently we found the limits of reconsidering diversities (this year’s chosen theme, though you could be forgiven for thinking it is the theme every year for every social science these days). The APSA is anti-child!

The Duck of Minerva blog reports this outrageous ageism:

A new mom attending APSA was denied entry to the book room today because she had her 9-week old with her. They claimed insurance doesn’t cover babies. WTF APSA? Family-unfriendly much?

Are book representatives from Oxford University Press really that much of a hazard to the youth of America? Apparently so. The APSA hastily issued a statement:

APSA makes great efforts to be as welcoming and open to all attendees as possible. Conventions of our size require event insurance to secure contracts and use space at any hotels or convention centers. Event insurance does not cover children in an Exhibit Hall due to liability. We are committed to making the Annual Meeting as convenient as we can, but, unfortunately, this is not an area where we have flexibility.

On the other hand, maybe this 9-week old and her mom got the better of the deal. I trolled the book exhibit hall, and found the following new titles from just one publisher (along with my commentary):

Animals and War: Confronting the Military-Animal Industrial Complex

And here I thought horse cavalry warfare was so 19th century.

Environment, Politics, and Ideology in North Korea: Landscape as Political Project

I’m thinking the author here is probably missing the forest for the trees.

How Karl Marx Can Save American Capitalism

Okay, I think I’m starting to get the joke. But just in case I don’t, here’s:

Rustics and Politics: The Political Theory of the Beverly Hillbillies

But not all the political scientists at APSA are from the campus-crazy-loony bin. I ran into a number of Power Line readers, who share their thoughts here: