This is my personal blog and I am Brandon C. Zicha.
I am a senior assistant professor of Policy Science at the Leiden University College, The Hague; The Liberal Arts and Science College of Leiden University in The Netherlands. My primary contributions here will be on matters related to politics, affairs, and culture in the U.S. (my home country), The Netherlands (my adoptive country), Europe (My adoptive continent), and the World (my home).
As a scholar, my primary areas of interest involve comparative constituitonal foundations for self-governance around the world, the manner in which different political arrangement affect policy-making (specifically which issues get policy attention and which don’t), and issues related to party politics within a constitutional system with respect to making policy. I read extensively literature on voting behavior and political and moral philosophy though I do not publish in these areas currently. I have lived in about 4 countries for extended periods of time, and visited many more.
As an economic migrant from the 2008 economic crisis in the United States, I am in some sense an exile from home and have determined to maintain a foot on both continents. Afterall, my daughter is a citizen of both Europe and the United States. If I care about my kid, I suppose I should take an active interests in both, right? Thus, logic dictates… a blog I guess.
I strongly believe that it is a job of a scholar to maintain objectivity in his professional work (see my blog on more Academic at my academic blog, Leviathan’s Couch) but to be engaged in the world as a citizen-scholar as well, where objectivity is impossible – at least if you actually believe in your own values. It seems deeply odd to me that people who think and reflect for a living, and spend their time interacting and teaching a great diversity of people would feel some professional obligation to be ‘depoliticized’ or uninvolved in public discourse. Academics think more critically about their commitments than almost anyone. Aren’t they the ideal people to participate in our discussions?
That said, I must stress that nothing written here reflects the positions of Leiden University or any of its parts. Rather posts here represent my own (often evolving) reflections on matters of interest. Commenters should feel free to engage me directly and critically in a polite, civil, and substantive manner. One learns by writing their thoughts, but as any Liberal Arts College professor knows you learn even more when others engage with that writing.
I also edit and contribute to an independent blog for the American Modern Whig Party (The New American Review: A Modern Whig Journal), maintain a blog on practical philosophy and liberal arts teaching (The Stoic Professor), and contribute to the blog Poleconomy and IM International.