Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: University of Cambridge

The British Academic Strike is a Crucial Struggle that Must Be Won: Part II, Universities

The University and College Union (UCU)–Britain’s trade union for academics–has gone on strike. The strike is about the University Superannuation Scheme (USS)’s decision to switch academics from “defined benefit” pension plans to “defined contribution” plans. As a PhD student at Cambridge I write this piece at home, having skipped a couple events I really wanted to go to today, because this strike is so important, both to academia and to the cause of working people more generally. My hope is that I can explain the strike to those who don’t know much about it and defend it to any who doubt its necessity.

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My PhD Plans

Dear Readers,

This is a brief personal note to inform those of you who care about such things that I have decided to start my PhD in politics at the University of Cambridge this October. I plan to continue blogging, though I don’t know yet what effect this will have on the frequency of my posts. I can tell you this–I expect that resolving my PhD decision will put my mind at ease and lead to more posts between now and then, but beyond that it is harder to say. I am a quick writer when motivated, so if there is time available I expect at least some activity, even when I’m working on other projects. In recent weeks there have been gaps in my posting because I have been visiting several potential PhD destinations, meeting excellent people at all of them. I’m very pleased to have gotten into Cambridge’s PhD program and look forward to my time there. If all goes to plan, I will finish the PhD by mid-2018 and have my doctorate at age 26. I want to thank you all for your continued readership–I began this blog in the summer of 2012, before the start of my third year in undergrad, and it has continually been a dear companion to me ever since. I have been pleased to see the blog get Freshly Pressed three times and to see it be named one of WordPress’ recommended blogs. When I started, I did not expect any response at all. To my surprise and delight, the blog audience has grown almost continuously since the day I started it, and the blog serves as an excellent archive of my ideas and my development as a political theorist over the last few years. Going forward, I hope to continue to have the time and inspiration to write more posts at or beyond the quality level to which you and I have grown accustomed.

Thanks again for all your continued support.

–Benjamin