I added the Becker-Posner blog to my blogroll today. The first couple of posts when they started up weren't that great, and there was sort of a backlash against them. This is basically because they have such great credentials that they were expected to set the world of blogs on fire. I mean, Justice Brennan described one of them as one of the only geniuses he's ever met by, and the other one is a Nobel prize winner. But I've recently been checking their site again, and the new posts have been solid. In particular, the current ones about University governance are really interesting.

The argument is essentially about how much control the University Faculty should have versus the University President. But for some reason, I think because the whole thing is in the context of the Larry Summers situation, they both take quite extreme positions. Posner's post analogizes the University President to a private company CEO, and then asks whether or not the Faculty is more like the shareholders or the employees. They want to be the shareholders, but Posner argues that it's better for the university as a whole if they are the employees, because the self-interest of the faculty does not align with the long-term interests of the university. This is a good point, but the analogy forces Posner away from some compromise positions which would be very useful.

Brad DeLong also has an interesting analogy today. He talks about the ways in which a close relationship between the United States and Great Britain greatly benefited Britain in World War I and II. He suggests that economic, cultural, and political ties which developed between the two from 1850 to 1910 were key motivations for this. While Britain may not have consciously done this because it predicted the emergence of the United States as a great power, the United States can predict who will be the next emergent great powers, India and China. So the United States should try to develop similar relationships with them. His discussion of the issue is a lot more interesting than mine, so check it out.