We’re an online journal of politics and foreign affairs analysis. For the most part, our views are Classical Liberal: a strong belief in free trade, limited government, and respect for human rights. We aim to have informed, polite conversation about the issues we find interesting.
Outside the Beltway was launched on BlogSpot on January 31, 2003 by James Joyner. It moved to its current domain on April 4 of that same year after the frustrations of Blogger’s service became too much to bear.
The site’s moniker was both descriptive and ironic: James had moved from Troy, Alabama to the Washington, D.C. exurbs of Dulles, Virginia to take a job in the publishing industry five months earlier. So, an author with a decidedly outside-the-Beltway mindset was now living in very close proximity to said Beltway.
OTB got some notoriety within a few weeks of its launch because it coincided with the controversial debate leading up to the Iraq War and its author was one of a relative handful of bloggers at that time with combat experience and academic training in national security policy. Early notice by ScrappleFace‘s Scott Ott and VodkaPundit‘s Stephen Green led to OTB’s first InstaLanche on March 13, 2003. All of which seems quaint a decade and a half later but, in those early days, long before Facebook and Twitter, blogging was social media and very much communal. In addition to much more linking to other blogs than would be the norm even four or five years later, there was a lot more navel-gazing. Blogging about blogging (and the various linkfests, ranking systems, traffic spikes, media commentary on blogging, etc.) was a cottage industry.
On November 6, 2004, Steve Verdon, Robert Garcia Tagorda, “Rodney Dill,” “Dr. Leopold Stotch,” and Kate McMillan began a guest posting stint while James was on vacation and they stayed on as co-bloggers upon James’ return. OTB has been a group blog ever since.
Winner, 2006 Golden Dot Award for “Best Blog,” awarded by The George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet.
Finalist 2008 Weblog Awards for “Best Major Blog.”
|James Joyner, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief James Joyner is an Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at the Marine Corps University’s Command and Staff College, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on Security and Strategy at the Atlantic Council.
He founded Outside The Beltway in January 2003. He has published more than two hundred columns for outlets including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, The New Republic, Christian Science Monitor, World Politics Review, CNN, NPR, Politico, Reason, Legal Affairs, Human Events, The American Conservative, The New York Daily News, The Washington Examiner, The New Individualist, and TCS Daily and is a regular commentator on world affairs on venues including BBC, NPR, C-SPAN, Al Jazeera, Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. A more-or-less complete listing can be found here.
He was Managing Editor of the Atlantic Council from September 2007 to August 2013. He was the Managing Editor of Strategic Insights, the professional journal of the Center for Contemporary Conflict at the Naval Postgraduate School, from January 2004 to March 2005. He worked two years as a contract management analyst at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) in Falls Church, Virginia. Previously, he was acquisitions editor for international affairs at Brassey’s, Inc. (now, Potomac Books) a Dulles, Virginia book publisher and a political science professor at Troy State University (now, simply Troy University), Bainbridge College, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
James served in the U.S. Army from 1988 to 1992 and is a combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and numerous service medals and ribbons. He is a graduate of the Airborne and Air Assault schools.
He resides in Alexandria, Virginia with his young daughters, Katie and Ellie. He was married to Kimberly Webb Joyner from October 2005 until her untimely death in November 2011.
|Alex Knapp, Senior EditorAlex writes about pretty much everything under the sun, including politics, art, religion, philosophy, sports, music, culture, and science. He maintains a personal blog, A Practical Heretic and blogs tech issues at Forbes. For the social media inclined, you can follow him on Facebook.He joined the staff of OTB in 2006.|
|Chris Lawrence, Senior EditorChris has a B.A. in political science from the University of Memphis and a Ph.D. in political science (with concentrations in American politics and political methodology) from the University of Mississippi. He is currently an assistant professor at Middle Georgia State College in Macon, Georgia. He joined the staff of OTB in June 2006. He started his blog, Signifying Nothing, in November 2002, and continues to write there.|
|Doug Mataconis, Senior EditorDoug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law .He is an attorney in private practice in Northern Virginia, concentrating principally in the fields of civil litigation and commercial debt collection. A political and pop culture enthusiast from an early age, Doug started his own blog, Below The Beltway, in July 2005 and is a contributing writer at the libertarian-oriented blogs The Liberty Papers and United Liberty. He also also contributed columns on politics and foreign policy for Pajamas Media. Doug joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010.|
|Dave Schuler, Senior EditorDave has owned a small business for more than 25 years and has an advanced degree in engineering. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.|
|Steven Taylor, Senior EditorSteven is a Professor of Political Science at Troy University in Alabama. He is author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia (Northeastern Series on Democratization and Political Development) and the contributing editor on Colombia to the Library of Congress’s Handbook of Latin American Studies. He has his PhD from the University of Texas in Austin and a BA from the University of California at Irvine. He began blogging at PoliBlog, which he maintains as a Colombia politics blog and personal journal, since February 2003. After several guest stints at OTB over the years, he joined the staff full time in May 2010.|
|Steve Verdon, Senior EditorSteve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. His interests are in public economics, public choice, game theory, statistics and probability, and the evolution-intelligent design debate.He joined the staff of OTB in November 2004. He founded the popular economics blog, Deinonychus antirrhopus, in July 2002.|
|Dodd Harris, Contributing EditorDodd, who used to run some blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He can kill a mime using only his thumb.He joined the staff at OTB in May 2007.|
|Rodney Dill, Features EditorRodney was a frequent commenter around the blogosphere and occasional guest blogger at Wizbang! before beginning his stint at OTB in November 2004.Rodney has a BS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, back from when people knew what Hollerith cards were, and actually used the toggle switches on the front of computers. He is an IT Manager in the Motor City and working within the Automotive Industry.Rodney is a news, science, and politics junkie that would usually much rather read than post, (with the exception of caption contests) which is why he has not attempted his own blog.He has the unfortunate gift of seeing something funny in nearly all situations and is the (self-proclaimed) master of caption contests.|
|Robert Prather, Contributing Editor
Robert has been a political junkie since high school who admits, “In some ways, the advent of CNN is the worst thing that’s happened to me.” With only one semester to go as an undergrad, he came to love economics after reading Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom. He pursued economics informally in the coming years and finally decided to go back to graduate school for economics. He received an MA in economics from Mississippi State University and also found a new respect for statistics.Robert started posting at his site, which went through several name changes before Insults Unpunished stuck, on May 26, 2002. After several retirements and un-retirements, including a stint at Signifying Nothing, that earned him the title “the Michael Jordan of blogging,” he joined the staff at OTB in June 2006.His interests are environmental issues, foreign policy and economics.
Stephen Bainbridge, Visiting Writer
|John Burgess, Middle East Correspondent
John retired from the State Department after a 25-year career as a Foreign Service Officer. He served two tours in Saudi Arabia, 1981-83 and 2001-03. He reads and speaks Arabic and has spent the bulk of his career in the Middle East, with assignments in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Bahrain in addition to those in the KSA. Has has also had assignments in London and New Delhi, as well as Washington.He has been blogging at Crossroads Arabia since July 2004 and does most of his writing there.
|Richard Gardner, A “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience, he served for 6 years on the Joint staffs of US Strategic Command (Strategy & Policy) and the Iceland Defense Force. On the Navy Staff at the Pentagon, he was the Action Officer & Program Sponsor for the SSGN Project and Navy Ballistic Missile Programs. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He moved (fled) from the East Coast Washington to the West Coast Washington in mid-2005, living in the general Seattle area. He enjoys not having a security clearance anymore, and follows the stock market when he isn’t bicycle touring or skiing. His bicycle touring includes riding across the entire USA, and Key West to DC. He made a few guest posts OTB starting in January 2004 covering special events and has made frequent contributions since.|
She was one of the original guest bloggers at OTB in November 2004 and soon joined the permanent stable, contributing through January 2007.
Eventually, she turned to writing full time at her own blog, small dead animals, which was voted the Best Canadian Blog in the 2004 Weblog Awards and has been generally considered that country’s best blog ever since.
|Dr. Leopold Stotch“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of an assistant professor of political science at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a Ph.D. in International Relations, and his major areas of interest are security studies and foreign policy analysis. He’s published several articles in these areas, and is currently working on a manuscript that seeks to define the global security role of the United States in a post-9/11 world. He began contributing to OTB in November 2004 and continued through February 2006. He occasionally blogs at his own site, Professor Chaos.|
|Greg Tinti In August of 2005–frustrated by how sour things had turned since 9/11–Greg Tinti started the blog The Political Pit Bull for catharsis. What began as a hobby, however, quickly turned into a passion/addiction.With a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University, Greg is particularly interested in foreign policy and cultural issues but thoroughly enjoys ranting about the hot-button issues of the day as well. Since he began blogging, Greg has also developed an interest in video blogging and now frequently uses clips in posts and would like to start creating more spoofs like Memories with Scott McClellan.He began a stint as a guest writer on OTB in June 2006 and soon became Breaking News Editor. He decided to return to his own blog in mid August. His blogging career eventually ended altogether.|