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About Outside the Beltway

Overview

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 which we find interesting.

Site History

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 of and VodkaPundit‘s Stephen Green led to OTB’s first InstaLanche on March 13, 2003.

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.

Awards

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.”

Writing Staff

Editorial Board

OTB Publisher James JoynerJames Joyner, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief James Joyner is an Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

He founded Outside The Beltway in January 2003. He has published more than one hundred columns for outlets including The Atlantic, Foreign PolicyThe National InterestThe New RepublicChristian Science MonitorWorld Politics Review, CNN, NPR, PoliticoReasonLegal AffairsHuman EventsThe American Conservative, The New York Daily NewsThe Washington ExaminerThe 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 management analyst at Lanmark Technology, Inc., a Washington, D.C. area defense contractor, as a consultant to 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 Joyner Military AwardsJames 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 holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Alabama (1995) and BA (1987) and MA (1988) degrees in Political Science from Jacksonville State University.

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 EditorOTB Senior Editor Alex KnappAlex 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 LawrenceChris has a B.A. in political science from the University of Memphis and a Ph.D. in political science (American politics and political methodology) from the University of Mississippi. He is currently an assistant professor at Saint Louis University.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 MataconisDoug 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 EditorNot actually Dave Schuler but Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolf in Pulp Fiction.  An inside joke.Dave 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-taylor-130x130Steven 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 EditorOTB Senior Editor Steve VerdonSteve 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 Harris, OTB 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 Dill PhotosRodney 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 Prather, OTB Contributing Editor, PhotoRobert 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.

Contributors

Stephen Bainbridge, Visiting Writer
Stephen Bainbridge of \'Professor Bainbridge,\' OTB contributorStephen Bainbridge is the William D. Warren Professor of Law at UCLA, where he currently teaches Business Associations, Unincorporated Business Associations, and Advanced Corporation Law. In past years, he has also taught Corporate Finance, Securities Regulation, Mergers and Acquisitions, and seminars on corporate governance. Professor Bainbridge previously taught at the University of Illinois Law School (1988-1996), where the Class of 1990 gave him the “Best Instructor Award.” He has also taught at Harvard Law School as the Joseph Flom Visiting Professor of Law and Business (2000-2001), La Trobe University in Melbourne (2005) and at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo (1999).

He is a prolific scholar, whose work covers a variety of subjects, but with a strong emphasis on the law and economics of public corporations. He has written over 50 law review articles, which have appeared in such leading journals as the Virginia Law Review, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, the Stanford Law Review and the Vanderbilt Law Review. Bainbridge’s most recent books include: Business Associations: Cases and Materials on Agency, Partnerships, and Corporations (5th ed. 2006) (with Klein and Ramseyer); Agency, Partnerships, and Limited Liability Entities: Cases and Materials on Unincorporated Business Associations (2nd ed. 2001) (with Klein and Ramseyer); Agency, Partnerships & LLCs (2004); Corporation Law and Economics (2002); Securities Law-Insider Trading (1999).

From 1994 to 1996, Bainbridge was a Salvatori Fellow with the Heritage Foundation. Bainbridge currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Markets and Morality and the Executive Committee of the Federalist Society’s Corporations, Securities & Antitrust Practice Group.

His blog magazine, ProfessorBainbridge.com, is one of the most widely read political and legal weblogs on the Internet.

John Burgess, Middle East Correspondent
Photo of John BurgessJohn 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, Roving CorrespondentPhoto of Richard GardnerA “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 DCHe made a few guest posts OTB starting in January 2004 covering special events and has made frequent contributions since.

Emeritus Writers

Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan of Small Dead Animals, emeritus writer for OTBGainfully unemployed as a freelance commercial and automotive airbrush artist living in Saskatchewan, Canada. She claims, “I have absolutely no academic or political credentials, which forms the basis of the uninformed commentary at which I excel.”

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 StotchLeopold Stotch, Professor Chaos“Dr. Leopold Stotch” is 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 TintiGreg Tinti Political Pitbull AvatarIn August of 2005–frustrated by how sour things had turned since 9/11–Greg Tinti started the blog The Political Pit Bullfor 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.