About OTB

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 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 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. Current front-pagers Steven L. Taylor and Doug Mataconis joined the team in November 2006 and May 2010, respectively.

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.”

Editorial Team:

James Joyner

James Joyner

James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.
Doug Mataconis

Doug Mataconis

Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook
Steven L. Taylor

Steven L. Taylor

Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter
Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey

Michael is Associate Professor of Government and International Studies at Berry College in Rome, GA. His academic publications address the American Founding, the American presidency, religion and politics, and governance in liberal democracies. He also writes on popular culture, and his articles on, among other topics, patriotism, Church and State, and Kurt Vonnegut, have been published in Prism and Touchstone. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas in Austin, where he also earned his BA. He’s married and has three children. He joined OTB in November 2016.
Steve Verdon

Steve Verdon

Steve 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. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.
Dave Schuler

Dave Schuler

Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.
Chris Lawrence

Chris Lawrence

Chris teaches political science at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia. He has a Ph.D. in political science (with concentrations in American politics and political methodology) from the University of Mississippi. He began writing for OTB in June 2006. Follow him on Twitter @lordsutch.
Matt Bernius

Matt Bernius

Matthew studied Cultural Anthropology at Cornell University, researching the intersection of technology and culture. Prior to Cornell, he earned a Masters in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and was a visiting professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He started writing at OTB in May 2013. Follow him on twitter @mattbernius.

Emeritus Writers:

Rodney Dill

Rodney Dill

Rodney is an IT Implementation Consultant in the Motor City and working within the Automotive Industry. He contributed to OTB from November 2004 until retiring in July 2017, hosting some 1200 OTB Caption Contests.
Alex Knapp

Alex Knapp

Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.
Dodd Harris

Dodd Harris

Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.
Robert Prather

Robert Prather

Robert Prather contributed over 80 posts to OTB between October 2005 and July 2013. He previously blogged at the now defunct Insults Unpunished. Follow him on Twitter @RobPrather.
Robert Garcia Tagorda

Robert Garcia Tagorda

Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Kate McMillan

Kate McMillan

Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.
Leopold Stotch

Leopold Stotch

“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.
Greg Tinti

Greg Tinti

Greg started the blog The Political Pit Bull in August 2005. He was OTB's Breaking News Editor from June through August 2006 before deciding to return to his own blog. His blogging career eventually ended altogether. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University,
Richard Gardner

Richard Gardner

Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.
John Burgess

John Burgess

John Burgess retired after 25 years as a US Foreign Service Officer, serving predominantly in the Middle East. He contributed 35 pieces to OTB between February 2006 and April 2014. He was the proprietor of the influential Crossroads Arabia until his death in February 2016.

Past Contributors:

Steve Bainbridge

Steve Bainbridge

Stephen Bainbridge is the William D. Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and the longtime proprietor of the law blog Professor Bainbridge. He did a guest stint at OTB in November 2006. Follow him on Twitter @ProfBainbridge.
Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is the author of The WordPress Bible and longtime proprietor of the TechnoSailor blog. He was OTB's IT guru for years and blogged here occasionally from January 2005 to April 2007. Follow him on Twitter @technosailor.
Bernard Finel

Bernard Finel

Bernard I. Finel is Chair of the Department of Security Studies at the National War College. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. He contributed several posts to OTB from December 2008 to February 2009.
Richard Guo

Richard Guo

Richard Guo is an internal medicine physician who has long been interested in politics, economics, public health, and the intersection of technology and society. He holds degrees in electrical engineering and molecular cell biology from UC Berkeley as well as an M.D. from the University of Minnesota. He guest posted at OTB in 2015.
King Banaian

King Banaian

King Banaian has served as Dean of St. Cloud State University’s School of Public Affairs since July 2014 and has been a Professor of Economics there for three decades. A former State Legislator, he hosts an eponymous talk radio program. He has his MA and PhD in Economics from the Claremont Graduate University. He did a brief guest stint at OTB in July 2008. Follow him on Twitter @banaianshow.