At first, I thought it was weird how many political scientists are married to each other. I mean, do they actually talk about political science at home? How horrible is THAT? I’ll leave my political science at the office, thank you very much.
As I’ve been in the discipline for a while, I’ve seen my share of political science couples, and in traditional Poli Sci Bitches format, I’m presenting you a list of the 5 Types of Couples in Political Science:
- The Famous Power Couple. These are political scientists who probably met in grad school, and have been together ever since. They both have extensive CVs and awesome books. Maybe a few of them are co-authored with each other, but their individual contributions stand alone. Everyone knows who they are, and if they’re on the job market, universities go out of their way to make sure they both get full time faculty positions. Celebrity Couple Equivalent: Beyonce & Jay Z. Even Obama wants to hang out with them.
- The Imbalance of Power Couple. So, one of them is a star with a CV that goes on for days, and book deals in the works. A rising star in the discipline, maybe. On some editorial boards and making a name for him/herself. But the political science spouse? Not so much. Maybe some good teaching evaluations, but not many publications. The spouse gets hired too, of course, but no one in the department is very happy about it. Celebrity Couple Equivalent: Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe. She didn’t even remember him in her Oscars acceptance speech.
- The Spouse Who Gets Hired As Staff. One political scientist, and then another political scientist who somehow gets hired to do advising or run the Model U.N. program or something. Weird, right? It’s great for the department because building inroads in administration can be helpful. Also, getting gossip from the Other Side is nice. Everyone likes the Staff Spouse because staff make our lives easier. Celebrity Couple Equivalent: Chris Pratt and Anna Faris. We love them, and the fact that he’s more famous than she is doesn’t bother anyone.
- The Couple With A Guy Who Likes Students. A Lot. So gross, but sadly too common. In its “best” form, this political scientist collects pretty young female grad students to “mentor” but doesn’t cross the line. At worst, the guy cheats on his wife with undergrads. Yes, I’m calling it a guy, because it almost always is, but women who cheat on their husbands with students are also equally gross, for the record. Unfortunately, the guy has tenure and the nature of academia means that running him out is an uphill battle. Celebrity Couple Equivalent: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. Don’t sleep with the nanny, Ben.
- The Non-Academic Spouse Couple. This person married smart and doesn’t have to talk about political science at home. The spouse probably has a way cooler job than political science (professional chef! movie critic! hacker!) but is usually ignored at political science events anyway. Celebrity Couple Equivalent: George and Amal Clooney. Remember when all anyone cared about was her baby bump at her U.N. hearing?