I can trace every bad decision and misstep in my life back to not going for the punny thesis title. Côte d'Ivoire humor gets 'em every time.I have always taken perhaps undeserved pride in the titles for my stuff, but also have some regrets. My dissertation did not have the snappiest title but was descriptive as hell and did not "Bring Back" anything in or "Problematize" so "Supporting Secession or Maintaining Boundaries:
— Julia Berman (@juliaaberman) June 2, 2013
The International Consequences of Ethnic Politics" is not a bad start.
I probably go for alliteration too much:
- "The Dual Dynamics of Disintegration"
- "Inconsistent Irredentism"
- "Overlooking the Obvious"
- "Dilemmas of Divorce"
- "Comparing Caveats"
My plays on words and classic phrases have been pretty good, I think:
- "Is Pandora’s Box Half-Empty or Half-Full?"
- "Laissez Fear" which combines Laissez Faire economic policy with ethnic insecurity.
- The Ties That Divide instead of the ties that bind, which not only illustrated the concept of the book, that ethnic ties can lead to support for secession, but also a cover that did a great job of illustrating the concept. The subtitle divides the title! Not my idea. But great graphic design.
- For Kin or Country instead of "For King or Country."
- The book I am working on now on Canada and Afghanistan. Not saying now, but not a maple or moose reference.
I had a running fight with my co-author and editor over: "NATO and Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone" as I wanted the subtitle to be the title and lost. Easier to people to find NATO and Afghanistan, but I like the other part more.
I must say that the lousiest titles have been tended be those that editors required, such as
Intra-State Conflict, Governments and Security: Dilemmas of Deterrence and Assurance. The second half is mine, the first half? Yuck.