I see that, over the weekend, Megan McArdle, Brad DeLong and Tyler Cowen all posted about stuff they've gotten wrong as bloggers. This is an excellent topic to post about. Bloggers are supposed to prvide real-time analysis on breaking events -- of course we're going to get a lot of stuff wrong. As Brad correctly notes:
f you don't mark your beliefs to market occasionally, and throw out worthless intellectual trash, you ossify--you become one of those demented old coots detached from reality ranting unintelligibly at the moon.
Looking back on my eighth (!!) year of blogging, here are the big things I think I got wrong over the past year:
1) The Green Movement did not cause Iran's regime to crack up. Score one for the Leveretts -- Iran's regime has effectively silenced the Green movement, without any visible internal cost. Indeed, the regime now seems entrenched enough so that the fundamentalists and conservatives can now ignore reformists and start turning on each other. I confess, I though the Ashura protests marked an inflection point on Iran. Nope. The regime has suffered some serious costs from its internal repression, but Khamenei ain't going anywhere anytime soon.
2) Iceland was willing to pay the price of financial isolation. I knew that Icelanders were outraged at the notion that they had to help bail out Icesave depositors in England and the Netherlands. I also thought, however, that when the question was put to a referendum, Icelanders would pause for a moment and consider the ramifications of financial isolation. Um... whoops.
3) The G-20 was been far less useful than I anticipated. A year ago at this juncture I was pretty pessimistic about the prospects of G-20 macroeconomic policy coordination. I was hopeful, however, that the G-20 could function effectively as a mechanism to pressure China into revaluing the yuan.
And... things are worse on both fronts than I anticipated. At Toronto, the G-20 encouraged contractionary fiscal policies way too early, helping to push the global economy into double3-dip territory. On the yuan, China has niminally pledged to let the yuan float, but acual movement has been pretty meager.
It only took me about 15 minutes to come up with this short list. I hereby invite and encourage all commenters to root through the archives to find other screw-ups.
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.