Ten Things for Policy Wonks to Learn

Stephen Walt lists 10 things he thinks all Wonks should learn:

  1. History
  2. Statistics
  3. Foreign Language
  4. Economics
  5. International Law
  6. Geography
  7. Get Some Culture
  8. Learn to Communicate
  9. Science
  10. An Ethical Foundation

Actually, these would be pretty good subjects for everyone to learn. Walt makes this point as well:

Alert readers will have noticed that my list looks a lot like the classic liberal arts education.  True enough: in world that is both diverse and changing rapidly, a broad portfolio of knowledge is almost certainly the best preparation for a long career in the field. My list also leaves out various extracurricular activities that may be every bit as important as what you do in class, such as living for an extended period in a foreign country. But a solid knowledge of these fields and a serious effort to develop some key skills would serve you in good stead in a wide variety of global professions. And if you end up doing something entirely different, they certainly won’t hurt.

A real education never ends.


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