Informal Politics is Real

The use of personal relations to obtain power and privileges is a central but usually hidden side of politics. Formal politics gets most of the headlines, while informal politics runs much of the show.  With posts from a group of researchers studying the machinations of power in different parts of the world, this blog aims to bring together stories,… Read More Informal Politics is Real

Fieldwork Heroes

My work usually focuses on the semi-villains who animate local politics. Here is a celebration of one of its heroes. As a researcher working on murky topics like corruption and violence, I usually write only about the shady types. My explorations of the netherworld of politics are filled with political bosses, fixers, criminals and cronies.… Read More Fieldwork Heroes

Political Science and the study of informal politics

Am on my way home from Philadelphia, where the 2016 conference of the American Political Science Association (APSA) was held. This conference is the biggest and most important political science conference in the world. The dominance of american universities and journals in the field is such, that the event is a must-go for many political… Read More Political Science and the study of informal politics