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

The revenge of Indonesia’s political class

Indonesia’s democratisation process is a case of the half-full glass. Pessimists argue that elections have descended into an ugly spectacle of vote-buying and manipulation that does little to distribute power in a more even fashion. They point to the important role of money in running for elections, ensuring that only well-connected and wealthy candidates can… Read More The revenge of Indonesia’s political class

In 1830 everybody talked about patronage politics

A very cool device for any language-related curiosity you might have is Google’s Ngram viewer. Using Google’s enormous digitized collection of books, this website shows you the relative incidence of words in their corpus over the last 200 years. This is great because the Ngram viewer reminds us how our concerns and preoccupations change over time… Read More In 1830 everybody talked about patronage politics