Blog Archives

President Trump’s Downfall as a Democratic Transition

President Trump has had a bad week. Last week’s firing of FBI Director James Comey was followed last night by reports that the President has revealed classified information to the Russians. This news has added to the steady drumbeat of criticism from

Posted in Uncategorized

Political Islam and the Ahok Verdict

In a forthcoming book, coauthored with Bill Liddle and Saiful Mujani and entitled Piety and Public Opinion: Understanding Indonesian Islam, I make the argument that individual piety does not explain much about Indonesian public opinion. Our book’s argument focuses on the beliefs and

Posted in Current Affairs, Indonesia, Islam, Politics, Research

International and Area Studies in the Era of American Greatness

I have a new essay out in the Chronicle of Higher Education on what are likely to be devastating effects of President Trump’s budget proposal on international and area studies. Subscribers can read here. I make the case that now is the

Posted in Current Affairs, Politics, Research, Teaching

Learning from Marginal Effects Plots

I really enjoy thinking about how to present quantitative information in a visual format rather than in boring tables of digits. However, at the same time, I think that many common ways to visualize quantitative results in political science are actually misleading. How

Posted in Research, Uncategorized

Should Colleges and Universities Entertain Discredited Arguments?

Via Savage Minds, I recently came across an interesting discussion of contentious ideas and the role of colleges and universities in entertaining them. The issue at hand is whether colleges and universities ought to entertain presentations by people like Charles

Posted in Culture, Current Affairs, Teaching

The Long Arm of Western Crises

What seems a lifetime ago, I wrote a short essay for the newsletter of the International History and Politics section of the American Political Science Association. Here is how it begins: The events of 2016 represent no less than a

Posted in Current Affairs, Politics, Research

U.S. Politics in the Age of the Babbling Equilibrium

Ever since Sean Spicer’s press conference in which he insisted, against all evidence, that President Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest in history, the Trump administration has faced a problem of credibility. Every time the administration issues a message that

Posted in Current Affairs, Politics

An Interpretive Ethnography of Interpretive Ethnography

While reading Lisa Wedeen‘s “Reflections on Ethnographic Work in Political Science” I was struck by this description of ethnography due to my grad school friend Tim Pachirat*: Ethnography as a method is particularly unruly, particularly undisciplined, particularly celebratory of improvisation,

Posted in Research, Teaching

This Is the Best Time Ever to Study Political Science

Here are ten questions that might be interesting to Americans these days. 1. Is the Trump administration’s immigration executive order constitutional? 2. Is the United States a democracy? How do we know? 3. How does presidential leadership style affect U.S.

Posted in Current Affairs, Research, Teaching

Democracy is not Government by Democrats, and Authoritarianism is not Government by Authoritarians

In a post from October 2015, “Democratic Disappointments, Authoritarian Reformists, and Political Equilibria,” I mused about a seemingly ironic feature of contemporary Malaysian politics. The former dictator Mahathir Mohamad, a staunch defender of ruling party hegemony who happily jailed opponents

Posted in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Politics, Research
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