Category: Malaysia

Ethnicity, Identity, and Meaning in Comparative Politics: A New Approach

One of the hard things about studying ethnicity is that socially-embedded meanings and ideas about ethnic identity are hard to uncover. Qualitative and contextual research is essential, but this stands in the way of other important goals such as generalization and inter-group comparison. Political scientists who study ethnicity in the comparative context have struggled to […]

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 to his regime, has emerged as one of the key critics of Najib Tun Razak. […]