Category: Politics

Are Indonesian Elections “The Only Game in Town?”

Jamie Davidson‘s new book* Indonesia: Twenty Years of Democracy contains a prescient caveat about Indonesia’s democratic consolidation: I do not mean to imply that Indonesia’s democracy is consolidated, or “the only game in town” (a popular saying among political scientists). Fixating on consolidation closes debate, foregrounds static outcomes, and ignores the dynamic processes of and […]

The True Nature of Trump’s Presidential Power

Just over two years ago, I described the problem of inferring how strong or weak a leader is from the political outcomes that we observe. What prompted that discussion was the hullabaloo surrounding the first couple weeks of the Trump administration—the Muslim ban, the reorganization of the White House, Bannon and Kushner, and so forth. […]