comparative politics

Bringing the State Back In

I started my career as a political scientist and am now a peacebuilder. The two fields obviously overlap, but the nature of that overlap has not been obvious. However, after reading Rachel Kleinfeld’s wonderful new book, A Savage Order, I’m beginning to see not only where the connections lie but also where we need to (re)direct our peacebuilding work. Thirty years ago, Theda Skocpol and others convinced a lot of political scientists that we had to “bring the state back in” to our research on comparative politics which was then focused on voting behavior and the like. They were right then. They are right for peacebuilding in other ways today.

Bringing the State Back In2018-12-10T13:39:25+00:00

Rethinking Political Categories

Hans Rosling's work using data and props from IKEA got me to rethink one of the core concepts in comparative politics which has implications for peacebuilding, too.

Rethinking Political Categories2018-08-06T19:16:18+00:00

On Trust

As a comparative political scientist and peacebuilder, I have to be interested in trust, and I have to be worried about the declining trust both in the country I live in and in the ones I study. Restoring and rebuilding trust seems to be a requirement for making significant progress in solving any of the vexing issues in our social, political, and economic lives today. And the news on that front isn’t terribly encouraging these days….r Luckily, a book and an article crossed my desk this week that address how trust can be restored, albeit in very different ways. First is Rachel Botsman’s delightful book, Who Can We Trust.  She starts from a premise most of my colleagues [...]

On Trust2017-12-26T18:28:14+00:00