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Scarce states are not always weak states

Political scientists often measure state weakness as state absence: where we count fewer bureaucrats, where we see fewer roads that enable state penetration, or where citizens have fewer state-issued documents like IDs or birth certificates, it seems reasonable to assume states have more limited power to influence society. Zones of state absence become the “brown … Continue reading Scarce states are not always weak states

The New Social Science of the Holocaust

by Jeffrey Kopstein and Jelena Subotić We live in a culture profoundly influenced by the legacy of the Holocaust.  More than seven decades after the fact, the Nazi extermination effort against the world’s Jews continues to provide the moral lens through which we judge political action.  Debates about humanitarian intervention and foreign policy, democracy and … Continue reading The New Social Science of the Holocaust

Back to the Future? Battling Over the Speakership on the House Floor

By Jeffery A. Jenkins and Charles Stewart III The House of Representatives votes to elect its Speaker today—or, at least, that’s the plan. The problem is that the ostensible favorite, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), has yet to line up a majority of the House to win the position. Five conservative Republicans have announced their opposition … Continue reading Back to the Future? Battling Over the Speakership on the House Floor

Why states colonize

“We are often told, ‘Colonialism is dead.’ Let us not be deceived or even soothed by that. I say to you, colonialism is not yet dead.” With these words, President Sukarno of Indonesia (pictured) opened the Asian-African conference in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. Gathered in the audience were the leaders from 29 African and Asian … Continue reading Why states colonize

How Colonialism Changed the World — for Better and for Worse

The death of Queen Elizabeth II produced a record number of hot takes on the British Empire, most notable only for what they revealed about the ideology of the author. That of Fox news host Tucker Carlson was no exception: “When the British pulled out of India, they left behind an entire civilization, a language, … Continue reading How Colonialism Changed the World — for Better and for Worse

The Origins of Elite Splits

The origins of political divisions, for instance along center-periphery cleavages, have received scholarly attention in the studies by Lipset & Rokkan (1967), and especially by Rokkan in his subsequent analyses in the 1970s. In these explanations, the emphasis was on how modernization processes and distinct cultural characteristics (past institutions, language, etc.) shaped identity at the … Continue reading The Origins of Elite Splits

World War II Colonial Soldiers and the Demand for Independence

Gold Coast Regiment at the Burma Front, World War II

Ghana Accra Protests In February 1948, two thousand former soldiers who served in the Gold Coast Regiment in World War II (WWII) marched against the government they had defended three years ago. The veterans were incredibly well organized, coming from different regions of the country. They demanded “independence, a good living, and good pay.” When the British … Continue reading World War II Colonial Soldiers and the Demand for Independence

Disruptive Innovation in the Economic Organization of China and the West

Network science presents researchers with an alternative framework for analyzing societies and their economies. By recognizing that societies have the properties of multilevel systems, and that as systems, their structural designs evolve through the interdependence of the micro and macro levels, it is possible to map patterns and explain how the large sudden shocks to … Continue reading Disruptive Innovation in the Economic Organization of China and the West