What I learned from… Samuel DeCanio

DeCanio, S. (2011) Populism, Paranoia, and the Politics of Free Silver. Studies in American Political Development, 25(1), 1-26. In 1896, a Democrat politician named William Jennings Bryan realized that people were very angry at banks and existing monetary policy. He then set out to get elected as President of the United States on the basis…

What I learned from… Rod Dacombe

Rod Dacombe (2011) Can we argue against it? Performance management and state funding of voluntary organizations in the UK. Public Money & Management, 31(3), 159-166. Say you volunteer to help an old lady carrying groceries from the store. Should she thank you if you drag the bags across the street and break everything that she…

What I learned from… Elisa Cavatorta

Cavatorta, E. (2010) Unobserved common factors in military expenditure interactions across MENA countries. Defence and Peace Economics, 21(4), 301-316. What Elisa is interested in doing here is to go beyond the most typical variables used to explain military expenditure (monetary capacity, perception of external threats, perception of internal threats). Although I am using the word…

What I learned from… Damien Bol

Bol, D. (2016). Electoral reform, values and party self-interest. Party Politics, 22(1), 93-104. Political parties need to follow electoral rules to get elected but, once elected, they can (to some extent) change these rules. What drives them to support changes? Is it a desire to be re-elected or the benefit of society? Apparently, is a…

What I learned from… Andrew Blick

Blick, A., & Gordon QC, R. (2016). Using the Prerogative for Major Constitutional Change: The United Kingdom Constitution and Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. London: The Constitution Society. This paper was published in 2016. At this time, the UK courts had not yet heard the Gina Miller that eventually showed May could…

Highlighting divergence in cost/benefit analyses

Oftentimes, the issues that grab energy headlines are an extension of deeper underlying divisions. Take Keystone XL pipeline, which was a major news issue this week due to Trump’s go-ahead. The official position is that it’s good for the economy. There are doubts about whether it even makes financial sense. And there are some who…

Overcoming our OPEC obsession

The articles that I want to highlight relate to a discussion that raged on in several energy- and oil-related outlets this week: are OPEC’s cuts working? Before that, a small background. We don’t know what the price of oil would be right now without the cuts but prices did increase slightly from the point cuts…

The ‘right’ and climate change

I have been getting very interesting climate-related articles from ‘right-wing’ sources. Certainly more than the usual. This week I want to pay particular attention to two of them. The first is a piece by Tim Worstall on the Adam Smith Institute’s blog about Shell’s divestment from oil sands and the subsequent call for carbon pricing.…