Tuesday, 14 October 2014

On Youtube, China's Great Famine & the Great Leap Forward [黑金政治學02]

On Youtube: An overview of new publications including Tombstone [墓碑] by Yang Jisheng [楊繼繩], Mao's Great Famine by Frank Dikötter, and The Xinyang Incident [信阳事件] by Qiao Peihua [喬培華], with a rapid introduction to the general subject of the Great Famine & the Great Leap Forward.

Click: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rtfadswTdw

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Chinese Democracy (1989–2014) in Comparative Context

If you glance too quickly at the first chart, above, you might think that I forgot to include China at all; but no, there it is, a dashed line at the bottom, moving along horizontally, steadily, with the lowest score possible for political rights and freedoms.  In Figure 2, below, you can see that while Cambodia has done poorly in the same period of time, it only dipped down to be quite so bad as mainland China during the memorable year of 1997, and otherwise had some advantage to boast of.

The scores themselves are a product of the Freedom House foundation, and you can read some overly-tedious comments I made on how the numbers are computed here (click).  For those with a casual interest, it is enough to know that a rating of 7 is terrible, and 1 indicates a fully-functional democracy (in Figure 3, you can see that Mongolia made a very rapid transition from 7 to 2, but took quite a while to achieve the highest score, with Taiwan struggling through its own transition in the same decades).

Saturday, 4 October 2014

One of the greatest titles in the history of peer-reviewed articles

The article doesn't live up to its title, but then, what could?

"Why Most Published Research Findings Are False."

Now just imagine if this type of analysis were applied to articles on politics, religion or (even worse!) the overlap between politics and religion… I don't think anyone even wants to measure what percentage of research findings are false in the social sciences and humanities.

Another amusing article in the same vein: Research paper publishing sting reveals lax standards.

Shout Out to Young Droog, Shout Out To Myanmar.

In an art-form defined by non-sequiturs, this one was genuinely unexpected.

The line appears in the midst of a track called Hoodie Weather (click), and no, it doesn't otherwise comment on the politics of Southeast Asia.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

On Youtube, Chinese Politics Now: the Mass Line & Document Number Nine

"As with many other turning points in China's past, the new direction indicated by the manifesto has been demonstrated --first and foremost-- by the Communist Party turning against itself, purging, persecuting and imprisoning its own members."

On Youtube: http://youtu.be/5l4kHbeRrFs

Friday, 29 August 2014

Vegan Documentary Film "Cowspiracy" (my comments on Youtube)

My face on Youtube: http://youtu.be/Frz_Q69UBCc

This is a ten minute discussion made with an awareness that most of the people who see it will (i) already be vegan, and (ii) already have seen the film being reviewed.  This is probably not what anyone is expecting to hear from "a political science perspective", nor from a vegan perspective, but I do reflect on what I feel is the core tension of the film; and, for me, it raises familiar questions about the NGO/Charity sector...