Behavioural Public Policy or Nudging: Good or Bad?

I have been reading and thinking about nudging for over four years now and it never stops to amaze me. Many of the readers of this blog will be familiar with the well-known book by Thaler and Sunstein “Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness” released in 2009 and winning Richard Thaler a Nobel […]

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Authoritarianism

If twenty years ago it was a default that democracy is a good system of governance, then the tables have turned. In my class on development practices in 2018/2019 the majority of students, most of whom come from the Global South, did not see democracy as essential to development. In other words, democracy was neither […]

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A Typology to Study Policy Narratives: Villagers’ Views on Sesan 2 Dam in Cambodia

Studying Narratives in Politics Increasingly stories and narratives are accepted as an important subject of study in politics. Stories bring together facts, emotions, fantasies and hopes. Stories are best to stitch together different ways of knowing, from abstract science to beliefs to practical knowledge from doing things. And stories speak to our imagination; some would […]

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Internet and Democratisation of Urban Water Governance. NEW PUBLICATION!

Many expected that Internet would create a democratic arena in governance, help hold governments accountable and increase input from citizens to decision-making in the public sector. The time proved different. We live in the age of fake news, social media determines what we think and if anything, the government now knowns everything about it. But […]

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Announcement: Starting a New Job in September 2018

The time has come to make this news public — I am starting a new exciting job as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) in September 2018. ISS is located in The Hague although it is part of EUR. My responsibilities will include teaching in […]

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Can you put adaptive governance in place? NEW PUBLICATION!

In recent decades, adaptive governance has been advocated for meeting the challenges of unpredictable and uncertain dynamics of Social-ecological Systems (SES) (Folke, 2006; Huitema et al., 2009). Scholars ascribe a multitude of virtues to adaptive governance, such as, for example, the preparedness of populations for disturbances associated with climate change (Pahl-Wostl, 2006). Adaptive governance stands […]

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Western Political Science Association Conference in San Francisco

Next week from Wednesday to Saturday I will attend the WPSA meeting in San Francisco where I present a paper “Policy Translation: a Review of Current Research”. The programme of the conference is very exciting with many interesting panels in three sections of special interest — on public policy, environmental political economy and environmental politics. […]

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Advice from Helen Ingram on Being in Academia for Early and Seasoned Scholars

In 2017, a double special issue of the Journal of the Southwest was published that celebrated the career of Dr. Helen Ingram (pictured) as a scholar, mentor and colleague. The special issue contains a number of essays written by world-class scholars in the U.S. and around the world and is a must-read for anyone interested […]

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Nature, Humans and The Anthropocene (Video in Dutch)

After a long break, here I am posting again. I hope that the most loyal readers still check the website, but no problem — even those who have forgotten about its existence are likely to come back soon as exciting stuff is going to come online! I am teaching this semester a course on the […]

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United Nations Global Environmental Outlook 6

Dr. Farhad Mukhtarov has been invited to join the flagship publication of the United Nations Environmental Programme — Global Environmental Outlook 6 as a lead author. He will work in a exciting team of scholars and practitioners from all over the world on the chapter called “Policy Effectiveness”.

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Central European University and Academic Freedom

Last week has been unprecedented in the history of the Central European University (CEU) — it was reported in the most prestigious media outlets such as The Guardian, The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Financial Times and many others. The reason for such an uproar is the tabled legislation in the Hungarian Parliament which would […]

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Public Policy Bits: Grassroots Movements (Transition Initiative)

Today (18 April) in my class on sustainable development, we watched this video on transition network, an initiative to create and distribute the network of sustainable communities across the world. I think the students liked it. I thought that it would be a good idea to share this with the readers of my blog, and […]

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Gateway South East Asia

As some of you may have already noticed through my LinkedIn update, there is a slight change to my professional affiliation. Starting from May 2016, I will join the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, as an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow. This appointment is an “adjunct” appointment, which means that […]

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“Rethinking Travel of Ideas” chosen as a free article in Policy&Politics in December 2015

Once a month, Policy & Politics chooses an article that is branded as “free” on its website and twitter account. This month, my article “Rethinking the travel of ideas: policy translation in the water sector” was chosen! It’s a sign that the article is good enough to be show-cased as a piece of research that […]

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Edward Said: Last Public Intellectual

Last autumn, I started being interested in Professor Edward Said, who is most known for his 1978 book “The Orientalism”. I won’t write about the book here, a lot has been written about it already. Edward Said, however, is much more than an author. He stands out as perhaps the last public intellectual of our […]

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Happy New Academic Year!

Back to school I am jet-lagged after my vacation and have to wake up early for my 9am morning class and get back into the working mode again after the vacation. Sleepy, with a bunch of papers I am going to the classroom and see a lot of new students buzzing around with excitement, colleagues […]

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Brundtland’s Second Coming: Global Tobacco Governance

The photo (credit John Kaplan, 1993) shows an eight-year-old street child in St. Petersburg, Sergei, who insists on smoking Marlboros. The Former Soviet Bloc including Eastern Europe and Asia now represent about 50% of all cigarette sales globally. The tobacco epidemic has been truly exported to the developing world. The powerful Big Tobacco companies targeted […]

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Requiem for Science?

I was once a member of a committee whose purpose was to hire a new colleague in our university department. Unimpressed with one of the candidates who claimed he was a ‘trouble-shooter’, the head of the committee, a distinguished scholar, said something I will remember for long. He said “a scientist is not someone who […]

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The Art of Translation: My Visit to Guggenheim Museum

Recently I went to the Deutsche-Guggenheim Museum in Berlin (yes, they also have a subsidiary there) to see an exhibition that inspired the name to this blog and bore the title ‘Found in Translation’. My favourite piece is the video installation which shows the video used to teach English language to Latino children in the […]

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Working from home: freedom or luxury?

Copyright of the picture: The Economist. You must have heard of the recent ban by ‘Yahoo’ to work from home…Now, as in the picture, workers are chained to their workplace, either they want it or not. I must say, in unison with plethora of evidence from elsewhere, that the ‘presence in the office all week’ […]

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