Review of The VP Advantage: How Running Mates Influence Home State Voting in Presidential Elections by Christopher J. Devine and Kyle C. Kopko (Manchester University Press) for LSE Review of Books, April 2016. The veepstakes are upon us. As an intriguing and somewhat traumatic presidential primary season approaches a conclusion, speculation about who the Republican and Democratic…
I reviewed Louise Thompson’s new book on House of Commons bill committees for LSE Review of Books. The book offers a persuasive new account of committees’ work and shows how backbench MPs can influence legislation.
My review of ‘Devolution and Localism in England’ by David M. Smith and Enid Wistrich for LSE Review of Books (5 November 2014). The book traces the development of decentralisation policies through regional policies up to and including the 2010 General Election and the radical shift away from regionalism to localism thereafter. Despite some flaws the…
My review of ‘Money and Electoral Politics’ by Ron Johnston and Charles Pattie for LSE Review of Books (15 August 2014). I found the book an excellent source of data and insight on the financing of political parties and elections, but with a number of key issues under-explored.
I reviewed ‘Yes: The Radical Case for Scottish Independence’ by James Foley and Pete Ramand for the LSE Review of Books (28 April 2014). A very interesting read, but ultimately it persuaded me that there was no evidence that Scotland was on course for a radical future post-independence.
My article for The Huffington Post (23 October 2013) on the way zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead deals with democracy. Much better than most political fiction, I argued.
My review of Dick Leonard’s The Great Rivalry, a parallel biography of Victorian Prime Ministers William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli, for LSE Review of Books (4 September 2013). I found an entertaining read that fell slightly short of its central ambition.
My review of the experiment blog ’40 Days of Dating’ for the Huffington Post (12 September 2013), in which two friends try dating each other in order to attract attention, I mean, to explore their feelings and rethink their approach to relationships. It was an intriguing read, and a very nice piece of design.
My review of Black Mirror for the Huffington Post. Although the second series of Charlie Brooker’s dark premonitions does not match the quality of the first, it remains the standout drama on British TV, made all the more intriguing by the ‘critical insider’ stance Brooker adopts.
My review for the Huffington Post (4 June 2012) of Gary Barlow’s nauseating documentary about how he recorded the official song for the Queen latest Jubilee. Basically, a gifted, delusional musician talks into a camera in various places around the Commonwealth, then gets a chart-topping choir to record a mediocre song back in England.