Life as an early 21st century comparativist is good: Skim through the English literature on country X, Y, and Z, get the dataset from some institution’s website, run the models on a superfast computer, and hey presto, you’re done. More often than not, one might be tempted to skip the literature bit completely and simply analyse a dataset on any group of countries, because this dataset has the variables required to run some fancy model that one always wanted to run. The phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ springs to mind.
Therefore, analyses by people who read and speak the relevant languages and even live in the country they are writing about fill me with vicarious pride. While I was going back and forth between Angela’s Own Country and the Disgraced Republic Formerly Known as Hellas, two fine specimen have cropped up on the internet: My old chum Ben Stanley has a journal-length piece on the Polish parliamentary elections at the monkey cage, and Jacob Christensen of trailer park political scientist fame gives an equally detailed account of the situation in Denmark.