This homepage (with Swedish entries too) is to back up my retrospective ‘endbook’ In Search of New Social Democracy (2021) and related works in two ways. Firstly, with a collection of the previous writings that informed much of the book. Secondly, with briefings and analyses to follow up on the main conclusions. Entries to the archive are in the left column. Follow up briefings, comments and studies are below. But first, a few words about myself. I am a global historian and social scientist of Scandinavian roots.

Born, living and now also working in the northwestern Swedish archipelago, in rooms with a view (see below). Educated at the universities of Gothenburg and Uppsala (PhD 1983). Professor of Political Science and Development Research at the University of Oslo from 1997. My focus, since half a century, is the rise and  

decline of the second (anti-colonial) and third (liberal and civic)

waves of democracy, along with efforts at rights based development. Especially in South- and Southeast Asia, but also the effects and reactions in the North, particularly Scandinavia. My own fieldwork has been in India (mainly Kerala), the Philippines and especially Indonesia, where I was also co-directing research with the democracy movement 1996-2016. However, the studies are carried out in a wider comparative framework, along with colleagues in various parts of the Global South and North. At times while sailing, skiing or walking.

Briefings & comments

  • Recommended new book by T.M. Thomas Issac and Richard W. Franke on 'People's Planning' in Kerala PDF
  • Nomination of The Civil Disobedience Movement  of Myanmar for the Nobel Peace Prize PDF



  • In Search of New Social Democracy: Insights from the South – Implications for the North

       London: Zed-Bloomsbury           new-social-democracy-9780755639793/

     Sneak premiere presentation, PDF

  • ‘Contribution to the Critique of “Social Democracy in one Country”’. Forthcoming in Nygård, S. et al. North and South: Rethinking the History of Post-War European Social Democracy.Helsinki: Renew.

  • ‘Linking Public Action. Kerala's Challenges in Comparative Perspective.' In Publications from webinar on Rethinking the Role of Local Governments in Post Covid-19 World, Central Univ. of Kerala and CPM, Kottayam, December 10-14, 2020. Draft for comments only: PDF


Recent & topical studies

  • ‘From irony of success to tragedy of failure’ Jakarta Post 30. 10.20 PDF

  • ‘Homage to AE Priyono’. Jakarta Post 13. 04.20 PDF

  • ‘In memoriam: Arief Budiman, architect of the democracy movement, Jakarta Post 26. 04.20 PDF

  • ‘The rise and crumbling of reformist populism in Indonesia’ Jakarta Post 29-30.10.19 PDF

  • ‘The legacies of the Indonesian counter-revolution: New insights and remaining issues’ Journal of Contemporary Asia (2019) PDF