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The Australian National University

Dr Paul Kenny

BA (Trinity College Dublin), MSc (LSE), MA, MPhil, PhD (Yale University)
Research Fellow
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Political Science 1606
  • Comparative Government And Politics 160603
  • Government And Politics Of Asia And The Pacific 160606
  • Social Change 160805
  • Asian History 210302
  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy 160609

Research interests

Comparative politics; Political order; Democratization; Populism; Regime change; State building; Conflict; Patronage and corruption; Colonialism and Historical Legacies; Indian political development; Politics of South/Southeast Asia; Politics of Latin America; Applied social network analysis



I joined ANU in July 2013 and am currently Research Fellow in Indian Political and Social Change. I was previously Assistant Professor of Political Science at Trinity College Dublin (2012-13) and received my PhD in political science from Yale University in 2013.

My book project, provisionally titled Patronage and Populism, examines the causes of populist success in India and elsewhere in Asia and Latin America. I conduct a detailed analysis of Indian political development from independence to the authoritarian crisis of 1975-77, and carry out additional statistical tests on the occurrence of populism in Asian and Latin American democracies from the 1980s to today.

I am also conduction on other research on the political economy of ethnic voting and of the anti-immigrant far right.  


Researcher's projects

Patronage and Populism: Explaining Populist Success in Asia and Latin America (book manuscript, revise and resubmit, Oxford University Press)

"Populism, Patronage, and Decentralization in Latin America and the Caribbean" under review

"The Political and Economic Consequences of Populist Rule in Latin America" (with Christian Houle) under review

"Does immigration boost support for the Far Right? Evidence from the Asylum Seeker Dispersal Program in England and Wales 2000-2012" (with Charles Miller)

"Does ethnic inequality promote ethnic voting?" (with Christian Houle)

"Weak Ties and Dark Networks: The Social Basis of Terrorism in Colonial India," (with Alexander Lee)

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Updated:  21 February 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers