This blog is a running conversation about politics. It’s primarily maintained by Stewart Prest (that’s me), a recent PhD graduate of the University of British Columbia, and current SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Ottawa. I am also an occasional op-ed writer, and a (thus far very occasional) contributor to IRPP’s Policy Options Forum, so expect to see some posts here end up in those places as well. My principal research focus concerns the role of local political institutions in mitigating and preventing violent conflict, but my writing interests are more diverse. Common topics for the blog include Canadian politics, institutions, and policy. Now that I’m back in the world of international affairs, no doubt that will become a more common focus going forward as well. Now that I’m back in the world of international affairs, no doubt that will become a more common focus going forward as well. In addition, I welcome the guest posts from colleagues who have something to say, but are too clever to invest time in maintaining a blog of their own.