Paul Kenny

Dr Paul Kenny

Research Fellow


BA (Trinity College Dublin), MSc (LSE), MA, MPhil, PhD (Yale University)

Contact details
+61 2 6125 8812
Room: 4.09
Building: Hedley Bull Building

Biographical statement

I am currently a Research Fellow in the Dept of Political and Social Change in the Coral Bell School, Australian National University. 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 ongoing research is mostly concerned with issues of political order. How is political order established? Why and how does it break down? What happens when it does?

I have a particular interest in how socioeconomic linkages such as patronage relate to political order. My book project is an attempt to explain why seemingly stable patronage democracies fall prey to democratic and authoritarian populist reversals. I argue that fragmentation of patronage networks precipitates a legitimacy crisis for the democratic order. 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 Latin American patronage democracies from the 1980s.

I am also conducting research on the dynamics of regular and irregular warfare, focusing particularly on the role of armed organizations, both state and non-state.

Key Publications

‘The Origins of Patronage Democracy: State Building, Centrifugalism, and Decolonization’ 2013, British Journal of Political Science.

‘A Mixed Blessing: Karen Resettlement to the United States’ (co-author with Kate Lockwood-Kenny), Journal of Refugee Studies, 2011, 24(2):217–38.

‘Civil Wars’ (co-author with Stathis N Kalyvas), in The International Studies Encyclopedia, ed. Robert A. Denemark, Oxford: Blackwell, 2010.

‘Structural Integrity and Cohesion in Insurgent Organizations: Evidence from Protracted Conflicts in Ireland and Burma’, International Studies Review, 2010, 12(4):533–55.

‘The Meaning of Torture’, Polity, 2010, 42(2):131–55.

Updated:  23 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Su-Ann Tan/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team