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Our 10 most popular posts of 2023

The Gaza conflict, Republicans in the U.S. House, and India's alleged assassination program filled the list.

- December 30, 2023
(cc) morafi

Happy new year!

Here is what has most interested our readers since our September launch.

10. How historic voter turnout upended illiberal rule in Poland 

In October, Poles voted out the illiberal regime of the Law and Justice Party (PiS), in power since 2015. It was a reminder that democratic backsliding can be undone, although as Polish politics expert Anna Grzymala-Busse reminded us, rebuilding democracy will still be a hard slog.

9. Does India have a targeted killing program?

In  November, after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York indicted an Indian national for attempting to assassinate a U.S. citizen of Indian origin, Christopher Clary drew on his research into this alleged program, explaining that “there are 11 credible allegations of targeted killings of anti-India terrorists, militants, or activists in the last two years.” 

8. Why do election losers accept their losses?

With many Americans worried about an imminent threat to U.S. democracy, Henry Farrell explained political scientist Adam Przeworski’s dictum that “democracy is a system in which parties lose elections” and its relevance for today.

7. What does it take to depose the House speaker?

Back in September, when it looked like House Republicans might throw out their own speaker, Sarah Binder laid out how that might go.

6. Why the Gaza hostage crisis is different

Danielle Gilbert explained what political science knows about Hamas’s history with such kidnappings, Israel’s past responses, and why none of that could predict what might happen next.

5. What political scientists know about occupation, applied to Gaza

As the Israel-Hamas war continued, Elizabeth N. Saunders gathered a brain trust of experts for an in-depth Good Chat on foreign occupations. 

4. A closer look at the Gaza casualty data

With casualty numbers skyrocketing, Marc Lynch interviewed political scientist Sarah Parkinson about how casualty statistics can be misleading – and why this data reporting has real consequences.

3. How Republicans made a U-turn on impeachment

House Republicans voted to authorize an impeachment inquiry. Andrew Rudalevige first examined how the caucus had flipped its position on such an investigation – and then delved into the relevant political science and history of impeachment. 

2. What if India really was involved in killing a Sikh activist in Canada?

After this September murder in Canada, Christopher Clary looked at whether India might suffer any consequences from having an international assassination program for nationals and former nationals that it designated as terrorists. 

1. Gaza and Israel: Five things to watch

Our top post of the year was Marc Lynch’s short and incisive piece, published soon after the Hamas attacks on Israel. 

Whatever happens in 2024, keep coming here for more insights. Thank you for reading.