Response to Jørgen Møller’s “The Lopsided Political Effects of Proprietary Income”


  • Klas Nilsson


As you approach the final stretch in the doctoral program at political science in Lund and gear up for defending your thesis, you may hear this friendly piece of advice: ‘Try to get an old and established discussant, a scholar who has noth- ing to prove anymore and has lost his or her appetite for confrontation and fault-finding.’ The advice is half-ironic, of course, but it is also fully misguided. By pointing to an easy way out it speaks to your fear of criticism and rejection rather than to that glimmer of pride and accomplishment you hopefully feel. And as we all know, the highest form of praise in academia is not having some- one going easy on you, or even agreeing with you, but rather having someone constructively engaging with your work.

That is why I consider myself privileged to have had Professor Jørgen Møller from Aarhus University as my discussant. Møller is indeed an estab- lished scholar within the historical study of states and regimes but he is not old, nor has he lost his appetite.