Climbing trees, 爬樹

In a recent post I made fun of Chinese English. I’m sorry. It wasn’t right. We are all struggling to speak different languages and I know only too well how stupid you end up sounding most of the time. Take my latest Chinese homework, for example (no, my teacher has not looked at it yet): […]

the mother of all trips

We are finally off on vacation. It’s been a long and very difficult year, but now it’s time to relax and be happy. Or rather, since we are going both to the US and Sweden, it’s time to spend time with our families … People have died, gotten married, divorced and remarried, and we’ve only […]

good schools aren’t good for you

Saga, my oldest, is cramming for exams. She’s looked drawn, white-faced and far too thin for more than a month now.  No, we don’t, consciously at least, put pressure on her.  Instead it all comes from her school, the other kids and their mad mothers.  It’s terrible!  She is only 13 for heaven’s sake! The […]

à la prochaine!

I’m leaving Paris in a few hours. It’s been a fun week. I’ve given lectures and talked to lots of people. The Parisians have a very high quality of life. Gorgeous architecture, food and wine, and thousands of cafés where beautiful people are trying to pick each other up. (In fact, even middle-aged people here […]

There will always be Paris

I’m in Paris! I feel like a resident of a foreign galaxy who temporarily is back visiting his home planet. It’s all familiar yet at the same time really weird. The sidewalks are unbelievably broad here and there are no masses of motorbikes; girls are blond or brown-haired and have broad hips and smoke cigarettes […]

What I’m really worth

Paying taxes in Taiwan is a great joy.  First of all they are only about 10% which to a Swede is nothing more than spare change.  More importantly, the people in the tax office are exceedingly cheerful and friendly. We got in there at the last moment, as always, stressed out, tired, and with various […]

My arm was twisted

I am going to Paris after all. My arm was twisted, a gun was held to my head. And more importantly, I think I came up with something worth talking about. This is my schedule: June 8th, very early: arriving in Paris. If I’m not too tired, I’ll try to make it to the Bibliothèque […]

yes, I’m very, very proud

The best thing about teaching at the LSE were all the students.  Not only smart, but creative and fun.  People who will go on to do great things.  Of course, I’m proud of them all.  However, it makes me particularly proud when students dare to stake out their own lives for themselves.   Take Caroline, for […]

I’m rich, I’m rich

I just got a royalty statement from Routledge.  I wrote a book with them in 2005, The Mechanics of Modernity, and last year I made exactly 16.58 pounds from it.  Why isn’t the book selling better? It could be a question of quality of course, but it could also be that it costs 180 US […]

In the first footnote

This is the introduction to a book I’m editing with my friend Thomas Lindemann.  The theme is the role of identities in international politics and the importance of recognition in relations between states.  There are all kinds of super-famous people involved in this project, so it’s really exciting.  Anyway, the article is here: * Erik […]