This blog post is a little delayed. I have been incredibly busy, both at International IDEA and in my free time. I had a friend visit from Scotland this past week. She was in town for Crown Princess Victoria's wedding. It was a blast, and the most crowded I've ever seen Stockholm. Apparently most of Stockholm will go on vacation next month, so I'm probably never going to see such crowds in the city again.
There is some disagreement in Sweden over whether it is a good thing to have a royal family. On the one hand, many people in Sweden see them as a patriotic, cultural, and historical symbol of the country. On the other hand, people think that it is not fitting with Sweden's progressive image to have an old fashioned like royalty. I believe this latter argument gains supporters when the royal family's use of taxes becomes more visible, as it was for the royal wedding. Even so, a lot of the money went to making the wedding a public event. It also drew a decent amount of tourism, particularly from Germany, where people are quite interested in the Swedish royalty. I quite enjoyed the wedding. The princess seemed genuinely happy marrying her former personal trainer. While we were watching the wedding on big screens in a city square, everyone was oohing and ahhing together. It was a very happy crowd.
At work, we are endeavoring to map constitution building processes in Africa. It is a massive undertaking, made even more difficult by the fact that African constitution building processes are not popular subjects for scholarly articles, or even any articles. It reminds me of when I had to choose a topic for my note for journal that was not preempted. We were advised to look for a hole in the literature. Well, I think we have found a rather large hole in the literature. If anyone is looking for a note topic, I'd suggest looking there. It is especially difficult to find out what were the contentious issues during the drafting process, which is precisely what we are trying to document. I'm very appreciative of our summer access to the library databases.
On warm weather days, I look at Stockholm and think to myself, "What a beautiful city." Because it is. The buildings here are uncommon, with their flat faces and different shades of paint. It becomes impossible not to realize that you are living in a foreign land. I went up on a coworker's rooftop terrace last week and looked out over the roofs of Gamla Stan, the old part of town. All the buildings are old fashioned and none can be above a certain height. The roofs are all either blackened metal sheets or old copper that has turned teal. It makes for quite the picturesque urban landscape. The sky here is so incredibly blue when it's clear. I've never seen such a blue sky outside of Colorado in the fall. I wonder if the higher latidtude has a similar effect as a higher altitude.