This field of study addresses issues such as the factors militating against the adoption of growth-enhancing policies, even when politicians themselves might favour them, and the various sources of political cover that might be available to help resist such pressures. (Some of the bigger questions can be intuited from the way I’ve phrased these particular ones). A former student of mine emailed me recently to say that she found these topics “ridiculously interesting; it’s almost like reading gossip”. (Thank you, N!) I haven’t yet begun to model these processes (spent the semester boning up on game theory with the intention of doing so) but some of my musings on the topic (in the context of the last 50 years of Irish economic history) are available in this recent paper. I have discussed other examples of available political cover, such as the “golden straightjacket” of EU and WTO rules (to use Thomas Friedman’s phrase from The Lexus and The Olive Tree) , in other recent writings.