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    Defining British identity: Is it about “values” or “proper behaviour”?

Defining British identity: Is it about “values” or “proper behaviour”?

What constitutes British identity? In this blog, Ulrike G. Theuerkauf explains the relevance of “British values” in discussions about the further political, economic and social development of the UK after Brexit, and the manner in which “Britishness” is invoked as a concept of inclusion or exclusion in society.

Brexit is something of a boom industry. Even before it has officially happened, […]

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    Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

The 2018 Western Balkans Summit was held in London on 9-10 July. As Denisa Kostovicova explains, there was hope that the summit might officially launch a regional fact-finding commission – RECOM – which would record the victims of human rights violations to help aid the reconciliation process in the region. However, even though the summit put legacy issues on […]

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    Does Merkel’s coalition spat prefigure a change in the German party system?

Does Merkel’s coalition spat prefigure a change in the German party system?

The alliance between Angela Merkel’s CDU and their Bavarian sister party, the CSU, has come under strain over the German government’s immigration policies. Ben Margulies writes that while most of the coverage of the CDU-CSU dispute has focused on what it means for Merkel’s government, it provides some insights into the potential future trajectory of the German party system.

Credit: […]

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    The extradition saga continues: Is the latest ruling a win for Puigdemont, Spain, or for mutual trust?

The extradition saga continues: Is the latest ruling a win for Puigdemont, Spain, or for mutual trust?

A German court has ruled that former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont can be extradited to Spain on charges of misusing public funds, but not on a charge of rebellion, which carries a more severe punishment. As Auke Willems explains, the net result is a situation with no clear winners: Spain cannot prosecute Puigdemont on charges of rebellion; Puigdemont has […]

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    The EMU quest for integration: What does the ECB’s collateral data tell us?

The EMU quest for integration: What does the ECB’s collateral data tell us?

The ECB recently announced that its quantitative easing programme will stop at the end of 2018. Corrado Macchiarelli and Mara Monti write that the way this decision is managed will be crucial for avoiding potential market disruptions in the eurozone. However, the key long-term concern will be achieving political consensus in the coming years given the challenge posed by […]

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    Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump

Europe should remember its own treatment of refugees while protesting against Donald Trump

Many of the protests that took place against Donald Trump during his visit to the UK focused on his policies toward refugees. Amanda Russell Beattie, Gemma Bird and Patrycja Rozbicka argue that while the protesters were right to voice opposition to Trump’s policies, the treatment of refugees at Europe’s borders is just as worthy of criticism.

Donald Trump arrived in […]

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    Brexit’s institutional irony: How the EU has successfully outflanked the UK

Brexit’s institutional irony: How the EU has successfully outflanked the UK

The EU has been popularly derided as ineffectual, but it has shown remarkable co-ordination and unity in its Brexit negotiations with the UK. Dermot Hodson and John Peterson explain how Michel Barnier has outflanked the UK, with both the Commission and the Council presenting a united front.

Before British voters went to the polls in June 2016, the institutions of the European Union […]

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    Turkey’s missing swing voters: Understanding the results of the 2018 Turkish elections

Turkey’s missing swing voters: Understanding the results of the 2018 Turkish elections

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured victory in legislative and presidential elections on 24 June. The vote ensured that Erdogan can now govern the country using new executive powers which were approved in a referendum in 2017. Sevinç Bermek and Ledün Çevik write that although there were no radical shifts in support from the last legislative elections in 2015, […]

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    The devil is in the detail: Why multinationals favour the customs union

The devil is in the detail: Why multinationals favour the customs union

In a customs union, goods cross borders seamlessly, but in a free trade agreement, border checks are needed to ensure conformity with rules of origin. Paola Conconi explains why a customs union is key for multinationals wishing to stay in the UK after Brexit.

Some members of Theresa May’s cabinet are pushing for a ‘soft’ Brexit, which would allow the UK to remain […]

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Breaking the populism ‘doom loop’

Is liberal democracy under threat from the rise of populist politics? John Fitzgibbon argues that with citizens voting in increasing numbers for populist parties, a concerted effort to make the value of liberal democracy clear to citizens and to involve them more closely in the policy-making process is sorely needed.

According to many commentators, we are now in a crisis of […]

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    How Europe’s deteriorating peace is facilitating the rise of populism

How Europe’s deteriorating peace is facilitating the rise of populism

Results from the 2018 Global Peace Index, a quantitative measure of peace across 163 countries, show that Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world. But as José Luengo-Cabrera notes, Europe’s peacefulness has been deteriorating in recent years. He argues that this deterioration has provided fertile ground for the rise of populist parties.

Since the inception of the Global […]

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    Evidence from the Netherlands: How do populist parties act in parliament?

Evidence from the Netherlands: How do populist parties act in parliament?

Do populist parties behave differently from other parties when they enter parliament? Presenting evidence from a study of parties in the Netherlands, Simon Otjes and Tom Louwerse illustrate that both left-wing and right-wing populist parties tend to primarily voice opposition rather than offer policy alternatives. The growing representation of populist parties in West European parliaments is therefore likely to […]

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What bothers European media most about Brexit?

How does the rest of Europe see Brexit? In this extract from a Reuters Institute report, Alexandra Borchardt, Diego Bironzo and Felix M Simon examine what preoccupies the UK’s neighbours. They find trade and the economy have been central to the coverage, with Irish media focusing on the Northern Irish border issue, but there has been relatively little interest in […]

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Made in the UK: Brexit and manufacturing revisited

What impact will Brexit have on UK manufacturing? As Bob Hancké points out, the domestic economic effects of Brexit are dynamic, not static. While some industries will be devastated by Brexit, resources may switch to other areas which, in theory, could thrive. But for this to happen, the UK needs to revamp its industrial supply chains, which are dependent on close links […]

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Illegality and Italy’s new government

The coalition that has just taken office in Rome did not begin well. But as Andrea Capussela writes, among its proposals is a plan to strengthen the rule of law, which could improve Italy’s unfair and inefficient system. Its opponents lie not only among the country’s establishment, however: tension also exists within the coalition between the Five Star Movement […]

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Understanding the rise of the populist establishment

Studies of populism have traditionally focused on the politics of opposition, such as protest movements and the campaigns of smaller parties. But as Zsolt Enyedi notes, recent election results have demonstrated that populist parties cannot only win power, but also show a surprising level of resilience when they enter government. He argues that populism can no longer be regarded […]

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The Catalan and Spanish crisis: A European perspective

The Catalan independence question remains one of the key issues on the agenda for Spain’s new Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, as he completes his first month in office. Sebastian Balfour writes that Sánchez is likely to carry out a holding operation in the hope that support for his Socialists will grow ahead of the next general election, while the […]

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How the European Union falls apart

The European Union has come under intense pressure from the Eurozone crisis, the migration crisis, and Brexit, but is it at serious risk of falling apart? And if so, how would this disintegration take place? Drawing on his latest book, Hans Vollaard explains that rather than experiencing a sudden collapse, the EU might instead suffer a slow decline driven […]

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    Italian women face dramatic earnings losses after the birth of a child

Italian women face dramatic earnings losses after the birth of a child

Child birth can disrupt the careers of women if adequate safeguards are not put in place by policymakers. Enrica Maria Martino presents findings from new research on the effect child birth has on women in Italy. She finds that having a child dramatically decreases the earnings of Italian women. The key driver for this effect is women leaving the […]

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    Why the debate over the European Development Fund is a question of politics

Why the debate over the European Development Fund is a question of politics

The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument through which the EU provides development aid to African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. However, there has been a long-running debate over whether the EDF should be formally integrated into the EU budget, or whether it should remain a separate fund financed by direct contributions from the EU’s member states. Johanne […]

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