current-affairs

  • Permalink Gallery

    The European ideal has sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean with the migrants it rejects

The European ideal has sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean with the migrants it rejects

The EU prizes the freedom of movement its citizens enjoy. Yet this depends on securing ‘Fortress Europe’ against non-Europeans – including the thousands who drown trying to cross the Mediterranean. Claire Sutherland asks how the Union can tolerate squalid migrant camps that are, in the words of its own migration commissioner, ‘an insult to our values and civilisation’.

Credits: Rodrigo […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    The Western Balkans could be the first casualty of a ‘connectivity war’ between the EU and Turkey

The Western Balkans could be the first casualty of a ‘connectivity war’ between the EU and Turkey

The EU negotiated a deal with Turkey during the migration crisis that aimed to halt the flow of people into Europe. But recent tensions between the EU and Turkey have raised questions about whether this deal will be viable in the long-term. Vuk Vuksanovic writes that relations between the EU and Turkey can be conceived of as a potential ‘connectivity […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Against the odds: The improbable journey of Die Linke through unified Germany

Against the odds: The improbable journey of Die Linke through unified Germany

Opinion polls suggest that as many as six independent parties could cross the electoral threshold and enter the Bundestag in Germany’s federal elections in September. In advance of the elections, we will be running a series profiling each of these parties. In the first article of the series, Ross Campbell writes on the German Left Party (Die Linke), which has […]

Print Friendly
Share

The Eurovision in Ukraine was an exercise in soft power

Eurovision 2017, held in Kyiv, may have lacked overt politicisation when it came to the performances showcased on stage, especially in comparison to previous years. But as Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz argues, the contest nevertheless delivered a carefully constructed ideological message about Ukraine’s European aspirations and its pride in its cultural heritage and traditions, while also signalling comradeship with the Slavic […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    How Portugal’s leaders exploited the bail out to pass measures they already supported

How Portugal’s leaders exploited the bail out to pass measures they already supported

During the Eurozone crisis, states receiving a bailout were required to implement spending cuts and other reforms in return for financial assistance. But to what extent did the governments of these states use the opportunity to advance their own policy agendas? Drawing on interviews with Portuguese politicians, Catherine Moury and Adam Standring argue that both the crisis and the bailout […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Macron and Merkel’s warm words mask deeper Franco-German divisions over the future of Europe

Macron and Merkel’s warm words mask deeper Franco-German divisions over the future of Europe

One of Emmanuel Macron’s first acts as French President was to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Julian Göpffarth writes that Macron’s victory over Marine Le Pen was welcomed by both of Germany’s mainstream parties, albeit in different ways. But behind the warm words, his ambitious proposals for the Eurozone are bound to generate concerns among German politicians and both […]

Print Friendly
Share

What research tells us about the avocado toast controversy

Why do people consume conspicuously even when they cannot afford healthcare, or housing? The recent ‘avocado toast controversy’, started by tycoon Tim Gurner, has re-ignited this debate. Clement Bellet and Eve Sihra explain that, contrary to the Australian businessman’s argument, consuming ‘luxury’ goods plays a key role for deprived individuals.

A status symbol? Toast with mashed avocado and salsa verde, by […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    The ‘last chance for social Europe’: The European Pillar of Social Rights can only work if integrated into the EU’s existing policies

The ‘last chance for social Europe’: The European Pillar of Social Rights can only work if integrated into the EU’s existing policies

The European Commission published its proposals for the creation of a European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) at the end of April. Eleanor Brooks writes that it will be crucial to ‘mainstream’ the EPSR by integrating it into the EU’s existing policies, while civil society organisations will need to be afforded a strong role in the Pillar’s implementation if it […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    The hidden sides of ‘dynamic pricing’ for airline tickets

The hidden sides of ‘dynamic pricing’ for airline tickets

Unlike its planes, easyJet prices go up but don’t come down: The longer you wait, the more you pay, write Marco Alderighi, Alberto A. Gaggero and Claudio A. Piga.

An EasyJet plane interior. Credit: Adrian Pingstone, Public domain.
A standard definition of dynamic pricing in airline markets typically focuses on how fares evolve over the booking period that precedes a flight’s take-off. […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Kosovo’s early elections are reviving its ‘war’ and ‘peace’ camps

Kosovo’s early elections are reviving its ‘war’ and ‘peace’ camps

Kosovo is due to hold early elections on 11 June, following a vote of no confidence in the government. Krenar Gashi writes that the elections have encouraged a recalibration of Kosovo’s party system, with the revival of the division between so called ‘war’ parties and ‘peace’ parties that has its roots in the aftermath of the Kosovo War in […]

Print Friendly
Share

The Brexit referendum question was flawed in its design

The Brexit referendum question was flawed in its design by ignoring Kenneth Arrow’s impossibility theorem, writes Thomas Colignatus. As he explains, referendums can be considered democratically legitimate only if voters can make an informed decision. and it is questionable whether the UK’s referendum on the EU produced a sound choice in the first place.  

Theresa May’s government, with support from […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    How has Brexit, and other EU crises, affected party Euroscepticism across Europe?

How has Brexit, and other EU crises, affected party Euroscepticism across Europe?

Analysing the results of a new expert survey, Aleks Szczerbiak and Paul Taggart write that Brexit has so far had a very limited impact on national party politics across Europe beyond the UK, particularly compared with the earlier Eurozone and migration crisis. While the longer-term, dynamic effects of Brexit on party Euroscepticism might be greater and there are a […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    A Pyrrhic victory in Yerevan? Understanding Armenia’s one party dominance

A Pyrrhic victory in Yerevan? Understanding Armenia’s one party dominance

Only six weeks after parliamentary elections that saw the ruling Republican Party of Armenia retain its power, a municipal election in the Armenian capital Yerevan resulted in an even larger victory for the incumbent party. But as Richard Giragosian writes, the election result did little to obscure serious shortcomings in the voting process, with allegations of vote buying and […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    One hundred days of Martin Schulz: The rise and fall of a ‘Gottkanzler’?

One hundred days of Martin Schulz: The rise and fall of a ‘Gottkanzler’?

Angela Merkel’s CDU secured a surprise victory over the SPD in state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia on 14 May. Julian Göpffarth assesses where the result leaves the SPD’s leader, Martin Schulz, ahead of the country’s federal elections in September.

Martin Schulz. Credits: Olaf Kosinsky / Skillshare.eu
It has been not much more than a hundred days that Martin Schulz has been the […]

Print Friendly
Share

What will President Macron mean for UK universities?

Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election will have a significant impact on European politics across a wide number of policy areas. Anne Corbett assesses what Macron’s presidency could mean for higher education in the UK and for bilateral relations between the UK and France.

Oxford, Corpus Christi college. Credits: Diliff (CC BY-SA 3.0)
On 21 February this year, the […]

Print Friendly
Share

Why populism is a threat to electoral integrity

Following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, a great deal of political commentary has focused on the rise of populism and its possible impact on Western democracies. Pippa Norris argues that populism heightens the risk of electoral malpractice in three distinct ways: by damaging public trust in democracy, by undermining international standards of electoral integrity, and by […]

Print Friendly
Share

Eurovision 2017 was remarkable for its lack of politics

The build up to the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest was overshadowed by a dispute between Russia and Ukraine which resulted in Russia withdrawing from the event. Catherine Baker writes that despite this dispute, the show itself was largely free from the kind of political controversy that has emerged in previous years.

Credit: Федя Кузнецов (CC BY SA 4.0)
Eurovision 2017 was a […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Russia ups its game in the Balkans, but the West should avoid responding in kind

Russia ups its game in the Balkans, but the West should avoid responding in kind

Russia has recently been accused of stoking tensions in the Balkans by waging ‘information warfare’ in the region. Jarosław Wiśniewski writes that even if these allegations are true, the West should avoid responding in kind. Rather than engaging in the same tactics, the carrot of European integration should be used to exert greater influence.

Images of Vladimir Putin placed on an […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Delusions and meddling: 30 years of Tory Euroscepticism are coming to the fore

Delusions and meddling: 30 years of Tory Euroscepticism are coming to the fore

The Conservative party’s relationship with the EU has come a long way since Edward Heath urged the UK to be ‘inside Europe’. Euroscepticism has a long history in the party, but the drift of public, media and Tory sentiment away from European unity crystallised in 1988 under Margaret Thatcher. The Brexit process is now bringing these tensions to the fore, […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Understanding the campaign dynamics of the French presidential election

Understanding the campaign dynamics of the French presidential election

Now that the dust has settled on Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election, what lessons can be derived from the campaign? Thomas Vitiello assesses both rounds of the election, highlighting the key campaign dynamics that ultimately shaped the result.

Credit: French Embassy in the United States (CC BY SA 2.0)
In French politics, there is a saying that “in […]

Print Friendly
Share