current-affairs

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    How academics and service providers are working together to inform drug policy in Ireland

How academics and service providers are working together to inform drug policy in Ireland

Since 2015, the LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit has been working with local partners the Ana Liffey Drug Project to help foster a new era of progressive drug policies in Ireland. Tony Duffin outlines the scale of Ireland’s drug problem and how the project aims to help inform drug policy in the country from a solid evidence base.

In 2018 […]

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    The stakes are high for the Italian election, but Italy is not about to leave the euro

The stakes are high for the Italian election, but Italy is not about to leave the euro

Could Italy really leave the euro following the country’s general election in March? Iacopo Mugnai argues that concern in other EU states that the next Italian government could take Italy out of the euro is largely unfounded. However, the election will still be crucial for determining the future trajectory of the Italian economy, and if key problems fail to […]

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Three lessons from the Czech presidential election

Miloš Zeman won a second term as Czech President on 27 January, narrowly defeating opposition candidate Jiří Drahoš. Jan Rovny writes that the country is now sharply divided between two political blocs that cut across old left-right allegiances, with identity politics playing an increasingly important role in shaping support. The presidential election also underlined that Czech politics is likely […]

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    Donald Trump’s rhetoric has only highlighted the already growing rift between the EU and the US

Donald Trump’s rhetoric has only highlighted the already growing rift between the EU and the US

On the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s presidency, the future of the transatlantic relationship is as uncertain as ever. According to Lisa ten Brinke, the rift between the EU and the US began before Trump entered the Oval Office, and this is not likely to change any time soon. 

Just over one year ago, the world watched as Donald Trump […]

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    The UK needs to clarify what ‘full regulatory alignment’ means before the next phase of the Brexit talks

The UK needs to clarify what ‘full regulatory alignment’ means before the next phase of the Brexit talks

In December, EU leaders agreed to move to the next stage of the Brexit talks, but there is still a degree of uncertainty over the issue of the Irish border. Anthony Costello argues that among the most pressing concerns is the need to define the UK’s commitment to have ‘regulatory alignment’ with the EU following Brexit. It is still […]

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Immigration and the Czech presidential election

A second round run-off will be held in the Czech presidential election on 26-27 January, with incumbent president Miloš Zeman facing a challenge from former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences Jiří Drahoš. Lenka Dražanová highlights the role that immigration has played in the campaign, despite the Czech Republic experiencing relatively low levels of immigration in comparison to […]

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    EU citizens in Britain are already being stigmatised – and it’s likely to get worse

EU citizens in Britain are already being stigmatised – and it’s likely to get worse

After the Brexit vote, a ‘silent majority’ was revealed, whereby those prejudiced against EU immigrants now felt they could express those views freely. But discrimination is not only the result of bigotry, writes Thomas Roulet. He explains the many ways EU citizens are already being stigmatised in Britain, and how such treatment may progressively lead to an erosion of […]

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Far right politics in Germany: From fascism to populism?

The rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) was one of the major stories of the 2017 German elections. As Tomáš Nociar and Jan Philipp Thomeczek write, there has been a tendency among some commentators to draw parallels between the AfD and extremist or fascist parties from Germany’s past. They argue that this is both unhelpful and inaccurate, and […]

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The epic political elegance of Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent visit to the UK was closely followed by the British press, with his comments on Brexit and Donald Trump generating a large number of headlines. George Kassimeris writes that Macron’s visit underlined his credentials as a transformative political leader. And with Angela Merkel’s authority damaged by the results of last year’s German federal election, […]

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    Silvio is back: Understanding Berlusconi’s latest revival ahead of the Italian general election

Silvio is back: Understanding Berlusconi’s latest revival ahead of the Italian general election

Despite currently being banned from holding office, Silvio Berlusconi is well placed to have a key role in the Italian general election in March. Fabio Bordignon outlines the factors behind his latest comeback, and how his Forza Italia party could play a central part in the formation of the next Italian government.

In the past when we Italian scholars of […]

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The Brexit-sized hole in the future EU budget

The UK is a net contributor to the EU budget. Following Brexit, the loss of UK contributions will therefore likely require either a reduction in overall spending, or for the remaining member states to pay more into the budget. Iain Begg explains the impact this shortfall might have as the EU seeks to negotiate its next Multi-annual Financial Framework.

Have you ever wondered […]

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    Why has no other European country adopted the Research Excellence Framework?

Why has no other European country adopted the Research Excellence Framework?

Most European countries have followed the UK’s lead in developing performance-based research funding systems (PRFS) for their universities. However, what these countries have not done is adopt the same system, the Research Excellence Framework being its most recent iteration. Instead, many use indicators of institutional performance for funding decisions rather than panel evaluation and peer review. Gunnar Sivertsen has examined systems […]

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    GroKo for Germany? How the prospect of a new grand coalition is dividing the country and the SPD

GroKo for Germany? How the prospect of a new grand coalition is dividing the country and the SPD

On 21 January, members of the German Social Democrats (SPD) will vote on whether to move to the next stage of talks over the formation of a grand coalition between the SPD and Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU. Julian Göpffarth writes that much like the country as a whole, the SPD faces a choice between pragmatic politics and a rebellious yearning […]

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    Why immigration has the potential to upend the Italian election

Why immigration has the potential to upend the Italian election

The failure of Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders to cause an upset in 2017 has prompted some observers to argue that Europe’s ‘populist right’ is now in retreat. But as James Dennison, Andrew Geddes and Matthew Goodwin highlight, the apparent fall in support for anti-immigration populism elsewhere in Europe has not been seen in Italy ahead of the […]

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How coherent is EU cybersecurity policy?

Recent security breaches at major companies and cyber-attacks such as the WannaCry ransomware attack have put cybersecurity firmly on the EU’s political agenda. But how coherent an actor is the EU in the field of cybersecurity? Drawing on a recent study, Andre Barrinha and Helena Farrand-Carrapico write that there remains a lack of cohesion in EU cybersecurity policy, with […]

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    ‘We don’t exist to them, do we?’: Why working-class people voted for Brexit

‘We don’t exist to them, do we?’: Why working-class people voted for Brexit

Working-class people were more likely to vote for Brexit. However, Lisa Mckenzie takes issue with the notion that these people were simply ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’. They saw Brexit, with all the uncertainties it would bring, as an alternative to the status quo. Deindustrialisation and austerity have taken a heavy toll on working-class communities – one which the middle-class often fails to grasp.

Credit: David […]

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We have seen the Alt-Right, but what about the Alt-Left?

Much has been written about the rise of the ‘Alt-Right’ and its role in American and European politics. However, the use of the term ‘Alt-Left’ remains far more contested. Steve Fuller writes that while the term is often used in a pejorative sense, there is the potential for left-wing actors to reclaim the Alt-Left label as part of a […]

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    Democratic dynasties: Why are certain families successful in politics?

Democratic dynasties: Why are certain families successful in politics?

Are politicians with longer careers more likely to help their relatives and establish a political dynasty? Brenda Van Coppenolle considers this question in relation to the UK and by looking at the careers of members of the House of Commons since 1832.

Political dynasties play an important role in present-day democracies. Consider, for example, the Trudeaus, the Bushes, the […]

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    Is the European Parliament missing an opportunity to reform after Brexit?

Is the European Parliament missing an opportunity to reform after Brexit?

While Brexit negotiations are beginning to progress, the European Parliament is preparing to vote on the possible reallocation of seats following the UK’s departure. With many of the current proposals reflecting Member States’ concerns about losing seats, Robert Kalcik, Nicolas Moes and Guntram B Woolf advocate for options that could better achieve equality of representation even within the constraints […]

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    How will the European Commission triggering Article 7 affect Polish politics?

How will the European Commission triggering Article 7 affect Polish politics?

Last month Poland became the first EU member state to have an Article 7 rule of law procedure launched against it. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that while sanctions appear extremely unlikely, the domestic political impact will depend on whether Poles accept the opposition’s argument that the government is isolating Poland internationally, or the ruling party’s claim that it is defending […]

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