current-affairs

  • Permalink Gallery

    Refusing to dance to a Brexit tune: How the EU has misinterpreted Britain’s vote to leave

Refusing to dance to a Brexit tune: How the EU has misinterpreted Britain’s vote to leave

Britain has made numerous mistakes over Brexit, but the European Union’s record also needs to be analysed. Tim Oliver addresses some of the things the EU has been accused of getting wrong about Brexit. In this post, he looks at how the EU has misinterpreted Brexit.

Brexit has been a learning experience for all involved. British and EU negotiators have found […]

Print Friendly
Share

We are all Ordo-liberals now

Both the French and German governments have recently expressed a desire to avoid budget deficits. Bob Hancké examines the history of a ‘dangerous idea’ – Ordoliberalism, or the belief that balanced budgets produce growth.

At what was probably the most unpropitious moment in recent economic history to make the claim, US President Richard Nixon declared that we ‘are all Keynesians […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Backbench rebels are likely to give Merkel a headache over Europe

Backbench rebels are likely to give Merkel a headache over Europe

Greece is due to exit its current bailout programme in August and key decisions on debt relief for the country are on the political agenda in Brussels. Caroline Bhattacharya explains that with a reduced majority and potential dissent from members of her own party over the issue, Angela Merkel could face a challenging time in the Bundestag over the […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    How to have a serious referendum on Brexit and avoid a rerun of the original

How to have a serious referendum on Brexit and avoid a rerun of the original

A number of things were wrong with the 2016 referendum, including the  disenfranchisement of key stakeholders and the extent of misinformation by both sides. Given that referendums should be informed exercises in democratic decision-making, Bruce Ackerman and Sir Julian Le Grand explain what a referendum on the deal should look like.

We are moving to a world where the decisions […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Understanding populism: What role do crises play in the growth of Euroscepticism?

Understanding populism: What role do crises play in the growth of Euroscepticism?

Three distinct crises have hit the European Union in the last decade: the Great Recession, the migration crisis, and Brexit. As Andrea L. P. Pirro explains, there has been a widespread assumption that populist parties with Eurosceptic profiles have been the main political beneficiaries from these crises. But there still remains much to be understood about what populists make […]

Print Friendly
Share

What can we expect from Italy’s new government?

The new Five Star Movement/Lega government in Italy is one of the most ideologically diverse governing coalitions in the country’s history. Mattia Guidi writes that there is great uncertainty over whether the government can keep its many promises to the Italian electorate, and even greater uncertainty over whether the two parties will be able to continue to work together […]

Print Friendly
Share

Italy’s crisis and the question of democracy

The last seven days in Italy have proven that a week is indeed a long time in politics: after a political crisis emerged following Italian president Sergio Mattarella’s decision to veto the Five Star Movement and the League’s choice of finance minister, a government led by Giuseppe Conte was eventually sworn in on 1 June. Andrea Lorenzo Capussela argues […]

Print Friendly
Share

Rajoy loses power in Spain: What happens now?

Following a vote of no confidence in Mariano Rajoy, Pedro Sánchez is the new Prime Minister of Spain. Ben Margulies explains how Rajoy’s demise came about and outlines what might happen next with the country potentially heading for new elections.

Politics, unlike theatre, rarely gets pacing right. Either one spends months waiting for some seemingly inevitable drama, or all hell […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Five views: What we’ve learned from 20 years of the European Central Bank

Five views: What we’ve learned from 20 years of the European Central Bank

The European Central Bank was established 20 years ago today on 1 June 1998. To mark the anniversary, we asked five academics to give their views on the lessons learned from two decades of the ECB, and their predictions on what might lie in store for both the ECB and the euro over the next 20 years.

Paul De […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Macri and Macron: Why the Argentine and French presidents share more than their surnames

Macri and Macron: Why the Argentine and French presidents share more than their surnames

When Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency a little over a year ago, he was viewed by many of his supporters as an ‘antidote to populism’ and as someone capable of implementing an ambitious reform programme. Sam Maynard and Ilona Lahdelma compare Macron’s period in office with another President who came to power in similar circumstances: Mauricio Macri, the President […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Italy’s crisis: Wouldn’t it be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?

Italy’s crisis: Wouldn’t it be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?

The decision of Italy’s President, Sergio Mattarella, to veto the appointment of Paolo Savona as Italian finance minister has sent the country into a political crisis. Bob Hancké argues that although Mattarella was legally within his rights to do what he did, his actions not only raise questions about democratic legitimacy, but are almost certainly not in Italy’s long-term […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Understanding the transformed moral landscape in Ireland following the ‘repeal the 8th’ referendum

Understanding the transformed moral landscape in Ireland following the ‘repeal the 8th’ referendum

Voters in Ireland have backed a proposal to amend the Irish constitution to allow for a liberalisation of the country’s abortion laws. But the referendum result also said a great deal about the social attitudes of Irish citizens more broadly. Lisa Smyth traces the history of abortion law in Ireland, writing that the moral certainties that underpinned the Eighth […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Would government prove a poisoned chalice for the Five Star Movement?

Would government prove a poisoned chalice for the Five Star Movement?

The formation of a new Five Star Movement/Lega government in Italy is in doubt after Italian President Sergio Mattarella refused to approve of Giuseppe Conte’s proposed economy minister, Paolo Savona. Ben Margulies writes that if the Five Star Movement does enter government, the main risk for the party will come from the Italian economy. Should external factors, such as EU constraints or the bond markets, force […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Ireland’s referendum illustrated a major shift in Irish society and the country’s social attitudes

Ireland’s referendum illustrated a major shift in Irish society and the country’s social attitudes

Irish voters have backed a proposal to amend the current constitutional provision which places a ban on abortion in most circumstances. Anthony Costello assesses what the result means for both the country’s abortion laws and Irish society, noting that the will of the people has spoken and there is now a clear mandate for progressive change.

On 25 May, the […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Ireland votes to repeal the 8th: Will Northern Ireland be next to liberalise its abortion laws?

Ireland votes to repeal the 8th: Will Northern Ireland be next to liberalise its abortion laws?

Ireland’s abortion referendum on 25 May resulted in a victory for the ‘Yes’ side campaigning to reform the country’s strict abortion laws by repealing the Eighth Amendment of the Irish constitution. For Jennifer Thomson, the result underlines a dramatic transformation that has taken place in Irish society over recent decades, however it also shines a light on Northern Ireland, […]

Print Friendly
Share

Can there be a democratic theory for the real world?

Is there a problem with democracy? Phil Parvin argues that the time has come to engage with the wealth of data that has emerged about citizens, their motivations, and their abilities, and take a clear-headed view about what democratic states can expect of them. A more representative politics, as opposed to a more participatory one, would better meet the […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    The Five Star Movement and the rise of ‘techno-populist’ parties

The Five Star Movement and the rise of ‘techno-populist’ parties

The Five Star Movement and Lega’s nomination of Italian law professor Giuseppe Conte as the next Prime Minister of Italy presents a puzzle: why would an apparently ‘populist’ government nominate a Prime Minister who fits the mould of a technocrat? Chris Bickerton writes that given the Five Star Movement’s history, we should not be surprised at the nomination of […]

Print Friendly
Share

Three lessons from Erdoğan’s rally in Sarajevo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a rally in Sarajevo on 20 May ahead of the upcoming Turkish elections scheduled for 24 June. Vuk Vuksanovic draws three lessons from the rally: that Turkey is in the process of adopting a more assertive approach to foreign policy in the Balkans; that Erdoğan is intent on using foreign policy in the […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Mutually assured destruction? Understanding the UK and Ireland’s standoff over the Northern Irish border

Mutually assured destruction? Understanding the UK and Ireland’s standoff over the Northern Irish border

Time is rapidly running out in the Brexit negotiations and there is still no agreement in sight on the issue of the Irish border. Gavin Barrett explains that despite the ultimatums emanating from each side, a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for both the UK and Ireland.

Tony Blair once famously compared then British Prime Minister David Cameron’s (badly miscalculated) […]

Print Friendly
Share

The death of ‘business as usual’ in the EU

European integration was once thought of as a largely technocratic process built around consensus, but the last decade has seen the work of the EU’s institutions become heavily politicised. Presenting evidence from a new study, Reinout van der Veer highlights just how pervasive the effect of this politicisation has been.

Our post-Brexit era makes it hard to imagine that there […]

Print Friendly
Share