Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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    Violence against women in politics is rising – and it’s a clear threat to democracy

Violence against women in politics is rising – and it’s a clear threat to democracy

Violence against female politicians – and the threat of it – is becoming an increasing concern. Mona Lena Krook looks at how social media has opened up new channels for harassment, what distinguishes misogynistic attacks, and how countries are responding to them. She argues that ignoring or playing down the problem is not an option: it represents a growing threat to […]

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    German election campaign series: SPD – “Time for more justice”

German election campaign series: SPD – “Time for more justice”

German voters will go to the polls on 24 September for federal elections. But what do the country’s parties want? What are the possible coalitions? And who has the best campaign strategy to sell their proposals to the electorate? In the second of a series of articles analysing each of the main parties’ campaign pledges, Julian Göpffarth assesses the programme of […]

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    What Geert Wilders and the Antilles can tell us about tensions between populism and liberalism

What Geert Wilders and the Antilles can tell us about tensions between populism and liberalism

‘Populism’ and ‘liberalism’ are often viewed as being in opposition to one another, but many ‘populist’ parties nevertheless cite liberal values in making their case for particular policies, such as a reduction in immigration. Ben Margulies assesses the case of Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom and its approach to the six Caribbean islands that form part of the Kingdom of […]

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    Catalonia and Spain: Will the referendum on independence go ahead?

Catalonia and Spain: Will the referendum on independence go ahead?

The Catalan government has indicated it still intends to hold a referendum on independence on 1 October despite the Spanish government’s insistence that the vote will not take place. Sebastian Balfour writes that nothing could be more unpredictable than the outcome of the current impasse, as an almost unstoppable force, the Catalan movement for independence, is about to clash […]

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    Populism is overrated – if there is a threat to democracy, it’s from authoritarian nationalism

Populism is overrated – if there is a threat to democracy, it’s from authoritarian nationalism

Numerous authors and political figures have identified the rise of populism as a potential threat to European democracy. Tjitske Akkerman argues that the threat of populism has been heavily overstated. She writes that if there are any ideologies threatening liberal democracies today, nationalism and authoritarianism are far more likely candidates than populism.

Credit: Dr Case (CC BY-SA-2.0)
Populism is perhaps the […]

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Judicial reforms in Poland – getting the public on board

On 24 July, Poland’s President, Andrzej Duda, indicated that he would veto several judicial reforms that had generated protests within the country. Anna Matczak argues that the views of the public toward judicial reform have become obscured. She highlights that there is a deep level of mistrust among Polish citizens toward the criminal justice system and that the recent controversy should be […]

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    Relying on Basque nationalists, but still in power: Where next for Spain’s ‘weak’ government?

Relying on Basque nationalists, but still in power: Where next for Spain’s ‘weak’ government?

Since being returned to power following elections last year, Mariano Rajoy’s Spanish government has had to rely on the support of smaller parties, such as Ciudadanos and the Basque Nationalist Party, to pass key legislation, including the 2017 national budget. Caroline Gray assesses what this fragile political situation has meant for the country, noting that while Rajoy has so […]

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Five views: Is populism really a threat to democracy?

Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election, the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and the rise of anti-establishment parties across Europe have prompted discussions over the role of ‘populism’ in modern politics. But is populism really a threat to democracy or is the term simply used by mainstream politicians to dismiss the legitimate concerns of citizens? […]

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    ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’: What GE2017 taught us about the link between music and politics

‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’: What GE2017 taught us about the link between music and politics

Does music have an effect on politics? Analysing the involvement of musicians in the UK’s 2017 general election campaign, Patrycja Rozbicka explains why we should start viewing music as a form of engagement with politics, not merely of political expression.
The phenomenon of mixing music and politics together is not new. We are familiar with New Labour using D:Ream’s ‘Things Can Only Get […]

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    The crisis of the French Socialist Party: Does the PS still have a future?

The crisis of the French Socialist Party: Does the PS still have a future?

The French Socialist Party (PS) suffered a dramatic fall in popularity in the 2017 French presidential and legislative elections, with a number of high profile members subsequently choosing to leave the party in the aftermath of the result. Marco Damiani traces the party’s decline and assesses whether the PS still has a future in the French party system.

The 2017 […]

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    German election campaign series: CDU/CSU – “For a Germany in which we live well and enjoy living”

German election campaign series: CDU/CSU – “For a Germany in which we live well and enjoy living”

German voters will go to the polls on 24 September for federal elections. But what do the country’s parties want? What are the possible coalitions? And who has the best campaign strategy to sell their proposals to the electorate? In the first of a series of articles analysing each of the main parties’ campaign pledges, Julian Göpffarth assesses the programme […]

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Is social democracy facing extinction in Europe?

One of the more surprising aspects of Labour’s strong performance in the UK’s general election is that it came at a time when social democratic parties have experienced falling support in other countries across Europe. Davide Vittori asks whether the exceptionally poor results of parties such as the French Socialist Party in recent elections herald the end of social democracy […]

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    How is the European migration crisis affecting Polish politics?

How is the European migration crisis affecting Polish politics?

The migration crisis has recently re-surfaced as a major issue in Poland, as its right-wing government came under pressure from the European Commission to comply with the EU’s relocation scheme. Aleks Szczerbiak argues that most Poles are keen to avoid the problems they feel West European countries have experienced through admitting large numbers of migrants. With the opposition uncertain how to respond, […]

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    Prime Minister Edi Rama takes total control in Albania, but who can keep him in check?

Prime Minister Edi Rama takes total control in Albania, but who can keep him in check?

Albania held parliamentary elections on 25 June, with the ruling Socialist Party led by Edi Rama winning a majority of seats. Max Fras gives his take on the outcome, arguing that while Rama’s victory will be a positive development for Albania’s EU accession aspirations, his now dominant position could pose a risk to the country’s democratisation process.

After parliamentary elections in […]

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    The rise of Germany’s AfD: From ordoliberalism to new right nationalism and into the Bundestag?

The rise of Germany’s AfD: From ordoliberalism to new right nationalism and into the Bundestag?

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 are running a series profiling each of these parties. In the second article of the series, Julian Göpffarth traces the rise of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), which narrowly missed […]

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    Catalonia’s referendum: Four views on whether the vote should go ahead

Catalonia’s referendum: Four views on whether the vote should go ahead

The Catalan government has announced plans to hold a referendum on independence from Spain on 1 October. However, the Spanish government has argued that such a referendum would be unconstitutional and it is still unclear whether the vote will take place. We asked four academics to give their views on whether the vote should be held, and what it would potentially mean […]

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    Third-way à la française: What do Macron’s reforms involve and how likely are they to succeed?

Third-way à la française: What do Macron’s reforms involve and how likely are they to succeed?

Now that Emmanuel Macron has won a large majority in the French parliament, there are few obstacles preventing him from implementing his ambitious reform agenda. But what exactly will Macron’s reforms involve and are they likely to be successful? Philip Rathgeb and Fabio Wolkenstein draw a parallel between Macron’s agenda and the ‘Third Way’ politics of Gerhard Schröder. But […]

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    Albania’s election: A country in need of a new political narrative as it aims to open EU accession talks

Albania’s election: A country in need of a new political narrative as it aims to open EU accession talks

Albania will hold a parliamentary election on 25 June. The election was originally scheduled for 18 June, but was pushed back seven days following a prolonged political crisis. Andi Hoxhaj previews the vote, highlighting that while the country has made substantial improvements with respect to socio-economic reforms, its lack of political stability has held back attempts to pursue closer […]

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    Macron won a huge majority, but he is supported by only one in five voters

Macron won a huge majority, but he is supported by only one in five voters

Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM) completed their victory of the French legislative elections on 18 June, although the size of the majority was not as large as had been predicted following the first round of voting a week earlier. Nick Parsons highlights that although Macron can now claim legitimacy to push forward with a number of ambitious reforms, […]

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    Romania’s political crisis reflects severe tensions within the country’s Social Democratic Party

Romania’s political crisis reflects severe tensions within the country’s Social Democratic Party

Only six months after winning parliamentary elections, Romania’s Social Democratic Party is in turmoil following an attempt by the party’s leader, Liviu Dragnea, to remove the current Prime Minister, Sorin Grindeanu. With the party set for a key parliamentary vote on whether to keep the Prime Minister in power, Mihnea Stoica suggests that both Grindeanu and Dragnea’s political futures are […]

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