Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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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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    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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    From online participation to offline consensus? The declining appeal of web-democracy to Five Star Movement supporters

From online participation to offline consensus? The declining appeal of web-democracy to Five Star Movement supporters

Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement has a lead in the opinion polls ahead of the Italian general election in March. As Davide Vittori and Margherita de Candia explain, one of the key features of the party’s rise to prominence prior to the 2013 general election was its use of online participation. However, they note that things have changed markedly […]

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    Granting Austrian citizenship to German-speaking Italians would not be a victory for South Tyrol’s separatists

Granting Austrian citizenship to German-speaking Italians would not be a victory for South Tyrol’s separatists

Austria’s new government has proposed to offer Austrian citizenship to German-speakers in the province of South Tyrol in Italy. Stephen J. Larin and Alice Engl argue that although the proposal has been welcomed by separatist parties in South Tyrol, it does not threaten Italy’s territorial integrity, and it would not have happened without the close relationship between the Austrian […]

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    Why ‘trickle down’ approaches to the social inclusion of minorities are unlikely to produce real change

Why ‘trickle down’ approaches to the social inclusion of minorities are unlikely to produce real change

Ethnic minority groups tend to have lower salaries and higher rates of unemployment in European countries, but how can this disparity be addressed through public policy? Licia Cianetti highlights that efforts to tackle the issue across Europe have come to be dominated by ‘trickle down’ approaches which view economic growth and job creation as the ultimate solution. She argues […]

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    Do centre-right parties win back votes from the far right by talking about immigration?

Do centre-right parties win back votes from the far right by talking about immigration?

With the rise of far-right parties in Europe during the 2000s, some centre-right parties spotted an opportunity to win back votes by pivoting towards immigration. James F Downes and Matthew Loveless find that they were more successful if they were out of government at the time. Incumbent centre-right parties, on the other hand, struggled to cut through on the issue.

City council election posters […]

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    Beyond anecdotes on lowering the voting age: New evidence from Scotland

Beyond anecdotes on lowering the voting age: New evidence from Scotland

What should the minimum age be for citizens to vote in an election? Drawing on debates over reducing the voting age in the UK, Jan Eichhorn writes that while normative arguments and personal stories tend to be given prominence in discussions about lowering the voting age, it is crucial to review the evidence so that empirical arguments prevail.

In November 2017 the […]

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    The UK is still educating different classes for different functions in society

The UK is still educating different classes for different functions in society

The working classes still get less of everything in education, including respect, argues Diane Reay. She suggests that in order to move towards a fairer educational system, the UK needs to implement a National Education Service that provides the same standards and level of resources to all children, regardless of class and ethnic background.

Historically, the English educational system has educated […]

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Dialogue is the only answer to the Catalan crisis

The elections in Catalonia on 21 December produced a broadly similar level of support for parties in favour of independence as the previous elections in 2015. James Irving argues that although Catalonia appears to have found itself back where it started, there is plenty of room for lessons to be learned from the last few months, and the only […]

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    Understanding the political impact of white working-class men who feel society no longer values them

Understanding the political impact of white working-class men who feel society no longer values them

Over the past three decades, white working-class men in Western democracies feel they have lost social standing, write Noam Gidron and Peter A Hall. People who lack social status tend to be politically alienated and to gravitate towards right-wing populist parties. While Donald Trump appealed directly to these people during his presidential campaign, the perceived fall in status probably also increased support for Brexit in the […]

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    Catalonia, the quest for understanding: Three things to watch following the 21 December election

Catalonia, the quest for understanding: Three things to watch following the 21 December election

Catalonia held elections on 21 December, with parties that support independence winning a majority of seats in the parliament, although the number of seats they control fell from 72 to 70. Luis Moreno highlights several key questions that will now have to be settled: what type of coalition government will emerge; will constitutional reform now take place in Spain; […]

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How will a Morawiecki premiership change Polish politics?

Mateusz Morawiecki has been appointed the new Polish prime minister, replacing Beata Szydło, but what will his appointment mean for Poland’s relationship with the EU at a time when tensions are rising over the country’s judicial reforms? Aleks Szczerbiak states that by appointing a respected former banker as prime minister, Poland’s ruling party is hoping to re-focus the government’s priorities […]

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Austria’s new interior minister is a man to watch

The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) reached an agreement with the Freedom Party (FPÖ) on 15 December to form a new coalition. Fabio Wolkenstein highlights the appointment of the FPÖ‘s Herbert Kickl as interior minister as a development of particular significance. He argues that of all those FPÖ members who will now hold ministerial offices, Kickl is by some distance […]

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    The 2017 federal election was a potential turning point in German politics

The 2017 federal election was a potential turning point in German politics

Almost three months on from the German federal election in September, coalition negotiations are now proceeding between Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU and the German Social Democrats. Eva Heidbreder argues that the 2017 federal election marked a potential turning point in German politics, with broad structural changes to the country’s political dynamics now apparent, and a shift taking place from a left-right cleavage to one […]

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    Germany’s grand coalition talks give hope to refugees who want to reunite with their families

Germany’s grand coalition talks give hope to refugees who want to reunite with their families

Negotiations are being held between Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU and the German Social Democrats with a view to forming a new grand coalition. Rakib Ehsan states that one of the key topics that could be on the table is the issue of relaxing the country’s rules on family reunification for refugees. He suggests that such a deal could provide ammunition for the AfD to […]

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2017: A year in elections

As the year draws to a close, we’re reviewing some of the key political developments across 2017. In this article, EUROPP’s editors Stuart Brown and Tena Prelec take a look at some of the major elections that took place in Europe over the last 12 months, and what they could mean for European politics in 2018.

Credits (clockwise from top […]

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    Understanding Spain’s decision to revoke the European Arrest Warrant for Carles Puigdemont

Understanding Spain’s decision to revoke the European Arrest Warrant for Carles Puigdemont

With Catalan elections scheduled for 21 December, the fate of Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium in October, has taken on added significance. The latest twist in the case came on 5 December, when the Spanish authorities revoked a European Arrest Warrant for Puigdemont, amid suggestions he was intending to voluntarily return to Spain. Auke Willems explains the most […]

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    Should we prosecute political leaders after a crisis? Lessons from Iceland

Should we prosecute political leaders after a crisis? Lessons from Iceland

At the end of November, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the conviction of former Icelandic prime minister Geir Haarde over his handling of the country’s financial crisis was fair. Ragnar Hjalmarsson and Iosif Kovras examine whether political leaders should face criminal proceedings following a crisis, and what the potential pitfalls are for democracy.

Former Icelandic Prime Minister […]

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Another grand coalition awaits a fractured Germany

The CDU/CSU and the SPD are set to discuss the possibility of renewing their grand coalition in Germany, following the breakdown of negotiations between the CDU/CSU, Greens and the FDP. Rakib Ehsan assesses the dilemma facing the SPD as it considers joining another government. He argues that the party sorely needs a period in opposition to try and resolve […]

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    How EU law came to the fore in the Catalan independence debate – and what it means for Carles Puigdemont

How EU law came to the fore in the Catalan independence debate – and what it means for Carles Puigdemont

The Catalan independence movement has made repeated calls for EU actors to take a role in resolving the crisis that followed the independence referendum in October, but until now the response from EU leaders has largely been that the situation is an internal one to be dealt with in Spain. Auke Willems writes that despite the EU’s intention to […]

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