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    German election preview: Four things to look out for as Germany goes to the polls

German election preview: Four things to look out for as Germany goes to the polls

Most observers expect Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU to win Sunday’s federal election in Germany, but the outcome of the vote will still have a major impact on the composition of the next government and the future direction of both Germany and the European Union. We asked four of our contributors for the key stories to watch as the results come […]

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Europe can’t remain silent over the Catalan crisis

Protests are continuing in Catalonia after Spanish police moved to prevent a planned referendum on independence from taking place on 1 October. Mireia Borrell Porta argues that the European Union should take a more active role in responding to the tensions. She writes that the suggestion the issue is simply an internal one to be dealt with by the […]

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    Measuring the diversity of each party’s candidates in the German election

Measuring the diversity of each party’s candidates in the German election

Opinion polls suggest six parties will enter the Bundestag in Germany’s election on Sunday, two more than crossed the electoral threshold in the last elections in 2013. But what does this apparent fragmentation of the German party system mean for the diversity of candidates, particularly in terms of the fair representation of women and minority groups? Paul C. Bauer […]

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    The myth of the ‘boring election’: Populism and the 2017 German election

The myth of the ‘boring election’: Populism and the 2017 German election

The German federal elections scheduled for 24 September are widely expected to produce another victory for Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU. As Fabian G. Neuner and Christopher Wratil highlight, however, Merkel’s dominant position in the polling has potentially masked some interesting developments during the campaign. Chief among these is that there has been a rise in populist sentiment in Germany, which […]

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What the EU could do to help ease the Rohingya crisis

Violence in Myanmar has resulted in more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims leaving the country and seeking refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. Ludovica Marchi argues that the EU should take advantage of its good relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to help ease the crisis. There is potential for the EU, as an advocate of human rights, to […]

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    Legatum Institute’s solution for the Brexit border is highly problematic

Legatum Institute’s solution for the Brexit border is highly problematic

The Legatum Institute, a think tank that is considered to have a significant degree of influence over the UK’s approach to Brexit, recently published a paper on resolving the Irish border issue following Britain’s exit from the EU. Katy Hayward and Maurice Campbell argue that the proposals are based on misperceptions of the border and the situation in Northern Ireland, as well as of the fundamentals […]

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Six things to know about the German election

Ahead of Germany’s federal election on 24 September, Manès Weisskircher highlights six things to know as voters go to the polls. While many observers are expecting a clear victory for Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the performance of smaller parties will also be keenly followed as it is highly likely there will be as many as six parties (or seven including the […]

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    Tinker, tailor, soldier… Foreign Minister? The runners and riders for Switzerland’s new federal councillor

Tinker, tailor, soldier… Foreign Minister? The runners and riders for Switzerland’s new federal councillor

The Swiss government is composed of a seven-member Federal Council, which is usually appointed after a parliamentary election. However, on 20 September, a new member of the Federal Council will be appointed due to the resignation of Swiss foreign minister Didier Burkhalter in June. Sean Mueller gives an overview of the three main candidates vying for the position.

Federal Palace […]

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    How support from other Member States affects influence in the Council of the European Union

How support from other Member States affects influence in the Council of the European Union

Numerous studies have attempted to measure the relative bargaining power that each EU member state has when making decisions in the Council of the European Union. But as Klaas Staal writes, the extent to which a state’s preferences match those of other member states can be just as important as its bargaining power. Drawing on data from a new […]

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    Book Review: Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614 by Matthew Carr

Book Review: Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614 by Matthew Carr

In Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614, Matthew Carr explores how, following the 1492 conquest of Granada, the sixteenth-century Spanish monarchy conducted peninsula-wide expulsions and conversions of Muslims as well as Jews. Ed Jones finds in the book’s historical analysis a valuable cautionary tale for contemporary public conversations surrounding immigration and integration regarding the consequences of legitimating fear and violence. 
Blood and Faith: […]

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    Is the UK’s economy really as strong as the government says it is?

Is the UK’s economy really as strong as the government says it is?

The latest UK unemployment figures showed unemployment at its lowest level since the 1970s, but there has also been a decline in real wages of 0.4% over the last year. Drawing on a new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, Grace Blakeley explains that despite the headline figures on employment, the UK still faces a number of major economic challenges.

As the UK […]

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Understanding European Union science diplomacy

In recent decades, a great deal of attention has focused on the EU’s attempts to exert influence on the global stage, but one area which has received relatively little attention is the issue of so called ‘science diplomacy’. Alea López de San Román and Simon Schunz provide a detailed overview of what science diplomacy entails, and how the EU […]

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    How do attitudes toward redistribution differ between Europe and the United States?

How do attitudes toward redistribution differ between Europe and the United States?

Europeans are often assumed to be more in favour of redistributive policies than citizens of the United States, but is this actually the case? New research by Jennifer Oser and Marc Hooghe finds that American public opinion is indeed less supportive of redistribution and social security than in Europe. However, a very substantial group of US citizens would still like […]

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    Juncker’s State of the Union: Where now for multispeed Europe?

Juncker’s State of the Union: Where now for multispeed Europe?

In his annual State of the Union speech, delivered on 13 September, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker voiced criticism of the principle of ‘multispeed Europe’, under which some countries within the EU engage in integration at a faster pace than others. Pol Morillas argues that while it is reasonable for the Commission to try and avoid any kind of […]

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    A third way? Why Poland needs an alternative to right-wing populism and western liberalism

A third way? Why Poland needs an alternative to right-wing populism and western liberalism

The Polish government has endured a tense relationship with the EU’s institutions since coming to power in 2015, yet the ruling Law and Justice party still maintains a comfortable lead in recent opinion polls. Kasia Narkowicz argues that deficiencies in both the government and the opposition mean there is a need to foster a third space in Poland: one […]

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    Election reaction: Norway’s government secures a fragile second term

Election reaction: Norway’s government secures a fragile second term

Norway’s government, led by Erna Solberg, is set to remain in power following the country’s parliamentary election on 11 September. Although the Norwegian Labour Party emerged with the largest number of seats, it lost support in the latter stages of the campaign and fell short of the mark required to regain control of the government. Sveinung Arnesen reacts to […]

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    How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

The European Union has always sought to portray itself as having a distinct identity built on a set of values. But how is this identity constructed through the EU’s treaties? Odelia Oshri and Shaul Shenhav decipher the ways in which the EU’s discourse on values has changed throughout the 60 years of European integration. They show that two values have traditionally dominated the […]

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    Why Europe holds unique normative power in the Israeli-Palestine conflict

Why Europe holds unique normative power in the Israeli-Palestine conflict

The Israel-Palestine conflict has persisted despite decades of talks and attempts at mediation from other regional and global powers. But what role can Europe play in the peace process? Drawing on a recent study, Anders Persson highlights that despite reservations from some scholars about Europe’s influence, the EU has significant normative power to shape the process, particularly in situations […]

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The Catalan endgame: How we got to where we are

Large pro-independence demonstrations are expected in Catalonia today ahead of a proposed referendum on independence on 1 October. Karlo Basta highlights that although many explanations of the Catalan independence movement focus on technical issues, such as the legal provisions for Catalan autonomy or Catalonia’s fiscal arrangements, it is the role of symbolic politics that has perhaps been most important […]

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    Book Review: A Sharing Economy: How Social Wealth Funds can Reduce Inequality and Help Balance the Books by Stewart Lansley

Book Review: A Sharing Economy: How Social Wealth Funds can Reduce Inequality and Help Balance the Books by Stewart Lansley

In A Sharing Economy: How Social Wealth Funds can Reduce Inequality and Help Balance the Books, Stewart Lansley offers a timely proposal for a significant shift in the relations between capital, citizens and the state to combat inequality and ensure a more just distribution of wealth. This is a concise and informative book that will be of interest to anyone interested in […]

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