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    Book Review: Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia by Tomas Matza

Book Review: Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia by Tomas Matza

In Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia,Thomas Matza offers an ethnographic account that explores the rise of psychotherapy in post-socialist Russia. Through in-depth interviews and observations of psychotherapists working in different institutions across the country, Matza not only probes deeply into their practice and perspectives, but also gives a human face to Russian experiences of flux and transition, […]

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    Government parties no longer bounce back from midterm losses

Government parties no longer bounce back from midterm losses

Midterm elections, such as those due to be held in the United States on 6 November, are often used as a key measure of a government’s popularity. But there is a common perception that even if governing parties suffer poor results in midterms, they are likely to regain some support before subsequent national elections due to the ‘electoral cycle’ […]

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    Book Review: The Proletarian Answer to the Modernist Question by Nick Hubble

Book Review: The Proletarian Answer to the Modernist Question by Nick Hubble

In The Proletarian Answer to the Modernist Question, Nick Hubble offers a challenge to the persistent binary established between modernist and working-class literature in interwar Britain, arguing that the divide reflects a narrow view of political class consciousness. This is an insightful study, finds Stanislava Dikova, that seeks to show how remembering modernist legacies will contribute to the invigoration of political energy and […]

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    Book Review: Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age by Nicole Seymour

Book Review: Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age by Nicole Seymour

In Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age, Nicole Seymour turns attention away from despair at climate change and environmental devastation to instead look at gestures and responses rooted in the comical, the silly and the ridiculous and their capacity to offer sites of resistance. This is a powerful example of humanities scholarship that makes a forceful intervention into pressing […]

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    Why women in elected office reduce grand and petty corruption

Why women in elected office reduce grand and petty corruption

Corruption is a persistent problem in many European countries, but could improving the representation of women in politics offer a potential answer? Drawing on recent research, Monika Bauhr explains that a clear link can be identified between the share of women in office and a reduction in corruption, which may be attributable to the differing priorities of women when […]

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Book Review: The Infinite Desire for Growth by Daniel Cohen

In The Infinite Desire for Growth, Daniel Cohen offers a historical and philosophical account of the adoption of growth as a principle and goal in economic theory from the Enlightenment to the present day. While the essays at times overlook the specific historical and political contexts in which the concept of growth emerged and developed, the collection is thought-provoking and will contribute […]

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    Book Review: Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World by William Davies

Book Review: Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World by William Davies

In Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World, William Davies examines how feeling has come to reshape our world today, displacing the role historically afforded to reason and dissolving longstanding distinctions between the mind and body, between war and peace. The book provides a timely diagnosis of the contemporary social and political dominance of feelings over facts, writes Lilly Markaki, while locating hope […]

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Framing and lobbying success: Why it pays to work as a team

Communication and ‘framing’ strategies are part of the toolkit used by lobbyists to influence policy making. But do such strategies have a real impact on policy outcomes? Drawing on new research from five European countries, Wiebke Marie Junk and Anne Rasmussen show that framing strategies only work as part of a team effort, but they can have a substantial […]

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    Book Review: Understanding Central Europe edited by Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski

Book Review: Understanding Central Europe edited by Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski

In Understanding Central Europe, editors Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski bring together 65 contributors from the region to explore the diverse connotations and unique geopolitical features of Central Europe. The book succeeds in showing the heterogeneity of Central European countries and making the complexities of the region more comprehensible for readers, finds Ostap Kushnir.
Understanding Central Europe. Marcin Moskalewicz and Wojciech Przybylski (eds). Routledge. 2017.
Find this […]

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    Demonising populism won’t work – Europe needs a progressive populist alternative

Demonising populism won’t work – Europe needs a progressive populist alternative

How should Europe react to the rise of populist parties? Chantal Mouffe argues that the consensus established between centre-right and centre-left parties on the notion there is no alternative to neoliberal globalisation has left Europe in a post-democratic phase, fuelling the rise of right-wing populist parties. Moral condemnation and demonisation of the supporters of such parties does not work: […]

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    Slurs like ‘letter box’ are more problematic than we think: How discriminatory language travels

Slurs like ‘letter box’ are more problematic than we think: How discriminatory language travels

Former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson generated controversy in August when he used the terms ‘letter boxes’ and ‘bank robbers’ to describe Muslim women in burkas. Anna Gawlewicz and Kasia Narkowicz argue that while Johnson received a great deal of criticism in the UK for his comments, the use of such language also has the potential to travel internationally […]

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How interest groups influence public opinion

Interest groups have a role in shaping public opinion across Europe, but does an interest group’s reputation affect its ability to influence the views of the public? Drawing on evidence from two survey experiments, Andreas Dür explains that interest groups only appear to matter due to the arguments they put forward, with the reputations of particular groups having a surprisingly […]

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Book Review: For a Left Populism by Chantal Mouffe

In For a Left Populism, Chantal Mouffe argues that our contemporary ‘populist moment’ represents an opportunity for democratic reinvigoration through the formation of a left populism in the name of radical democracy. The book marks an important intervention, most especially in its work on the political role of affect, finds Matthew Longo, but he remains unconvinced as to whether Mouffe’s vision of agonistic contestation will […]

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    Generation wars over Brexit and beyond: How young and old are divided over social values

Generation wars over Brexit and beyond: How young and old are divided over social values

Pippa Norris explains how generation gaps divide the British electorate and mainstream parties. She writes that while the EU referendum was a prime example of how these divisions play out in the UK, the changing nature of electoral cleavages raises important questions about politics and party competition in western democracies more generally.

The Brexit decision shocked Britain’s image of itself, […]

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    Distorted perceptions: How Leavers and Remainers view the economy

Distorted perceptions: How Leavers and Remainers view the economy

There is a divide between how Remainers and Leavers perceive the UK’s economic performance and other policy developments, explain Miriam Sorace and Sara B. Hobolt. A major consequence of this lack of agreement about basic facts is that reaching a consensus on how to navigate Brexit becomes even more complicated.

On the 23 June 2016, UK citizens voted to leave […]

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What will happen to Ireland’s abortion rate after repeal?

In May, Irish voters backed a proposal to amend a constitutional provision which placed a ban on abortion in most cases. But what impact is the referendum result likely to have on the Irish abortion rate in the coming years? Eoin Flaherty explains that the circumstances which drive marriage, divorce, and abortion rates are complex and are not susceptible […]

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Book Review: The Market by Matthew Watson

In The Market, Matthew Watson offers a critical enquiry into what we mean when we refer to ‘the market’ and explores the consequences of allowing one particular interpretation to prevail. Delving into the history of economics, this is a valuable excavation of the emergence and triumph of the market concept as we know it, writes David Dodds, and a call to action to imagine […]

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    Defining British identity: Is it about “values” or “proper behaviour”?

Defining British identity: Is it about “values” or “proper behaviour”?

What constitutes British identity? In this blog, Ulrike G. Theuerkauf explains the relevance of “British values” in discussions about the further political, economic and social development of the UK after Brexit, and the manner in which “Britishness” is invoked as a concept of inclusion or exclusion in society.

Brexit is something of a boom industry. Even before it has officially happened, […]

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    How Europe’s deteriorating peace is facilitating the rise of populism

How Europe’s deteriorating peace is facilitating the rise of populism

Results from the 2018 Global Peace Index, a quantitative measure of peace across 163 countries, show that Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world. But as José Luengo-Cabrera notes, Europe’s peacefulness has been deteriorating in recent years. He argues that this deterioration has provided fertile ground for the rise of populist parties.

Since the inception of the Global […]

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    Book Review: Ideology and the Future of Progressive Social Movements by Rafal Soborski

Book Review: Ideology and the Future of Progressive Social Movements by Rafal Soborski

In Ideology and the Future of Progressive Social Movements, Rafal Soborski provides a punchy and passionate critique of the post-ideology approach of progressive social movements from an anti-neoliberal perspective. While questioning whether all grassroots protest movements have abandoned ideology to the extent described in the book, Luke Martell finds this a distinctive and stimulating contribution recommended to all those interested in social change. 
Ideology and the […]

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