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    In defence of polls: A few high profile misses shouldn’t overshadow the many times pollsters called it right

In defence of polls: A few high profile misses shouldn’t overshadow the many times pollsters called it right

Polling companies were heavily criticised for failing to predict the results of the UK’s EU referendum and Donald Trump’s presidential election victory, but is this criticism fair? Abel Bojar draws on evidence from recent European elections to illustrate that opinion polls have a far better record of success than they’re given credit for.

Some professions are dealt a bad hand […]

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    Evidence from Norway: How public broadcasters influence voting behaviour

Evidence from Norway: How public broadcasters influence voting behaviour

Election campaigns frequently feature passionate debates over the impact of media coverage on decisions made by voters. Drawing on evidence from a new study, Rune J. Sørensen illustrates the impact the introduction of state television services had in Norway. His analysis suggests that in contrast to the United States, Norway’s state television service was linked with a boost in […]

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    Transhumanism and the future of capitalism: The next meaning of life

Transhumanism and the future of capitalism: The next meaning of life

Although there is no single definition of ‘transhumanism’, the term broadly relates to the idea that the human species should radically transform itself as it has the physical environment through the use of advanced technology. Steve Fuller writes on the link between transhumanism and capitalism, and elaborates on what it would mean to be a person in such a […]

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    Doping in world sport: The real issue is that we still don’t know who to blame for anti-doping failures

Doping in world sport: The real issue is that we still don’t know who to blame for anti-doping failures

The recent scandal surrounding Russian state-sponsored doping highlighted deep rooted issues affecting international anti-doping procedures in sport. Slobodan Tomic argues that the key problem lies in the failure of the current anti-doping regime’s institutional design to specify hierarchies of accountability. To match powers with responsibilities, he suggests that we should avoid framing the reform as a debate over the […]

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    How economic growth strategies affect female employment: The case of Eastern Europe

How economic growth strategies affect female employment: The case of Eastern Europe

What factors affect the percentage of women who participate in labour markets across Europe? Sonja Avlijas presents evidence from Eastern Europe, noting that while many countries in the region had high female employment rates during the socialist period, this picture has become much more varied since the transition away from socialism in the 1990s. She suggests that the experience […]

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    Measuring and engineering influence on social media: what does this mean for political power?

Measuring and engineering influence on social media: what does this mean for political power?

In 2016, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump resolutely demonstrated the political power of social media. David Beer asks how we might better understand ‘influence’ in the machinations of social media, and how this influence might be harnessed by those in, or seeking, office.
One of the most interesting features of the new types of social media analytics that are emerging […]

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    The case for a European minimum income scheme for jobseekers

The case for a European minimum income scheme for jobseekers

On 13 December, the European Commission put forward a proposal to change the way EU citizens can access social benefits in other EU countries. Cecilia Bruzelius and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser argue that the proposal fails to address key weaknesses in the existing system and should be complemented by a European Minimum Income Scheme that is available to all mobile jobseekers.

The European […]

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    Attitudes in established democracies show there is still a place for independent experts in politics

Attitudes in established democracies show there is still a place for independent experts in politics

While recent political developments may paint a bleak picture of the role of unelected experts in democratic politics, Eri Bertsou and Giulia Pastorella argue that positive attitudes toward ‘technocrats’ remain prevalent in many established democracies. They explain that what drives citizen preferences for political decision-making by independent experts is distrust of representative political institutions and a belief in the […]

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    Is religion disappearing entirely from Great Britain? A fresh look at religiosity trends

Is religion disappearing entirely from Great Britain? A fresh look at religiosity trends

There is extensive literature mapping the decline of religiosity in the UK, yet this does not mean that religion is disappearing entirely. Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme explains that there is a substantial minority still actively involved with religion. The religiously committed also have more favourable views towards religious leaders influencing politics than they did previously, while the unaffiliated now have less favourable views […]

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    Academic labour markets in Europe vary widely in openness and job security

Academic labour markets in Europe vary widely in openness and job security

Having examined the organisation of Europe’s academic labour markets, Alexandre Afonso outlines the main differences between countries across the continent. There is greatest variance in two particular areas: the extent to which academic labour markets are open to outsiders, and the job security they provide for recent PhD graduates. This has obvious consequences for the mobility of academics across Europe […]

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    How a small team of academics correctly predicted a Trump victory

How a small team of academics correctly predicted a Trump victory

Much like the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, few polling experts predicted Donald Trump would win the US presidential election. But this was not the case for all polling companies. Vuk Vukovic outlines a prediction model he developed with a small team of colleagues that proved remarkably accurate in calling the final result of the election and […]

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    Do MEPs want to keep ‘schlepping’ to Strasbourg? How travel time influences views on the location of the European Parliament

Do MEPs want to keep ‘schlepping’ to Strasbourg? How travel time influences views on the location of the European Parliament

The practice of holding European Parliament plenary sessions in both Brussels and Strasbourg has frequently been criticised on the basis that it is financially wasteful and damages the environment. But what shapes the opinions of MEPs on the subject? Based on survey evidence, Simon Hix and Richard Whitaker illustrate that while there is support among a large number of […]

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    A dearth of legislative vetoes: Why the Council and Parliament have been reluctant to veto Commission legislation

A dearth of legislative vetoes: Why the Council and Parliament have been reluctant to veto Commission legislation

Several reforms have taken place at the EU level to try and address the criticism that EU decision-making suffers from a democratic deficit. Drawing on recent research, Michael Kaeding and Kevin M. Stack assess one such reform: the provision of powers for the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament to veto so called ‘secondary legislation’ put […]

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    Selecting party leaders: Who chooses and who shapes the choice?

Selecting party leaders: Who chooses and who shapes the choice?

Political parties across Europe have a wide variety of procedures for selecting their leaders. While some hold formal leadership contests with all members casting a vote for their preferred choice, other parties can end up with a single candidate being presented to the party following negotiations behind closed doors. Nicholas Aylott and Niklas Bolin outline a model for understanding […]

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    Why austerity is easier to implement in some countries than others – and why this was not the case for Greece

Why austerity is easier to implement in some countries than others – and why this was not the case for Greece

It is now roughly seven years since the Greek economic crisis first emerged, but why has the crisis in Greece proven so difficult to address in comparison to other Eurozone countries? Based on an analysis of crisis management in several European states, Stefanie Walter writes that because internal reform and a euro exit were particularly costly options for Greece, […]

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    Four lessons from the Eurozone crisis – and why the future of the euro remains uncertain

Four lessons from the Eurozone crisis – and why the future of the euro remains uncertain

The fallout from the Eurozone crisis continues to have an impact on European economies, over six years after the crisis first peaked in 2010. Drawing on insights from recent research, Mark Copelovitch, Jeffry Frieden and Stefanie Walter discuss four lessons from the crisis. They state that the crisis has been largely predictable, that monetary union has raised the political […]

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    Do Erasmus students develop a European identity? How social interactions change the way citizens think about Europe

Do Erasmus students develop a European identity? How social interactions change the way citizens think about Europe

It might be expected that citizens who interact more frequently with people from other EU countries would be more likely to develop a European identity. But how do these kinds of social interactions affect identity in practice? Presenting research on the views of exchange students who have participated in the Erasmus programme, Florian Stoeckel writes that Erasmus students do […]

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    Reactions to Juncker’s State of the Union speech show the difficulties in creating a European public sphere online

Reactions to Juncker’s State of the Union speech show the difficulties in creating a European public sphere online

Can platforms like Twitter facilitate the creation of a European public sphere? Based on an analysis of tweets during Jean-Claude Juncker’s ‘State of the Union 2016’ speech, Javier Ruiz-Soler outlines how Twitter can be conceived of as a ‘networked public sphere’ in which citizens have the potential to engage in a more democratic and participative form of political conversation. […]

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    Can a new leader change a party’s fortunes? How leadership changes affect voter perceptions about party policy

Can a new leader change a party’s fortunes? How leadership changes affect voter perceptions about party policy

Political parties regularly change their leadership following a disappointing election result, but how can parties be sure that a new leader will change how voters think about their policy positions? Drawing on a study of party leadership changes in seven European countries, Zeynep Somer-Topcu writes that leadership changes tend to increase the level of agreement among voters about what […]

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Should we classify obesity as a disease?

In light of recent global developments in efforts to tackle obesity, Dimitrinka Atanasova outlines some of the arguments for and against classifying obesity as a disease. She argues that, as it stands, it is wiser to stick with the status quo of seeing obesity as a contributor to chronic diseases.

Obesity has been in the news quite a lot during the past […]

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