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    Evidence from the Netherlands: Is Twitter a populist paradise?

Evidence from the Netherlands: Is Twitter a populist paradise?

A prominent social media presence is typically seen as critical to the success of populist politicians. However, Kristof Jacobs and Niels Spierings find that in the key case of the Netherlands, populist politicians were slower to adopt Twitter and engage with fewer people on it, seemingly preferring instead to stick to their own echo chamber.

In a cartoon that appeared last year, Donald Trump throws a […]

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    Why voters in emerging democracies are more reliable than we thought

Why voters in emerging democracies are more reliable than we thought

Elections in new democracies such as those in Central and Eastern Europe are often expected to be volatile affairs, with sizeable shifts in support between parties from one election to another. But is this really a fair characterisation of how citizens of these states choose to use their vote? Presenting findings from a new study, Daniel Bochsler and Miriam […]

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    The affinities (and differences) between populism and a belief in conspiracy theories

The affinities (and differences) between populism and a belief in conspiracy theories

Are there parallels between support for populist political parties and belief in conspiracy theories? Bruno Castanho Silva, Federico Vegetti and Levente Littvay find that belief in some particular forms of conspiracy theories go hand in hand with populist attitudes, which has implications for political trust.

Credit: Victor Victoria at English Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons)
From Eurabia to vaccines causing autism, through cancer injections and fake birth certificates, many conspiracy theories have been endorsed […]

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    How learning from cultural diversity could upgrade EU transnational projects

How learning from cultural diversity could upgrade EU transnational projects

One of the key problems at the heart of the European integration process is how to bring diverse states with different languages, cultures and histories together in shared projects. But as Rosa Sanchez Salgado highlights, the cultural diversity that exists between EU member states can also be a positive resource to draw on. Based on findings from recent research […]

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    Evidence from Denmark: How attitudes toward sovereignty affect support for the EU

Evidence from Denmark: How attitudes toward sovereignty affect support for the EU

The concept of ’sovereignty’ is typically taken to mean the ability of states to make their own laws and determine their own policies. But the role of the EU in questions of sovereignty is complex. On the one hand, EU membership requires transferring powers to the European level, but EU membership can also provide an avenue for states to […]

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    What protests in Athens, Cairo and London tell us about opposition to neoliberalism

What protests in Athens, Cairo and London tell us about opposition to neoliberalism

The last decade has seen extensive protest movements across Europe and the rise of new ‘populist’ political parties. These developments have frequently been explained in terms of popular opposition to the economic system and neoliberalism, but to what extent are these developments really reflective of resistance to neoliberal policies? Drawing on a new study based on interviews with activists […]

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Poor productivity: An Italian perspective

Productivity growth has been slow in Western countries since the global financial crisis, but in Italy it has been stagnating for 25 years. Fadi Hassan and Gianmarco Ottaviano investigate inefficiency and misallocation in the Italian economy to draw broader lessons about what lies behind the ‘productivity puzzle’.

Productivity has recently slowed down in many economies around the world. In the […]

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    How the political capture of state owned enterprises is damaging democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

How the political capture of state owned enterprises is damaging democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

Corruption is still viewed as a key problem in many states across Central and Eastern Europe. Drawing on recent research in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Romania, Clara Volintiru, Bianca Toma and Alexandru Damian highlight the problem of political actors using resources from state owned companies to help win elections. They argue that a widespread lack of accountability in […]

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    Has immigration really led to an increase in crime in Italy?

Has immigration really led to an increase in crime in Italy?

Immigration has been a key topic in Italy’s election campaign, with several candidates arguing that the flow of people into the country during the migration crisis has increased the risk of crime. But has immigration really generated more crime in Italy? Drawing on data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics, Donato Di Carlo, Julia Schulte-Cloos and Giulia Saudelli […]

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    Uncovering the profound effects that pension and health care reforms have had in post-crisis Greece

Uncovering the profound effects that pension and health care reforms have had in post-crisis Greece

Pension and health care reforms introduced in Greece following the 2009 crisis, and the bail out agreements signed with the Troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have attracted attention because of the significant cuts they entailed. Drawing on recent research, Marina Angelaki writes that focusing exclusively on retrenchment gives only part […]

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    How Lübeck faded, while Hamburg survived trade disruption from the Dutch

How Lübeck faded, while Hamburg survived trade disruption from the Dutch

The German cities of Hamburg and Lübeck both had key roles in trade as members of the medieval Hanseatic League, but they have developed in a markedly different fashion since. While Hamburg grew to become an increasingly important economic centre, Lübeck experienced a slow but persistent decline after the 16th century. For Prateek Raj, the lesson is that dominant cities may become unattractive […]

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    People rely on their attitudes more than the source when judging the accuracy of news stories on Facebook

People rely on their attitudes more than the source when judging the accuracy of news stories on Facebook

The role of ‘fake news’ in shaping political behaviour has received extensive attention in recent years, with Facebook and other websites undertaking a number of measures to try and address the problem. Drawing on an experimental study during the 2017 German federal election campaign, Bernhard Clemm von Hohenberg illustrates that people rely far more on their pre-existing political attitudes […]

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    How academics and service providers are working together to inform drug policy in Ireland

How academics and service providers are working together to inform drug policy in Ireland

Since 2015, the LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit has been working with local partners the Ana Liffey Drug Project to help foster a new era of progressive drug policies in Ireland. Tony Duffin outlines the scale of Ireland’s drug problem and how the project aims to help inform drug policy in the country from a solid evidence base.

In 2018 […]

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    Labour market institutions still matter for workforce equality in the knowledge economy

Labour market institutions still matter for workforce equality in the knowledge economy

The latter decades of the 20th century saw the rise of the so called ‘knowledge economy’ in Europe, with service sectors such as finance and telecommunications coming to dominate national economies. But these changes also occurred alongside a growth in income inequality across advanced democracies. As David Hope and Angelo Martelli highlight, many observers have assumed that the transition […]

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    The problem of feedback loops: Do opinion polls reinforce popular views?

The problem of feedback loops: Do opinion polls reinforce popular views?

Opinion polls are a vital tool for understanding what the public wants from its political representatives, but is there a danger that poll results can influence the views of citizens? As Sveinung Arnesen writes, one of the potential issues with polling is that people may change their attitudes after learning what others think. A disconcerting possibility is that opinion […]

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    “Context matters”: A framework to help connect knowledge with policy in government institutions

“Context matters”: A framework to help connect knowledge with policy in government institutions

Researchers trying to use the knowledge they’ve produced to inform public policy are often warned of the importance of context to policy decisions. But what exactly does “context” mean? Leandro Echt introduces a new framework that can help researchers develop a better understanding of the various different contexts operating within institutions, and critically identify those points where policy change is most […]

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    Europe’s ageing societies require immigration to survive – and that means anti-immigration politics is here to stay

Europe’s ageing societies require immigration to survive – and that means anti-immigration politics is here to stay

Opposition to immigration is typically cited as one of the key factors in the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the growth of new populist parties across Europe. Nate Breznau suggests there is a direct link between increasing levels of immigration and support for anti-immigration parties. And with many European countries requiring immigration to compensate for ageing […]

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    The question of citizenship in the Brexit divorce: UK and EU citizens’ rights compared

The question of citizenship in the Brexit divorce: UK and EU citizens’ rights compared

The rights afforded to EU citizens living in the UK, and UK citizens living in the EU, is one of the key topics in the Brexit negotiations. But what do UK citizens think about these issues? Presenting evidence from a comprehensive survey of British views toward EU free movement rights, Liisa Talving and Sofia Vasilopoulou illustrate that although the […]

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    The EU tells a good story about itself, but its Asian partners may not be hearing it

The EU tells a good story about itself, but its Asian partners may not be hearing it

How do countries in Asia view the European Union? Drawing on a new study, Ben O’Loughlin, Natalia Chaban and Alister Miskimmon show that Asian elites see the EU as an important partner, but do not buy into the EU’s own narrative that Europe is a peaceful continent whose ability to overcome war offers a model for others.

The European Union […]

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    Economists used to think that it doesn’t matter whom you tax, but it does

Economists used to think that it doesn’t matter whom you tax, but it does

Workers typically have to pay taxes on their salary, while employers often add additional tax contributions for their employees. But does it matter how this division of taxation is distributed, or do workers and employers only care about net wages/costs after tax? Matthias Weber and Arthur Schram write that this division actually matters a great deal and can affect employees’ sense of well-being, willingness to work and […]

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