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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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    Italian women face dramatic earnings losses after the birth of a child

Italian women face dramatic earnings losses after the birth of a child

Child birth can disrupt the careers of women if adequate safeguards are not put in place by policymakers. Enrica Maria Martino presents findings from new research on the effect child birth has on women in Italy. She finds that having a child dramatically decreases the earnings of Italian women. The key driver for this effect is women leaving the […]

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    Book Review: Poor News: Media Discourses of Poverty in Times of Austerity by Steven Harkins and Jairo Lugo-Ocando

Book Review: Poor News: Media Discourses of Poverty in Times of Austerity by Steven Harkins and Jairo Lugo-Ocando

In Poor News: Media Discourses of Poverty in Times of Austerity, Steven Harkins and Jairo Lugo-Ocando explore how debates and discourses surrounding poverty and welfare have been shaped by the mainstream press in the UK. The granular content analysis offered by the book gives great insight into the normalisation of social inequality across the British media landscape, writes Matthew Hacke, and will be of interest to those looking to […]

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The gap between wages and productivity

In many EU states, wage growth has been lagging behind productivity growth over recent decades. Bela Galgoczi examines why wages and productivity – essential for a fair distribution of the spoils of economic growth – have increasingly decoupled from each other across European countries.

The decoupling of wages from productivity – a widespread phenomenon with wage growth having been lagging […]

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    Boycotts are more likely to be effective in industries which are highly competitive

Boycotts are more likely to be effective in industries which are highly competitive

One of the most fundamental aspects of our market society is that consumers should have the ability to vote with their feet and to not buy certain products if they do not wish to. But when are these boycotts effective in causing corporations to change their ways? In new research, Georgy Egorov and Bard Harstad find that boycotts should […]

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    Why public sector outsourcing is less efficient than Soviet central planning

Why public sector outsourcing is less efficient than Soviet central planning

Since the 1990s, public sector outsourcing has evolved through competitive tendering, partnership working (particularly via Public Finance Initiatives), strategic-commissioning and prime-contracting. Each of these iterations has promised better public goods and services for less cost. Their practice, however, has frequently been marked by rising costs and lower service quality. Abby Innes explains why.

The logic of outsourcing is that market-based […]

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    Understanding populism: What role do crises play in the growth of Euroscepticism?

Understanding populism: What role do crises play in the growth of Euroscepticism?

Three distinct crises have hit the European Union in the last decade: the Great Recession, the migration crisis, and Brexit. As Andrea L. P. Pirro explains, there has been a widespread assumption that populist parties with Eurosceptic profiles have been the main political beneficiaries from these crises. But there still remains much to be understood about what populists make […]

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    Book Review: News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World edited by An Nguyen

Book Review: News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World edited by An Nguyen

In News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World, An Nguyen brings together contributors to showcase international research on the integration of statistical reasoning in journalistic education, production and consumption. In a data-driven context marked by concerns about fake news, ‘post-truth’ and the spread of disinformation, this is a thoughtful and accessible contribution to understanding the role of numeracy in contemporary […]

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    The Five Star Movement and the rise of ‘techno-populist’ parties

The Five Star Movement and the rise of ‘techno-populist’ parties

The Five Star Movement and Lega’s nomination of Italian law professor Giuseppe Conte as the next Prime Minister of Italy presents a puzzle: why would an apparently ‘populist’ government nominate a Prime Minister who fits the mould of a technocrat? Chris Bickerton writes that given the Five Star Movement’s history, we should not be surprised at the nomination of […]

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    Skilled migrants have higher earning potential in countries with more inequality

Skilled migrants have higher earning potential in countries with more inequality

Why do skilled migrants choose to travel to particular countries and what motivates them to stay there or leave once they have employment? Drawing on new research, Matthias Parey, Jens Ruhose, Fabian Waldinger and Nicolai Netz illustrate that skilled migrants enjoy higher earning potential when they move to countries that have greater levels of inequality. Meanwhile, less qualified migrants benefit from the compressed […]

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    The legacy of World War II on social spending in the western world

The legacy of World War II on social spending in the western world

The Second World War had a major impact on almost every aspect of European society, but one area that has been relatively under-researched is the influence the war had on social spending. Presenting results from a new study, Herbert Obinger and Carina Schmitt illustrate that World War II not only created new welfare constituencies such as disabled war veterans, […]

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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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