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    New parties, new movements: but how much say do party members get?

New parties, new movements: but how much say do party members get?

The Political Party Database Project has analysed the workings of 122 political parties in 19 parliamentary democracies. Remarkably, the vast majority share a common model of subscriber democracy: members join at a local level and enjoy a certain amount of say in the party’s direction. But in recent years a wave of new political movements, such as République en […]

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    Which subjects generate the best career outcomes for university students?

Which subjects generate the best career outcomes for university students?

Next Steps is a longitudinal study capturing information about young people’s educational trajectories, personal and family characteristics, and current occupational outcomes. As Natasha Codiroli Mcmaster explains, data reveals that Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering (STEM) graduates seem to have an advantage in gaining professional graduate employment and in enhanced mental wellbeing, but this isn’t reflected by increased incomes.

Credit: Kivensilence (CC0 licence)
One of the most important […]

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    Evidence from France and Italy: Do governments use EU funds to help buy votes in elections?

Evidence from France and Italy: Do governments use EU funds to help buy votes in elections?

Since their creation in 1975, European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) have been increasingly invested in local development projects in the EU. Drawing on figures from France and Italy, Lisa Dellmuth and Dominik Schraff illustrate that at least part of the ESIF is used to help buy political support, but that this appears to be more common in countries […]

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    The participation gap: Is citizen participation actually good for democracy?

The participation gap: Is citizen participation actually good for democracy?

The more people who participate in a democracy, the more democratic it becomes – or so de Tocqueville believed. But sceptics have challenged that assumption on the basis that not everyone has the skills to make informed political decisions. In his new book, Russell J Dalton argues that the problem lies with the participation gap: the better-off are more engaged […]

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    How Brits view Brexit: Indifferent on many aspects, but divided on others

How Brits view Brexit: Indifferent on many aspects, but divided on others

In a recent study, Sara Hobolt and Thomas Leeper examined public opinion on various dimensions of Brexit using an innovative technique for revealing preferences. Their results suggest that while the public is largely indifferent about many aspects of the negotiations, Leave and Remain voters are divided on several key issues. 

Measuring public preferences is commonly approached through survey questionnaires, in which […]

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    Evidence from Denmark: How EU immigration can benefit the welfare state

Evidence from Denmark: How EU immigration can benefit the welfare state

The problem of ‘welfare tourism’ has been raised by several politicians across Europe, with some arguing that immigration from other EU countries can create a burden for welfare systems. Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen and Gabriel Pons Rotger present results from a recent study of the impact EU immigration has had on welfare spending in Denmark. They find that between 2002 […]

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    Why are younger voters less likely to back populist politics?

Why are younger voters less likely to back populist politics?

Populism is not just a symptom of older people’s nostalgia for traditional values, writes Henrik P Bang. It is a rejection of a global neoliberal creed that pits individuals against each other. The hard-won social capital and notions of fairness that older generations prize have been replaced by a race for success in which human relationships exist as much online as in […]

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Rethinking austerity? The IMF and social safeguards

In the last two months, the International Monetary Fund has published two major reports examining its approach to social safety nets and social protection. André Broome analyses whether the IMF is in the process of rethinking austerity and social protection priorities in loan programmes, and what this may mean for the future of IMF lending in Europe and beyond.

Christine […]

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    How business lobbyists thrive in the EU’s depoliticised media world

How business lobbyists thrive in the EU’s depoliticised media world

The EU policy process is often criticised for being distant from its citizens. As Iskander De Bruycker writes, part of this criticism is rooted in a lack of media coverage of EU legislative decision-making. Drawing on a recent study, he illustrates that the extent to which politicians in Brussels address citizens’ interests in the media over a particular piece […]

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    How party systems in Central and Eastern Europe affect government formation

How party systems in Central and Eastern Europe affect government formation

Coalition governments are the norm in most European countries, but how do the dynamics of coalition negotiations differ between Western European states and those in Central and Eastern Europe? Drawing on a recent study, Lee Savage illustrates that some common features of Central and Eastern European party systems, such as greater electoral volatility, can lead to coalition formation processes that […]

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Four reasons why welfare reform is a delusion

Reforming the welfare system has been a key aim of British government since 2010. Richard Machin writes that the concept makes no economic sense, it does not produce the outcomes the government is seeking, all while the UK is actually spending less on welfare than countries with comparable economies.
Back in 2010, the coalition government stated that welfare reform is essential to make the […]

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    All spending is not equal: How the EU can increase public support for the EU

All spending is not equal: How the EU can increase public support for the EU

People who live in regions that receive high levels of EU funding might be expected to have more positive attitudes toward the EU. However, as Adam William Chalmers and Lisa Maria Dellmuth demonstrate, this relationship is not as simple as it might appear. Drawing on a recent study, they illustrate that a region’s needs make a large difference to the effectiveness […]

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    Campaign leaks and the far-right: Who influenced #Macronleaks on Twitter?

Campaign leaks and the far-right: Who influenced #Macronleaks on Twitter?

Shortly before the French presidential election, a large number of emails from Emmanuel Macron’s campaign were leaked online. The details of the leak quickly spread on social media, but mainstream news organisations in France were prohibited from publishing the material. Wasim Ahmed and Joseph Downing present an analysis of how the leak spread and what lessons it can provide for future campaign […]

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What research tells us about the avocado toast controversy

Why do people consume conspicuously even when they cannot afford healthcare, or housing? The recent ‘avocado toast controversy’, started by tycoon Tim Gurner, has re-ignited this debate. Clement Bellet and Eve Sihra explain that, contrary to the Australian businessman’s argument, consuming ‘luxury’ goods plays a key role for deprived individuals.

A status symbol? Toast with mashed avocado and salsa verde, by […]

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    The hidden sides of ‘dynamic pricing’ for airline tickets

The hidden sides of ‘dynamic pricing’ for airline tickets

Unlike its planes, easyJet prices go up but don’t come down: The longer you wait, the more you pay, write Marco Alderighi, Alberto A. Gaggero and Claudio A. Piga.

An EasyJet plane interior. Credit: Adrian Pingstone, Public domain.
A standard definition of dynamic pricing in airline markets typically focuses on how fares evolve over the booking period that precedes a flight’s take-off. […]

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The Long Read: The Working Class Hasn’t Gone Away

Ron Johnston reviews three recent books that, in very different ways, explore the changing nature and politics of the working class in post-industrial societies.
The New Politics of Class: The Political Exclusion of the British Working Class. Geoffrey Evans and James Tilley. Oxford University Press. 2017.
The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality. Justin […]

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    An atlas with a positive message for a European people united in diversity

An atlas with a positive message for a European people united in diversity

Dimitris Ballas, Danny Dorling and Benjamin Hennig present a series of maps drawn from their new ‘Human Atlas of Europe’ that illustrate how life expectancy, wealth, and other key variables differ throughout the continent. Their maps highlight that the real divides across Europe lie within states rather than between them, but also suggest a positive message: that Europe remains a […]

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    Essay: Populism and the Limits of Neoliberalism by William Davies

Essay: Populism and the Limits of Neoliberalism by William Davies

Coinciding with the release of a revised edition of The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition, William Davies argues that the recent surge in ‘populism’ must be understood in relation to the structures of political, cultural and moral economy, in particular the inability of neoliberalism to sustain the myth of a level playing field or […]

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    Bridging the gender gap: How to address low levels of political interest among women

Bridging the gender gap: How to address low levels of political interest among women

Survey evidence suggests that women in many European countries have a lower level of interest in politics on average than men do. Based on a recent study, Marta Fraile and Raul Gómez highlight that the degree of overall gender equality in a country can have a substantial impact on this ‘gender gap’ in political interest. However, this effect is […]

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    How electoral competition explains preference convergence and divergence in pre-electoral coalitions

How electoral competition explains preference convergence and divergence in pre-electoral coalitions

While most coalition governments form after the results of an election, some parties choose to announce their intention to form pre-electoral coalitions before a vote has been held. Based on a recent study, Zachary Greene and Matthias Haber explore why parties, which are usually in direct conflict with one another for electoral support, choose to engage in this kind of […]

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