LSE Comment

This section showcases articles from LSE academics, students and alumni which have appeared on EUROPP – European Politics and Policy.

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    Illustrating the spectacular decline of Labour in Scotland and the revival of the Scottish Conservatives

Illustrating the spectacular decline of Labour in Scotland and the revival of the Scottish Conservatives

Up until the 2015 UK general election, Scotland had been regarded as a Labour stronghold, with the country regularly returning a large number of Labour MPs to Westminster. But the party managed to secure only a single Scottish seat in 2015 and recent polls suggest its vote share could fall even further in the upcoming general election in June. […]

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    A four horse race? What to expect from the French presidential election

A four horse race? What to expect from the French presidential election

The French presidential campaign has been a rollercoaster of twists and turns so far. But with just a few days to go until the first round of voting on 23 April, does the contest have further surprises in store? Marta Lorimer outlines the possible scenarios and highlights the issues you should keep an eye out for.

 

A four horse race? Photo: The […]

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    Can Europe stand up for academic freedom? The Bologna Process, Hungary, and the Central European University

Can Europe stand up for academic freedom? The Bologna Process, Hungary, and the Central European University

Several politicians across Europe have voiced concern about academic freedom in Hungary following the passing of legislation that threatens the country’s Central European University. But do the EU’s institutions have any authority to act over the affair? Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon argue that a university coming under attack in an EU member state marks a critical moment, and […]

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    Erdoğan accuses Germany of echoing the Nazis – but his own record on anti-Semitism is shameful

Erdoğan accuses Germany of echoing the Nazis – but his own record on anti-Semitism is shameful

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently generated controversy in Germany after he compared the actions of German officials with Nazis. The comments came following Germany’s decision to block political rallies linked to an upcoming referendum in Turkey on 16 April. Marc David Baer argues that the incident should be used to shine a light on the Turkish government’s own deployment of […]

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Gender quotas and the crisis of the mediocre man

A common criticism against gender quotas is that they are anathema to meritocratic principles. This research on Sweden by Tim Besley, Olle Folke, Torsten Persson and Johanna Rickne shows that the opposite can be true: Quotas actually increased the competence of politicians by leading to the displacement of mediocre men whether as candidates or leaders. The results may also […]

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    Armenia’s election: The status quo wins at the expense of democracy

Armenia’s election: The status quo wins at the expense of democracy

Armenia held elections on 2 April which saw the ruling Republican Party of Armenia win the largest share of the vote. Armine Ishkanian indicates that the result was highly disappointing for civil society groups and democracy activists in the country. The question now is whether these groups will succumb to frustration and despair, or whether they will begin the difficult […]

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    Experts react: Aleksandar Vučić wins Serbia’s presidential election

Experts react: Aleksandar Vučić wins Serbia’s presidential election

Serbia held a presidential election on 2 April, with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić projected to have won the contest in the first round. We asked some of our contributors for their response to the election, what the result means for Vučić, and where it leaves the country moving forward.

Dimitar Bechev: “Vučić’s election paves the way to the consolidation […]

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    Merkel vs Schulz: The return of the left-right divide or just another boring German election campaign?

Merkel vs Schulz: The return of the left-right divide or just another boring German election campaign?

The German social democrats (SPD) have experienced rising support in opinion polls following the selection of Martin Schulz, the former President of the European Parliament, as the party’s candidate for chancellor at the upcoming federal elections in September. Julian Göpffarth asks whether the re-emergence of the SPD will lead to a more polarised contest, with a clear choice between […]

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  • Permalink A sign at Tbilisi Airport celebrating the Association Agreement signed between the EU and Georgia, Credit: Max FrasGallery

    Four takeaways from Albania’s EU visa liberalisation journey for Georgia

Four takeaways from Albania’s EU visa liberalisation journey for Georgia

New rules allowing Georgian citizens to travel to the Schengen Area without a visa will come into full effect today. As Max Fras writes, EU visa liberalisation has been presented by the Georgian government as a major success story, but drawing on the experience of Albania, he presents four lessons that the country’s politicians should keep in mind now […]

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    A weaker economic case, but a stronger political one – how Yes could win a second referendum in Scotland

A weaker economic case, but a stronger political one – how Yes could win a second referendum in Scotland

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, stated on 13 March that she intends to seek a new referendum on Scottish independence. Stuart Brown assesses how this second referendum campaign might play out. He writes that the Yes side would have a far more problematic economic picture to contend with than they had in 2014, but that the political argument for […]

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Italexit is not a solution for Italy’s problems

Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement riding high in the polls in Italy has led to speculation over the prospect of the country leaving the euro. Lorenzo Codogno and Giampaolo Galli argue that an ‘Italexit’ would be a catastrophic scenario, with incommensurable economic, social, and political costs lasting for many years. They note that redenomination, and a likely default on debt […]

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    Mrs Lucretia’s protest: A story of identity and politics on the streets of Bucharest

Mrs Lucretia’s protest: A story of identity and politics on the streets of Bucharest

Protests have continued in Romania despite the government agreeing to withdraw a controversial piece of legislation that would have weakened the country’s anti-corruption laws. Diana Popescu writes that while media coverage has tended to portray the protests as a popular show of unity against the government, the situation is more complex in reality. She highlights the story of one […]

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    ‘Straight outta Würselen’ and straight into the German Chancellery? Martin Schulz and the SPD’s resurgence

‘Straight outta Würselen’ and straight into the German Chancellery? Martin Schulz and the SPD’s resurgence

Since nominating Martin Schulz as the party’s candidate for German Chancellor, the SPD has experienced an upsurge in support that seemed unthinkable only a few weeks ago. Julian Göpffarth asks what lies behind the shift in support and whether Angela Merkel should now have serious concerns over her attempt to secure re-election.

Martin Schulz. Credits: Mettmann (CC BY 3.0)
When Martin […]

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    Serbian presidential election 2017: Can Vučić pull a Putin-Medvedev?

Serbian presidential election 2017: Can Vučić pull a Putin-Medvedev?

Serbia’s ruling party, the SNS, has announced that their candidate at this spring’s presidential election will be none other than the Prime Minister himself – Aleksandar Vučić. Will this bold move allow the SNS to keep their hold on power? Tena Prelec outlines the scenarios, taking stock of the controversies that have accompanied Serbian politics over the past year.

The presidential election due to […]

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Tackling Populism: the 89ers and the battle for the future

The Global Financial Crisis of 2008 caught economists by surprise – but not historians, writes Michael Cottakis. As many rushed to convey throughout the 2000s, the excessive risk-taking by banks in key sectors bore worrying resemblance to trends exhibited in the build-up to the 1929 Wall Street Crash. The information was available for those willing to listen. Yet bankers […]

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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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    The German reaction to Theresa May’s speech: A mixed response to ‘hard Brexit’

The German reaction to Theresa May’s speech: A mixed response to ‘hard Brexit’

Theresa May’s speech on 17 January laid out some of the key aims of the UK government as it seeks to leave the European Union. Inez von Weitershausen presents an overview of the reactions from Germany, writing that responses ranged from anger and disappointment to more hopeful calls for a constructive relationship with the UK following Brexit.

Those commentators suggesting […]

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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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    What happened to the ‘£350m’ Britain was to take back from the EU?

What happened to the ‘£350m’ Britain was to take back from the EU?

The toxic issue of how much Britain pays into the EU budget is a long way from being settled, writes Iain Begg. None of the pro-Brexit ministers in government now claims that the figure of £350m the UK was supposedly sending to Brussels each week will be available for domestic spending. Indeed, the cost of Brexit to the public finances has […]

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Look ahead to 2017: A potential Cyprus settlement?

To mark the end of the year, we’ve asked our contributors to preview some of the possible stories of 2017. In this contribution, James Ker-Lindsay writes on the potential for a settlement to be agreed in Cyprus by the summer.

After a turbulent 2016, Cyprus may prove to be an early bright spot in 2017. For the past two years, […]

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