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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    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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Brexit, red lines and the EU: The two-level game revisited

With the UK expected to trigger Article 50 by March, how successful is the country likely to be in securing a favourable exit deal from the EU? Bob Hancké writes that there are two major problems for the UK in its negotiation: that the rules of the game, as established by Article 50, are skewed toward the interests of […]

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Experts react: EU Enlargement and EU progress reports 2016

What does the future hold for EU Enlargement? Our contributors reflect on this year’s European Commission reports on the progress achieved by EU candidate and potential candidate countries, framing it within the wider political and economic context of each country. (If you are interested in how this compares to last year’s reports, the 2015 expert reactions are available here).

Eli […]

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    Left out in the cold: Brexit, the EU and the perils of Trump’s world

Left out in the cold: Brexit, the EU and the perils of Trump’s world

The UK is a world leader on foreign policy, but Brexit has the potential to alter the country’s ability to make its voice heard on the global stage. Karen E Smith writes that while the EU itself will also suffer from Brexit, paradoxically, Donald Trump’s election may stiffen the EU’s resolve to act on climate change and the nuclear deal with […]

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    The eternal chancellor? Merkel’s biggest obstacle to reelection will be uniting her own party

The eternal chancellor? Merkel’s biggest obstacle to reelection will be uniting her own party

Angela Merkel has been formally confirmed as the CDU’s candidate for chancellor in the 2017 German federal elections. Julian Göpffarth assesses the key challenges that lie between Merkel and reelection, arguing that perhaps the most important priority will be to bring together members of the CDU who are increasingly critical of her leadership.

Germany’s Iron Lady, Madame Non, Mutti – Angela […]

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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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    Will Italy’s post-Renzi government be led by a technocrat?

Will Italy’s post-Renzi government be led by a technocrat?

Already before Matteo Renzi had lost his constitutional referendum, media around the world claimed that a ‘government of technocrats’ was the most likely option to follow Renzi in case of electoral defeat. Drawing on their analysis of all technocratic governments appointed in 30 European democracies after 1977, Christopher Wratil and Giulia Pastorella estimate a rather low probability of 12-18% […]

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    President Trump bringing back waterboarding would make both Europe and America less secure

President Trump bringing back waterboarding would make both Europe and America less secure

In the last two years, numerous terrorist attacks have taken place in EU countries, notably in France and Belgium. Gijs de Vries assesses how governments should react to the threat of terrorism, writing that authorities must maintain perspective to avoid unintentionally legitimising the actions of terrorists. He argues that Donald Trump’s suggestion that the United States should bring back […]

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    Italy cannot afford to allow political instability to affect its troubled banking system

Italy cannot afford to allow political instability to affect its troubled banking system

One of the key concerns raised since Matteo Renzi’s resignation as Italian Prime Minister is that a period of financial instability could damage Italy’s already fragile banking system. Mara Monti writes that although the short-term market reaction to Renzi’s resignation was fairly mild, there may be a more severe reaction if the political situation cannot be resolved before the […]

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    Italy’s referendum: Renzi’s big gamble failed. What’s next?

Italy’s referendum: Renzi’s big gamble failed. What’s next?

Following the outcome of today’s referendum, President Mattarella will do his best to avoid early elections. Any new caretaker government would easily take a full year to deliver a new electoral law and thus the baseline case remains for elections no earlier than the natural end of this parliamentary term in spring 2018, writes Lorenzo Codogno. The tail risks […]

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