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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    Might economists be partly to blame for Trump and moves towards a ‘full British Brexit’?

Might economists be partly to blame for Trump and moves towards a ‘full British Brexit’?

The reasons for the Trump phenomenon and Brexit vote are many and various, but have we overlooked ways in which standard economics, by failing to take seriously the radical uncertainty endemic in modern political economies, has contributed to the populist turn? Richard Bronk argues that by mischaracterising their profession as able to make precise forecasts of uncertain futures – […]

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Power is draining away from Chancellor Merkel

Angela Merkel managed to secure a fourth term in the 2017 German federal election, but she has faced increasing domestic pressure over recent months. John Ryan writes that the fourth term did not end well for previous German Chancellors Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl, and history appears to be repeating itself for Merkel.

Credit: © DW/J. Röhl (CC BY-NC 2.0)
German Chancellor Angela […]

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Can the Eurozone be more democratic?

How the Eurozone will be governed in the future is a matter of much debate and is expected to form a key part of the European Council meeting on 28-29 June. Kevin Featherstone argues that the debate is neglecting a key set of questions: how can its governance be made more democratic and accountable? The answers to these questions will […]

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A crisis made in Italy

The decision of Italy’s President, Sergio Mattarella, to veto Giuseppe Conte’s choice of finance minister prompted much discussion about the legitimacy of Mattarella’s actions and the impact Italy’s membership of the Eurozone has on the country’s democracy. Michael Wilkinson argues that however much the pressure on Italy appeared to stem from global financial markets or European constitutional conventions, it […]

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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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Colliding worlds: Donald Trump and the European Union

Donald Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on EU states has raised fears of a trade war developing. Michael Cottakis writes that the dispute not only reflects a difference in approaches to trade, but a clash of two world views. He argues that a rupture between the EU and the US would represent a death knell for […]

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    Refusing to dance to a Brexit tune: How the EU has misinterpreted Britain’s vote to leave

Refusing to dance to a Brexit tune: How the EU has misinterpreted Britain’s vote to leave

Britain has made numerous mistakes over Brexit, but the European Union’s record also needs to be analysed. Tim Oliver addresses some of the things the EU has been accused of getting wrong about Brexit. In this post, he looks at how the EU has misinterpreted Brexit.

Brexit has been a learning experience for all involved. British and EU negotiators have found […]

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We are all Ordo-liberals now

Both the French and German governments have recently expressed a desire to avoid budget deficits. Bob Hancké examines the history of a ‘dangerous idea’ – Ordoliberalism, or the belief that balanced budgets produce growth.

At what was probably the most unpropitious moment in recent economic history to make the claim, US President Richard Nixon declared that we ‘are all Keynesians […]

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    How to have a serious referendum on Brexit and avoid a rerun of the original

How to have a serious referendum on Brexit and avoid a rerun of the original

A number of things were wrong with the 2016 referendum, including the  disenfranchisement of key stakeholders and the extent of misinformation by both sides. Given that referendums should be informed exercises in democratic decision-making, Bruce Ackerman and Sir Julian Le Grand explain what a referendum on the deal should look like.

We are moving to a world where the decisions […]

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    Book Review: Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

Book Review: Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

In Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, Kate Raworth offers a new model for economics, based around the ‘doughnut’, which values human well-being and advocates for a ‘regenerative and distributive economy’. While the book holds multidisciplinary promise and Raworth draws upon appealing and evocative metaphors and examples to convey economic concepts in accessible terms, Maria Zhivitskaya remains unconvinced of the […]

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    Five views: What we’ve learned from 20 years of the European Central Bank

Five views: What we’ve learned from 20 years of the European Central Bank

The European Central Bank was established 20 years ago today on 1 June 1998. To mark the anniversary, we asked five academics to give their views on the lessons learned from two decades of the ECB, and their predictions on what might lie in store for both the ECB and the euro over the next 20 years.

Paul De […]

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    Italy’s crisis: Wouldn’t it be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?

Italy’s crisis: Wouldn’t it be simpler if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another?

The decision of Italy’s President, Sergio Mattarella, to veto the appointment of Paolo Savona as Italian finance minister has sent the country into a political crisis. Bob Hancké argues that although Mattarella was legally within his rights to do what he did, his actions not only raise questions about democratic legitimacy, but are almost certainly not in Italy’s long-term […]

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Three lessons from Erdoğan’s rally in Sarajevo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a rally in Sarajevo on 20 May ahead of the upcoming Turkish elections scheduled for 24 June. Vuk Vuksanovic draws three lessons from the rally: that Turkey is in the process of adopting a more assertive approach to foreign policy in the Balkans; that Erdoğan is intent on using foreign policy in the […]

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    Book Review: Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus by Gerard Toal

Book Review: Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus by Gerard Toal

In Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus, Gerard Toal offers a detailed geopolitical account of the Russian conflicts with Georgia and Ukraine in 2008 and 2014 respectively. While questioning some aspects of the book’s analysis, April Curtis welcomes this as a highly nuanced work that will enable readers to have a deeper awareness of how Russia views its role in […]

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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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    Are discretionary referendums on the EU becoming ‘politically obligatory?’

Are discretionary referendums on the EU becoming ‘politically obligatory?’

Do European governments call referendums on EU matters because contextual circumstances make them ‘politically obligatory’ or because ruling politicians believe they are the ‘appropriate’ decision-making mechanism? Aude Bicquelet-Lock and Helen Addison argue that, contrary to these suggested reasons, politicians have the freedom to choose whether and when to use referendums strategically to achieve their domestic and European policy objectives.

Posters […]

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Reforming immigration for a post-Brexit reality

What impact could lower levels of immigration in the UK following Brexit have on the country’s economy? Lisa Laird and Otto Ilveskero write that the UK faces a challenge in retaining a controlled flow of both high and lower-skilled workers to fill gaps in the domestic workforce. They argue that reforming the present Visa Points Based System would allow Britain to retain international talent passing through […]

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    A revolution of values: Freedom, responsibility, and courage in the Armenian Velvet Revolution

A revolution of values: Freedom, responsibility, and courage in the Armenian Velvet Revolution

Mass protests in Armenia, which began in April and led to the resignation of Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, have been dubbed a ‘Velvet Revolution’. Armine Ishkanian explains that this revolution has been rooted in the values of Armenian society and its domestic, socio-economic and political realities, rather than geopolitics or foreign relations. But with events developing rapidly, it remains […]

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Why Russia is economically weak and politically strong

In GDP terms, the Russian economy is much smaller than that of the EU, yet from a political and military perspective, Russia is a major player in global affairs. Paul De Grauwe argues that Europe grants Russia this power by leaving defence as a matter for each of its constituent nations, instead of having a combined army.

Moscow, Credit: greg westfall (CC BY 2.0)
A few […]

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Populism and the broken engine of the Italian economy

In Italy, the temptation to go back in time, or shut the door to Europe and globalisation is strong, especially after a quarter of a century of poor economic performance, argue Lorenzo Codogno and Giampaolo Galli. Anti-establishment parties, which gained an outright majority in Parliament in the country’s recent elections, blame the past reform process, together with the threats […]

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