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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    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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The 18 April 1948 Italian election: Seventy years on

Italy’s election on 4 March was far from the first Italian election campaign to have generated high levels of interest across the rest of Europe. Effie G. H. Pedaliu writes on the seventieth anniversary of one of Italy’s most significant and controversial elections: the 1948 Italian general election, which pitted the country’s Christian Democrats against the Popular Democratic Front […]

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    What Germany’s grand coalition means for European defence and security

What Germany’s grand coalition means for European defence and security

Following months of coalition negotiations, a new German government has finally taken office. But what does the new government mean for the EU? Alessandra Pozzi Rocco writes that with her next term in power now secured, Merkel has the chance to craft EU history further, notably by forging ahead on common defence and security.

Credit: European Council President (CC BY-NC-ND […]

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A Global Agenda for Labour

The share of workers belonging to unions has declined in many countries, and new patterns of employment, such as the rise of the so called ‘gig economy’, are making unorganised labour the norm in a large number of industries. For Pranab Bardhan, this weakening of labour organisations has been a factor in enabling the growth of inequality and the […]

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Greece’s clean exit: Politics vs economics

There seems to be a strong convergence of interests between the Greek government, the European Commission and Eurozone Member States (and the IMF): they all want a clean exit from the Third Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece. Lorenzo Codogno explains that political motivations may well collide with the need to reduce risks and favour a smooth and successful return […]

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    Britain’s habit of cherry-picking criminal justice policy cannot survive Brexit

Britain’s habit of cherry-picking criminal justice policy cannot survive Brexit

The European Arrest Warrant is important to Theresa May. But, as Auke Willems explains, it will be difficult to negotiate the pan-European security co-operation she wants unless Britain is prepared to cross the ‘red line’ of recognising the European Court of Justice, as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Cooperation on matters of police and criminal law – or security cooperation, […]

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    Brexit demonstrates the need for a normative theory of political disintegration

Brexit demonstrates the need for a normative theory of political disintegration

Brexit has given rise to a range of critical issues. For example, was the composition of the electorate for the referendum adequate? What follows from the fact that some parts of the UK voted to remain? What will happen to resident EU citizens? Will the EU try to make an example of the UK in the withdrawal negotiations? Markus Patberg argues […]

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    Breaching the social contract: Why the success of Golden Dawn in Greece points to a crisis of democratic representation

Breaching the social contract: Why the success of Golden Dawn in Greece points to a crisis of democratic representation

Golden Dawn made large gains in the May 2012 Greek elections and has largely maintained this position in the three Greek elections held since, making it one of the most electorally successful far-right parties in Europe. But what lies behind this success? By comparing the political situation in Greece with that of Spain and Portugal, Daphne Halikiopoulou and Sofia Vasilopoulou demonstrate how support for the […]

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    What local socio-economic conditions can tell us about the patterns of support in Italy’s election

What local socio-economic conditions can tell us about the patterns of support in Italy’s election

The 2018 Italian election had a notable geographic split in voting behaviour, with Lega having more support in the north of the country and the Five Star Movement proving more successful in the south. Monica Langella digs deeper into the regional variations underpinning the result by carrying out an analysis of the link between local socio-economic factors and support […]

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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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    Book Review: A Brief History of Feminism by Antje Schrupp, illustrated by Patu

Book Review: A Brief History of Feminism by Antje Schrupp, illustrated by Patu

With A Brief History of Feminism, Antje Schrupp and illustrator Patu have crafted a graphic novel that traces the development of feminism from antiquity to the present day. While the book is primarily limited to offering an account of the evolution of European, Western feminist movements, this is nonetheless a fun, accessible and educational read that will give readers a thirst to learn more, finds Sonia […]

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    Watch: Sara Hagemann on what Brexit means for the EU’s institutions

Watch: Sara Hagemann on what Brexit means for the EU’s institutions

The UK has played a highly important role as a progressive and liberal voice in EU policy-making. But after its departure, EU institutions will change quite drastically over the next couple of years, argues Sara Hagemann, Associate Professor in European Politics at the LSE European Institute.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of EUROPP – European Politics […]

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    No easy options: How the UK could put pressure on Russia over the Skripal attack

No easy options: How the UK could put pressure on Russia over the Skripal attack

France, Germany, the UK and the United States have released a joint-statement indicating that they believe it is highly likely there was Russian involvement in the nerve agent attack against Sergei and Yulia Skripal. But what further action could the UK take against Russia? Cristian Nitoiu identifies three options, all of which would carry potential negative consequences.

Theresa May, Credit: […]

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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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    Book Review: Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe by Olena Nikolayenko

Book Review: Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe by Olena Nikolayenko

In Youth Movements and Elections in Eastern Europe, Olena Nikolayenko examines the role played by youth activists in mobilising citizens prior to elections against incumbent regimes in post-communist Europe, focusing on Serbia, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the early 2000s. Drawing on interviews, government sources, NGOs and media reports, this book offers important insights into the impact of youth movements upon democratisation […]

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Italy’s election: The path to political radicalisation

The success of the Five Star Movement and Lega in Italy’s election was a shock for many observers across Europe. Roberto Orsi writes that the country is now on a path toward further political radicalisation, driven by the failures of previous Italian political leaders and discontent at wider processes of globalisation.

Rome skyline, Credit: Laura & Alessandro (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
The result […]

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