LSE Comment

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

Sweden’s election results: The view from across Europe

Sweden held a general election on 9 September, alongside regional and municipal elections. The early results of the voting showed the country’s two main blocs each securing around 40% of the national vote, and the Sweden Democrats winning around 18%. This article presents an overview of analysis and reactions from across Europe.

“The two blocs are neck and neck, as the […]

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    Heading into the mainstream? Reviewing a year of the AfD in the German parliament

Heading into the mainstream? Reviewing a year of the AfD in the German parliament

Almost one year has passed since the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) was elected to the Bundestag in the 2017 German federal elections. Julian Göpffarth looks back on what has happened since, and how events have shaped both the AfD and German society.

Media coverage in Germany has been dominated in recent days by far-right violence in the city of Chemnitz. […]

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    Distorted perceptions: How Leavers and Remainers view the economy

Distorted perceptions: How Leavers and Remainers view the economy

There is a divide between how Remainers and Leavers perceive the UK’s economic performance and other policy developments, explain Miriam Sorace and Sara B. Hobolt. A major consequence of this lack of agreement about basic facts is that reaching a consensus on how to navigate Brexit becomes even more complicated.

On the 23 June 2016, UK citizens voted to leave […]

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    Hard cheese? Dairy products will be more expensive in the UK after Brexit

Hard cheese? Dairy products will be more expensive in the UK after Brexit

Britain imports a lot of dairy produce, nearly all of it from the EU, while at home, the industry employs a large number of workers from the rest of the EU. Jan Bakker and Nikhil Datta predict that dairy will become more expensive after Brexit. Even if Britons switch to UK-produced dairy, it will take some years for domestic herds […]

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    A paler shade of grey? It is hard to see how any in-between version of Brexit can prevail

A paler shade of grey? It is hard to see how any in-between version of Brexit can prevail

A simple metaphor captures the dilemmas around Brexit: some want white, others want black. To state the blindingly obvious, the two are mutually exclusive. In this post, Iain Begg considers the two logically coherent positions on EU membership. It is hard to see how any in-between solution – any shade of grey – can prevail. 

Leaving the EU means, well, Brexit […]

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    Lessons from South Korea: What would a hard Brexit mean for British manufacturers?

Lessons from South Korea: What would a hard Brexit mean for British manufacturers?

The UK government has proposed maintaining a ‘common rulebook’ with the European Union following Brexit, which would in principle prevent non-tariff trade barriers from developing. But if this proposal fails and the UK leaves without a deal, how would British manufacturers be affected? Robert Basedow draws lessons from the South Korean car industry, noting that manufacturers based outside of […]

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Brexit: Time for a moratorium?

The UK is set to leave the EU in March next year, but many of the key issues remain unresolved and there is now perceived to be a very real prospect of the country leaving without a deal in place. For Helmut K Anheier, the answer is not a second referendum given another vote would do little to resolve the […]

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    Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

Sitting on the fence: How the London summit exposed the inertia in the EU’s reconciliation policy for the Western Balkans

The 2018 Western Balkans Summit was held in London on 9-10 July. As Denisa Kostovicova explains, there was hope that the summit might officially launch a regional fact-finding commission – RECOM – which would record the victims of human rights violations to help aid the reconciliation process in the region. However, even though the summit put legacy issues on […]

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    The extradition saga continues: Is the latest ruling a win for Puigdemont, Spain, or for mutual trust?

The extradition saga continues: Is the latest ruling a win for Puigdemont, Spain, or for mutual trust?

A German court has ruled that former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont can be extradited to Spain on charges of misusing public funds, but not on a charge of rebellion, which carries a more severe punishment. As Auke Willems explains, the net result is a situation with no clear winners: Spain cannot prosecute Puigdemont on charges of rebellion; Puigdemont has […]

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    The EMU quest for integration: What does the ECB’s collateral data tell us?

The EMU quest for integration: What does the ECB’s collateral data tell us?

The ECB recently announced that its quantitative easing programme will stop at the end of 2018. Corrado Macchiarelli and Mara Monti write that the way this decision is managed will be crucial for avoiding potential market disruptions in the eurozone. However, the key long-term concern will be achieving political consensus in the coming years given the challenge posed by […]

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    The devil is in the detail: Why multinationals favour the customs union

The devil is in the detail: Why multinationals favour the customs union

In a customs union, goods cross borders seamlessly, but in a free trade agreement, border checks are needed to ensure conformity with rules of origin. Paola Conconi explains why a customs union is key for multinationals wishing to stay in the UK after Brexit.

Some members of Theresa May’s cabinet are pushing for a ‘soft’ Brexit, which would allow the UK to remain […]

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    Evidence from the Netherlands: How do populist parties act in parliament?

Evidence from the Netherlands: How do populist parties act in parliament?

Do populist parties behave differently from other parties when they enter parliament? Presenting evidence from a study of parties in the Netherlands, Simon Otjes and Tom Louwerse illustrate that both left-wing and right-wing populist parties tend to primarily voice opposition rather than offer policy alternatives. The growing representation of populist parties in West European parliaments is therefore likely to […]

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    Book Review: Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity by Akbar Ahmed

Book Review: Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity by Akbar Ahmed

In Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity, Akbar Ahmed scrutinises the experiences of Muslims living in European nations that are facing challenge to their hegemonic position in a global age. This is no ordinary book project, writes Tahir Abbas, praising the unprecedented wealth of information contained in this gripping, engaging and immersive study.
Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity. Akbar Ahmed. Brookings […]

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Made in the UK: Brexit and manufacturing revisited

What impact will Brexit have on UK manufacturing? As Bob Hancké points out, the domestic economic effects of Brexit are dynamic, not static. While some industries will be devastated by Brexit, resources may switch to other areas which, in theory, could thrive. But for this to happen, the UK needs to revamp its industrial supply chains, which are dependent on close links […]

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The Catalan and Spanish crisis: A European perspective

The Catalan independence question remains one of the key issues on the agenda for Spain’s new Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, as he completes his first month in office. Sebastian Balfour writes that Sánchez is likely to carry out a holding operation in the hope that support for his Socialists will grow ahead of the next general election, while the […]

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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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