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The 2018 Latvian elections: New faces, old patterns

Latvia held parliamentary elections on 6 October. As Jānis Ikstens writes, the result was notable for the emergence of new challengers, as well as for the disappointing performance of parties from the ruling coalition. However, given the lack of obvious coalition options, the next government may well be a short-lived one.

In the early hours of 7 October, it became […]

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    Merkel’s grand coalition partners suffer significant losses in the Bavarian election

Merkel’s grand coalition partners suffer significant losses in the Bavarian election

State elections were held in Bavaria on 14 October, with both of Angela Merkel’s partners in the German government – the CSU and SPD – suffering large losses. John Ryan notes that more bad news for Merkel could potentially follow in two weeks’ time at the state elections in Hessen, and that the result underlined the continued fragmentation of […]

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    Book Review: Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue by Sohail Daulatzai

Book Review: Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue by Sohail Daulatzai

In Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue, Sohail Daulatzai not only offers an ode to The Battle of Algiers, exploring the film’s intellectual lineage and its impact upon postcolonial liberation movements, but also argues that its revolutionary logic has more recently been inverted in service of the ‘war on terror’. This is a powerful, thought-provoking and stimulating book, finds Srini Sitaraman.
Fifty Years […]

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October 14th, 2018|Book Reviews, featured|0 Comments|
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    Elections in Bosnia: More of the same, but there is a silver lining

Elections in Bosnia: More of the same, but there is a silver lining

Elections were held in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 7 October. Dimitar Bechev explains that Bosnian politics continues to be dominated by two ethnically defined poles, each with external support. The country will probably hold together as a state, but it will be highly dysfunctional and resistant to EU and US initiatives to promote pro-western reforms.

Nothing much changes in Bosnia. A […]

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    What makes a community? The overlooked emancipation of the province in Poland since 1989

What makes a community? The overlooked emancipation of the province in Poland since 1989

The local elections scheduled in Poland for 21 October have been billed as a key test for the country’s ruling Law and Justice government. As Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer explains, a great deal of international attention is currently focused on Law and Justice due to the perception that the government is undermining the country’s rule of law. But while much of […]

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    The future of EU international investment policy – What clues to take from NAFTA 2.0?

The future of EU international investment policy – What clues to take from NAFTA 2.0?

What can the latest revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States tell us about the potential future of EU international investment policy? Robert Basedow suggests that NAFTA 2.0 indicates the love story of OECD economies with investment protection agreements and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms appears to be coming to […]

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    Welcome to the geography of populism: The diaspora vote in the UK during the 2018 Latvian elections

Welcome to the geography of populism: The diaspora vote in the UK during the 2018 Latvian elections

Latvia held parliamentary elections on 6 October, with Harmony – a social democratic party usually associated with the country’s ethnic-Russian population – securing first place. Aija Lulle assesses the diaspora vote in the election and how patterns of support differed outside of Latvia. She notes that the geographic divides present among Latvians living in the UK had parallels with […]

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Why do Poland’s local elections matter?

Poland is set to hold local elections, with the first round of voting taking place on 21 October, followed by a second round of voting on 4 November. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that the elections will be an important test of popularity for Poland’s government and opposition parties. Although the governing Law and Justice party is currently riding high in […]

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Always look on the bright side of Brexit

Is there a bright side to Brexit, even for those who voted for the UK to remain in the EU? Nauro F Campos reasons that there is at least one undeniable positive from Brexit: we are now more willing to ask questions about European integration than we were before the referendum. In doing so, our knowledge about economic integration […]

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Book Review: The Infinite Desire for Growth by Daniel Cohen

In The Infinite Desire for Growth, Daniel Cohen offers a historical and philosophical account of the adoption of growth as a principle and goal in economic theory from the Enlightenment to the present day. While the essays at times overlook the specific historical and political contexts in which the concept of growth emerged and developed, the collection is thought-provoking and will contribute […]

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    A roadmap for improving the distribution of EU funds in Hungary

A roadmap for improving the distribution of EU funds in Hungary

Hungary is currently a net recipient of EU structural and cohesion funds, but as Anna Számely writes, the country’s recent record on key measures of development has been underwhelming. She identifies seven blockages in the chain of EU funding in Hungary that are presently acting as obstacles to effective investment.

As the EU’s next seven-year budget is negotiated for the […]

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    Why this weekend’s referendum in Romania will ultimately benefit the LGBTIQ community

Why this weekend’s referendum in Romania will ultimately benefit the LGBTIQ community

Romania is set to hold a referendum on 6-7 October to decide whether the constitutional definition of ‘the family’ should be altered to prohibit same-sex marriage. Mihnea Stoica argues that although there is little doubt the result will be in favour of the proposal, paradoxically it might well be the case that LGBTIQ rights will be strengthened in the […]

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Merkeldämmerung: The end of the Merkel era?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major political blow at the end of September when her choice to lead the Christian Democratic parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Volker Kauder, lost out in a secret ballot to Ralph Brinkhaus. John Ryan writes that with two important regional elections due to take place in October and a party congress scheduled for […]

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The slow downfall of Theresa May

UK prime minister Theresa May is set to deliver her speech to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham later today. As George Kassimeris explains, the event has been dominated by divisions in the party over Brexit, with many observers predicting this could be May’s last conference speech as prime minister. He argues that while she might not lead her […]

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    A step too far? The Commission’s proposal to tie EU budget payments to compliance with the rule of law

A step too far? The Commission’s proposal to tie EU budget payments to compliance with the rule of law

The difficult process of negotiating the EU’s next seven-year budget covering the years 2021-27 is already under way. However, as Dimitar Lilkov writes, the negotiations may well prove more contentious than ever due to a proposal to allow the European Commission to suspend EU funding for states that threaten the rule of law.

Negotiating the next seven-year budget of the […]

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    A missed opportunity: Assessing the EU’s strategy for Europe-Asia connectivity

A missed opportunity: Assessing the EU’s strategy for Europe-Asia connectivity

Federica Mogherini recently outlined a new EU strategy for improving connectivity between Europe and Asia. Thomas Kruessmann examines the proposals, which are widely viewed as a response to the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative launched by China in 2013. He argues that the overall direction of the strategy is misguided and that it largely ignores the potential to capitalise on […]

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    Book Review: Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World by William Davies

Book Review: Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World by William Davies

In Nervous States: How Feeling Took Over the World, William Davies examines how feeling has come to reshape our world today, displacing the role historically afforded to reason and dissolving longstanding distinctions between the mind and body, between war and peace. The book provides a timely diagnosis of the contemporary social and political dominance of feelings over facts, writes Lilly Markaki, while locating hope […]

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    The dismantling of the state since the 1980s: Brexit is the wrong diagnosis of a real crisis

The dismantling of the state since the 1980s: Brexit is the wrong diagnosis of a real crisis

The vote to leave the EU and the administrative chaos around it pull into focus a crisis the UK should have been talking about before: the failures of homegrown neoliberal policies and their dire implications, writes Abby Innes. She argues that while Brexit has been heralded by supporters as a solution to a wide range of problems, what it will actually […]

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    Karas vs Kurz: Why Austria’s Chancellor faces some difficult choices ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections

Karas vs Kurz: Why Austria’s Chancellor faces some difficult choices ahead of the 2019 European Parliament elections

Othmar Karas, the leader of the Austrian People’s Party’s (ÖVP) delegation to the European Parliament, is widely viewed as one of the most influential Austrian MEPs. However, as Michael Burri explains, Karas is now posing some difficult questions for the ÖVP and its Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ahead of the next European Parliament elections in May 2019.

The European Parliament (EP) […]

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    What if Britain rejoined the EU? Breaking up may be less hard than making up

What if Britain rejoined the EU? Breaking up may be less hard than making up

If Britain ever sought to rejoin the EU, it could not be on the terms of membership the country previously enjoyed, warns Iain Begg. The UK’s budget rebate, exemption from Schengen and opt-outs from the euro and judicial cooperation will not be on the table again. This would make rejoining a difficult sell to the British public.

A curiosity of the […]

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