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    A personality cult that plays on popular fears: how Erdoğan won the Turkish referendum

A personality cult that plays on popular fears: how Erdoğan won the Turkish referendum

Turkey has narrowly voted to approve a set of reforms that will place more power in the hands of President Tayip Recep Erdoğan, giving him the ability to appoint judges, abolish the office of prime minister and curtail the role of parliament. Tahir Abbas explains how the febrile atmosphere of the past two years – and in particular popular fear […]

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    Violence in the Macedonian parliament: What happened and how should the EU respond?

Violence in the Macedonian parliament: What happened and how should the EU respond?

Macedonia’s opposition leader, Zoran Zaev, was among a number of people injured after protesters stormed the country’s parliament building on 27 April and attacked MPs. Misha Popovikj argues that the violence, which emerged after Zaev attempted to form a new coalition that would have excluded the incumbent VMRO-DPMNE party, should be the final straw for the international community and […]

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In and out: Emmanuel Macron’s anti-populist populism

Emmanuel Macron has cultivated an image as a political outsider, but some of his critics accuse him of being more closely integrated with the French establishment than he claims. Fabio Bordignon characterises Macron’s candidacy as ‘anti-populist populism’, suggesting that despite appealing to the political centre and being staunchly pro-EU, Macron has adopted a form of ‘soft populism’ to capitalise […]

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    Soft Brexit, soft landing? Interpreting Labour’s Brexit strategy

Soft Brexit, soft landing? Interpreting Labour’s Brexit strategy

Will the decision to back a soft Brexit hurt Labour’s prospects in the upcoming election further, or would it help? And what would it do to Labour’s prospects in the long run? Ben Margulies looks at the evidence and explains how Labour can avoid becoming irrelevant and how it can recover its position as the leading party of the […]

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    Macron demonstrates that liberalism is still alive and well in Europe

Macron demonstrates that liberalism is still alive and well in Europe

When French voters go back to the polls for the second round of the presidential election on 7 May, they will be choosing between two candidates – Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron – with radically different visions for the country. Christian Lequesne writes that the election has underlined the cleavage that exists in French society between those who believe […]

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    Illustrating the spectacular decline of Labour in Scotland and the revival of the Scottish Conservatives

Illustrating the spectacular decline of Labour in Scotland and the revival of the Scottish Conservatives

Up until the 2015 UK general election, Scotland had been regarded as a Labour stronghold, with the country regularly returning a large number of Labour MPs to Westminster. But the party managed to secure only a single Scottish seat in 2015 and recent polls suggest its vote share could fall even further in the upcoming general election in June. […]

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    Bridging the gender gap: How to address low levels of political interest among women

Bridging the gender gap: How to address low levels of political interest among women

Survey evidence suggests that women in many European countries have a lower level of interest in politics on average than men do. Based on a recent study, Marta Fraile and Raul Gómez highlight that the degree of overall gender equality in a country can have a substantial impact on this ‘gender gap’ in political interest. However, this effect is […]

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    Emmanuel Macron may win the presidential election, but turbulent waters lie ahead

Emmanuel Macron may win the presidential election, but turbulent waters lie ahead

Emmanuel Macron is a strong favourite to beat Marine Le Pen in the second round of France’s presidential election on 7 May. But as Susan Milner highlights, having topped the vote in the first round of the election, Macron will now have to deal with a number of new challenges, including greater scrutiny over his policy proposals, and the […]

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    Projecting vote transfers in the second round of the French presidential election

Projecting vote transfers in the second round of the French presidential election

Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron have advanced to the second round of the French presidential election, but which candidate will supporters of losing candidates such as François Fillon, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Benoît Hamon back in the run-off vote? Using updated polling, Alexandre Afonso illustrates where the votes are likely to go, with Emmanuel Macron standing to benefit most […]

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    Experts react: Macron and Le Pen advance to the run-off in the French presidential election

Experts react: Macron and Le Pen advance to the run-off in the French presidential election

France held the first round of its presidential election on 23 April, with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen making it to the second round. The centrist Macron is projected to have won 23.8 percent of the vote, while the Front National’s leader Le Pen came second with 21.5 percent. For the first time since the 1970s, no candidate from […]

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Book Review: Charlemagne by Johannes Fried

In Charlemagne, Johannes Fried offers a new account of the life of the Frankish king and emperor, one of the most influential figures in European history. Although the limited surviving resources from the period make the book more of an in-depth account of the socio-political context of Charlemagne’s reign rather than a strict biography, Sara Perley welcomes this as a well-researched and engaging […]

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    The transformation of Jean-Luc Mélenchon: From radical outsider to populist leader

The transformation of Jean-Luc Mélenchon: From radical outsider to populist leader

A late surge in support for the left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has added an extra layer of drama to France’s presidential election ahead of the first round of voting on 23 April. With Mélenchon now polling close enough to the leaders that he has a chance of making it to the second round, Marco Damiani traces his political career […]

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    Friends with benefits? Nine things worth knowing about the links between centre-left parties and trade unions

Friends with benefits? Nine things worth knowing about the links between centre-left parties and trade unions

Many European parties have a formal or informal relationship with trade unions. While such alliances can often prove beneficial for parties, they can also generate disagreement between unions and politicians, as events in the UK’s Labour Party have often illustrated. Based on a new study, Tim Bale outlines nine key points for understanding the relationship between centre-left parties and unions.

A […]

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    Italy’s looming election: Will the Five Star Movement really form the next government?

Italy’s looming election: Will the Five Star Movement really form the next government?

Italy will hold its next general election no later than spring 2018, with Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement (M5S) currently ahead in most of the recent polling. Daniele Albertazzi argues that despite intense media speculation about what a victory for the M5S could mean for Italy and its participation in the euro, the picture is far from clear and […]

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    A four horse race? What to expect from the French presidential election

A four horse race? What to expect from the French presidential election

The French presidential campaign has been a rollercoaster of twists and turns so far. But with just a few days to go until the first round of voting on 23 April, does the contest have further surprises in store? Marta Lorimer outlines the possible scenarios and highlights the issues you should keep an eye out for.

 

A four horse race? Photo: The […]

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The UK’s snap election makes a softer Brexit more likely

Theresa May has announced plans to call a UK general election for 8 June. Tim Bale writes that there is little doubt about the result, with the Conservatives a long distance ahead of Labour in the polls. But if the election does deliver a large majority for May, it could make a ‘softer Brexit’ far more likely as she will be […]

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    Who are the protesters in Serbia, and what do they really want?

Who are the protesters in Serbia, and what do they really want?

Serbia’s recent presidential election, which was won by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, gave rise to a wave of protests in several urban centres across the country. But there is still a great deal of uncertainty over the identity and motivations of the protesters. As the demonstrations are about to resume after an Easter break, Maja Bjeloš traces the origins […]

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    Can Europe stand up for academic freedom? The Bologna Process, Hungary, and the Central European University

Can Europe stand up for academic freedom? The Bologna Process, Hungary, and the Central European University

Several politicians across Europe have voiced concern about academic freedom in Hungary following the passing of legislation that threatens the country’s Central European University. But do the EU’s institutions have any authority to act over the affair? Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon argue that a university coming under attack in an EU member state marks a critical moment, and […]

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No hope in Turkey

There is no silver lining to be sought in the aftermath of the Turkish constitutional referendum, suggests Dimitar Bechev. Erdoğan thrives on polarisation: the pattern of labelling those who do not support him as ‘traitors’ will continue for the foreseeable future. The relative success of the ‘No’ vote in the big urban centres must have hurt Erdoğan, but the near 50 per cent […]

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    Today’s referendum is the most critical vote in modern Turkish history

Today’s referendum is the most critical vote in modern Turkish history

Today, Turkey is holding a referendum on whether to approve constitutional amendments that would substantially increase the power of the country’s President. Soli Özel and Sezin Öney write that the result is bound to transform the country in one way or another, and that a Yes vote would effectively consign Turkey’s century old parliamentary system to history.

Credit: alexeyklyukin/flickr (CC […]

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