Blog

What happened to Europe’s left?

Only a handful of European states are currently governed by left-wing governments, and several of the traditionally largest left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party in France, have experienced substantial drops in support. Jan Rovny argues that while many commentators have linked the left’s decline to the late-2000s financial crisis, the weakening of Europe’s left reflects deep structural and […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    How Lübeck faded, while Hamburg survived trade disruption from the Dutch

How Lübeck faded, while Hamburg survived trade disruption from the Dutch

The German cities of Hamburg and Lübeck both had key roles in trade as members of the medieval Hanseatic League, but they have developed in a markedly different fashion since. While Hamburg grew to become an increasingly important economic centre, Lübeck experienced a slow but persistent decline after the 16th century. For Prateek Raj, the lesson is that dominant cities may become unattractive […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    How will Italy’s election affect its relationship with the EU?

How will Italy’s election affect its relationship with the EU?

Ahead of the Italian elections on 4 March, opinion polls suggest an increasingly fragmented political scenario, with a hung parliament and likely difficulties in having a parliamentary majority in support of a new government. But what will the vote mean for Italy’s relations with the EU? Lorenzo Codogno discusses the three most important themes in the Italy-EU relationship.

Credit: Giorgio Montersino […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: Orbán: Europe’s New Strongman by Paul Lendvai

Book Review: Orbán: Europe’s New Strongman by Paul Lendvai

In Orbán: Europe’s New Strongman, Paul Lendvai argues that following a ‘lightning-speed assault’ on its democratic features, Hungary can now be better characterised as an authoritarian system under the rule of Viktor Orbán. Lendvai succeeds in tracing Hungary’s rapid slide towards authoritarianism in this excellent book, writes Paul Caruana-Galizia.
Orbán: Europe’s New Strongman. Paul Lendvai. Hurst Publishers. 2017.
Find this book: 
From fascism to Stalinism to communism, it looked like Hungary had […]

Print Friendly
Share
February 18th, 2018|Book Reviews, featured, LSE Comment, Paul Caruana-Galizia|Comments Off on Book Review: Orbán: Europe’s New Strongman by Paul Lendvai|
  • Permalink Gallery

    ‘Brexitannia’: An unsettling, beautiful insight into post-referendum Britain

‘Brexitannia’: An unsettling, beautiful insight into post-referendum Britain

Brexitannia is a sociological portrait of post-referendum Britain. Travelling around the UK, its director invited people to talk about Brexit and left their responses to speak for themselves. Oliver Daddow says the documentary is an unsettling insight into a country coming to terms with an imagined past, a leadership-less present and a manifestly uncertain future.

Put together in the immediate aftermath of […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    It’s time for the EU to adapt its conflict prevention policy to climate change

It’s time for the EU to adapt its conflict prevention policy to climate change

In 2017, UN Secretary General António Guterres called on the international community to rethink its approach to peace and security, noting that more time and resources are spent responding to crises than preventing them. Constantin Gouvy highlights the role of climate change in exacerbating the factors that fuel conflicts, from competition for resources and sectarian divides to poor governance.

Credit: Max Pixel (CC0 Public Domain)
Over the […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    When Europe is fashionable: The strange paradox of the Italian elections

When Europe is fashionable: The strange paradox of the Italian elections

The upcoming Italian election will be closely watched in other EU states. Giulia Pastorella writes that while on the face of it most parties running in the election are markedly pro-European, there is an undercurrent of Euroscepticism in the campaign which should prompt concern for those in favour of further European integration.

The European Council of Foreign Relations ranked Italy […]

Print Friendly
Share

Britain’s best Brexit bet is the Jersey option

The UK government spent last year urging the EU27 to start discussing their post-Brexit trading relationship. But now that the negotiations are finally due to move on to trade, ministers cannot decide what they want. Philippe Legrain argues that the Jersey option would give Britain a degree of regulatory freedom while minimising the disruption to trade with the EU.
The […]

Print Friendly
Share

How to tackle populism: Macron vs Kurz

This time last year, things did not look pretty for the EU, writes Michael Cottakis. Marine Le Pen topped the polls in France spreading fears over Frexit, Geert Wilders had crept clear of his challengers in the Netherlands, and EU officials glanced worriedly at an Austria dealing with its own far-right challenge. In all three cases, the populist challenge fell […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    The beginning of the end for political stability? How the new generation of CDU and SPD members are seeking to reshape German politics

The beginning of the end for political stability? How the new generation of CDU and SPD members are seeking to reshape German politics

An agreement has been reached on the creation of a new grand coalition in Germany, but the deal could potentially be rejected by members of the German Social Democrats (SPD), with results of the membership vote due on 4 March. Julian Göpffarth argues that even if the coalition deal is approved and Angela Merkel remains chancellor, the era of […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    The troubling legal and political uncertainty facing Catalonia

The troubling legal and political uncertainty facing Catalonia

There is still no end in sight to the political uncertainty in Catalonia. As Javier García Oliva writes, the issue has raised questions over processes of constitutional reform in Spain. He highlights that constitutional systems tend to make amendments difficult precisely to avoid short-term political winds driving the state in directions which may be damaging to minority interests. But […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: The Neopopular Bubble: Speculating on ‘the People’ in Late Modern Democracy by Péter Csigó

Book Review: The Neopopular Bubble: Speculating on ‘the People’ in Late Modern Democracy by Péter Csigó

In The Neopopular Bubble: Speculating on ‘the People’ in Late Modern Democracy, Péter Csigó argues that the financial crisis of 2008 has exposed novel forms of sense-making that have come to dominate public discourse: mechanisms that are collective, speculative and mythological in nature, resulting in autonomous discursive ‘bubbles’ that are largely immune to falsification. The book provides a foundation for a new […]

Print Friendly
Share
February 11th, 2018|Book Reviews, featured|0 Comments|
  • Permalink Gallery

    Did the unfounded claim that Turkey was about to join the EU swing the Brexit referendum?

Did the unfounded claim that Turkey was about to join the EU swing the Brexit referendum?

Most observers agree that the chances of Turkey joining the EU are becoming increasingly remote. But even in early 2016, before the country’s failed coup attempt and the 2017 constitutional referendum, Turkish accession was looking a distant prospect. Yet as James Ker-Lindsay writes, this did not prevent Vote Leave from claiming towards the end of the UK’s EU referendum campaign that Turkey was poised to […]

Print Friendly
Share

Targeted propaganda and the Italian election campaign

During the Brexit Referendum and subsequent elections in the US, Britain, France, Germany and Austria, questions have been raised about the role of social media, and in particular foreign involvement, misinformation, and lack of transparency. As Italy prepares for elections on 4 March, Damian Tambini examines the background and asks what academic and civil society election observers should be […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    What the 2015 Greek debt negotiations tell us about Germany’s negotiating stance on Brexit

What the 2015 Greek debt negotiations tell us about Germany’s negotiating stance on Brexit

If the UK wants to secure favourable terms during the Brexit negotiations, it will be crucial to win the support of Germany. But what are the key German priorities as the talks move on to the second phase? Luuk Molthof writes that the 2015 Greek debt negotiations offer some insights into the German approach, and that the UK is […]

Print Friendly
Share

Why the media helps make Hungarian elections so predictable

Hungary will hold parliamentary elections on 8 April, with polls suggesting Fidesz, led by incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, is in a strong position to hold on to power. Andrea Fumarola argues that a sharp decline in press freedom over the last decade has helped Orbán to consolidate his political position, but that the dominance of Fidesz has come […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Franco-German cooperation: A compromise between vision and reality?

Franco-German cooperation: A compromise between vision and reality?

The problems with forming a government after the 2017 German federal election have provided an opportunity for French President Emmanuel Macron to take the lead in outlining ambitious reforms for the European Union. Paul Schmidt assesses where Franco-German cooperation now stands, and how the next German government can continue to shape the direction of European integration.

Credit: European Council (CC […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    We can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change

We can’t rely on corporations to save us from climate change

Given the difficulties associated with governments coming to an agreement on how to tackle climate change effectively, some observers have suggested the solution may come from market forces and corporate innovation. Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg argue that the world cannot rely on corporations to tackle climate change as the demands of radical decarbonisation still clash fundamentally with the imperatives of […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    People rely on their attitudes more than the source when judging the accuracy of news stories on Facebook

People rely on their attitudes more than the source when judging the accuracy of news stories on Facebook

The role of ‘fake news’ in shaping political behaviour has received extensive attention in recent years, with Facebook and other websites undertaking a number of measures to try and address the problem. Drawing on an experimental study during the 2017 German federal election campaign, Bernhard Clemm von Hohenberg illustrates that people rely far more on their pre-existing political attitudes […]

Print Friendly
Share
  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: The Borders of ‘Europe’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering edited by Nicholas De Genova

Book Review: The Borders of ‘Europe’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering edited by Nicholas De Genova

The collection The Borders of ‘Europe’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering, edited by Nicholas De Genova, offers a compelling in-depth analysis of immigration to Europe through contributions that repeatedly go to the heart of contemporary policy conundrums. Suggesting ways in which scholar-activists can make a potential difference, this book offers a thorough education in the implications of Europe’s evolving, unwieldy border […]

Print Friendly
Share
February 4th, 2018|Book Reviews, featured|0 Comments|