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Understanding the rise of the populist establishment

Studies of populism have traditionally focused on the politics of opposition, such as protest movements and the campaigns of smaller parties. But as Zsolt Enyedi notes, recent election results have demonstrated that populist parties cannot only win power, but also show a surprising level of resilience when they enter government. He argues that populism can no longer be regarded […]

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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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How the European Union falls apart

The European Union has come under intense pressure from the Eurozone crisis, the migration crisis, and Brexit, but is it at serious risk of falling apart? And if so, how would this disintegration take place? Drawing on his latest book, Hans Vollaard explains that rather than experiencing a sudden collapse, the EU might instead suffer a slow decline driven […]

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    Book Review: Ideology and the Future of Progressive Social Movements by Rafal Soborski

Book Review: Ideology and the Future of Progressive Social Movements by Rafal Soborski

In Ideology and the Future of Progressive Social Movements, Rafal Soborski provides a punchy and passionate critique of the post-ideology approach of progressive social movements from an anti-neoliberal perspective. While questioning whether all grassroots protest movements have abandoned ideology to the extent described in the book, Luke Martell finds this a distinctive and stimulating contribution recommended to all those interested in social change. 
Ideology and the […]

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    Italian women face dramatic earnings losses after the birth of a child

Italian women face dramatic earnings losses after the birth of a child

Child birth can disrupt the careers of women if adequate safeguards are not put in place by policymakers. Enrica Maria Martino presents findings from new research on the effect child birth has on women in Italy. She finds that having a child dramatically decreases the earnings of Italian women. The key driver for this effect is women leaving the […]

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    Why the debate over the European Development Fund is a question of politics

Why the debate over the European Development Fund is a question of politics

The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument through which the EU provides development aid to African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. However, there has been a long-running debate over whether the EDF should be formally integrated into the EU budget, or whether it should remain a separate fund financed by direct contributions from the EU’s member states. Johanne […]

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    What should we expect from Austria’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union?

What should we expect from Austria’s upcoming presidency of the Council of the European Union?

On 1 July, Austria will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time. As Paul Schmidt notes, since the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force in December 2009, the role of the presidency has fundamentally changed. He assesses how much room for manoeuvre this leaves to make a difference, and what […]

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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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Tackling non-performing loans in the euro area

A European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) has been proposed as part of efforts to complete the European Banking Union, but some actors have raised concerns about the implications of banks with non-performing loans entering the EDIS. Presenting findings from a recent study, Markus Demary writes that some banks are not yet ready for a European Deposit Insurance Scheme and that vast amounts of money will […]

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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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    Book Review: Poor News: Media Discourses of Poverty in Times of Austerity by Steven Harkins and Jairo Lugo-Ocando

Book Review: Poor News: Media Discourses of Poverty in Times of Austerity by Steven Harkins and Jairo Lugo-Ocando

In Poor News: Media Discourses of Poverty in Times of Austerity, Steven Harkins and Jairo Lugo-Ocando explore how debates and discourses surrounding poverty and welfare have been shaped by the mainstream press in the UK. The granular content analysis offered by the book gives great insight into the normalisation of social inequality across the British media landscape, writes Matthew Hacke, and will be of interest to those looking to […]

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The gap between wages and productivity

In many EU states, wage growth has been lagging behind productivity growth over recent decades. Bela Galgoczi examines why wages and productivity – essential for a fair distribution of the spoils of economic growth – have increasingly decoupled from each other across European countries.

The decoupling of wages from productivity – a widespread phenomenon with wage growth having been lagging […]

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    Will it pay to be large in the EU steel industry? The answer may not be straightforward

Will it pay to be large in the EU steel industry? The answer may not be straightforward

The EU steel industry faces major challenges in the shape of rising prices for raw materials, fierce competition from international producers, and global overcapacity. Niccolò Pisani and Emilio Riva explain that the reaction to these problems has often been to advocate increased market concentration. However, the disruptive influence of artificial intelligence and growing anti-globalisation sentiment, epitomised by Donald Trump’s decision to impose a […]

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    Explaining the electoral debacle of social democratic parties in Europe

Explaining the electoral debacle of social democratic parties in Europe

Social democratic parties have experienced a sharp drop in support in several countries across Europe, underlined by the defeat of the German Social Democrats in last year’s German federal elections and the collapse of the Socialist Party in the French presidential and legislative elections. James F. Downes and Edward Chan present data on the role that the financial crisis […]

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Macedonia name dispute: Problem solved?

An agreement has been reached in the long-running name dispute between Greece and Macedonia. Thimios Tzallas writes that although the agreement is still subject to approval by the parliaments of both countries, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has sent a strong message to Brussels in advancing the country’s case for EU membership.

The long-running disagreement over what to call ‘the […]

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    We need to talk (more) about deliberative democracy in the EU

We need to talk (more) about deliberative democracy in the EU

Criticism of the EU’s ‘democratic deficit’ has become increasingly prominent since the financial crisis. Firat Cengiz writes that democracy in the EU would benefit from methods allowing citizens to participate more directly in policymaking. She argues for a form of deliberative democracy to be implemented at the European level and provides some practical suggestions for how this could be […]

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    Austria’s right-wing government at six months: What’s the record so far?

Austria’s right-wing government at six months: What’s the record so far?

Austria’s government was sworn in six months ago on 18 December. Manès Weisskircher discusses the domestic record of the new government, noting that so far, its support has remained stable. The government’s biggest domestic hurdle has not been mobilisation against new socioeconomic or migration policies, but rather opposition to the reversal of a smoking ban in restaurants.

Sebastian Kurz with […]

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    Book Review: Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe edited by Benjamin Martill and Uta Staiger

Book Review: Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe edited by Benjamin Martill and Uta Staiger

In Brexit and Beyond: Rethinking the Futures of Europe, editors Benjamin Martill and Uta Staiger bring together contributors to consider the possible implications of Brexit for the futures of Europe and the European Union. Available to download here, the book’s interdisciplinary approach makes clear the difficulties of predicting the potential outcomes of an unfolding process while nonetheless outlining a number of different scenarios and possibilities in […]

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    Boycotts are more likely to be effective in industries which are highly competitive

Boycotts are more likely to be effective in industries which are highly competitive

One of the most fundamental aspects of our market society is that consumers should have the ability to vote with their feet and to not buy certain products if they do not wish to. But when are these boycotts effective in causing corporations to change their ways? In new research, Georgy Egorov and Bard Harstad find that boycotts should […]

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