Book Review: Policy Without Politicians

In Policy without Politicians a leading expert on public policy has devoted four years to interviewing middle-ranking civil servants in three languages over six jurisdictions to construct a comparative survey of bureaucratic influence on secondary legislation.  The venture may sound worthy at best, but Patricia Hogwood finds that Edward C. Page has produced a little gem: an intellectually honest, well-constructed, […]

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On Italy’s streets, Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement still twinkles

Local elections in Italy this week saw reduced results for Beppe Grillo’s Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) party, when compared to its stunning national election performance in February. In the aftermath, the Italian media has been quick to write off the party’s fortunes. Duncan McDonnell writes that these sentiments are fuelled by an unhelpful comparison of local and national elections, and the media’s […]

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European broadsheets pay regular attention to the European Parliament between EU elections

The European Parliament is often accused of being distant from EU citizens, both geographically, and in its decision making. Many have also accused it of lacking newsworthiness, but is this actually the case? Katjana Gattermann has closely examined broadsheet news coverage of the European Parliament. She finds that, while not independent from the domestic arena, there is a steady and […]

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Political communication in the age of austerity: Unless you can claim genuine authenticity – like UKIP’s Nigel Farage – then you will struggle to convince

Charlie Beckett explores the lessons in political communication illustrated by Nigel Farage and UKIP in the UK. In an age of scepticism, one value that the voters want – authenticity – is rendered undeliverable by a professional political class that seek to secure their power with risk-averse, non-interactive communication. Farage has been able to appeal to voters precisely because he is genuine and […]

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Young people in Europe increasingly tend to blend the ‘public’ and ‘private’ in their political participation

Britta Busse, Alexandra Hashem-Wangler and Jochen Tholen describe their ethnographic research into the social and political engagement of a football fan group in Germany, explaining how the manner in which this group blend the ‘private’ matter of football support with the ‘public’ matter of anti-racist activism is indicative of a much broader change in how youth in Europe engage in political life. Responding to […]

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Book Review: Modern Italy in Historical Perspective

Europe has paid close attention to Italy in recent months, in the wake of an inconclusive election that created much uncertainty. In Modern Italy in Historical Perspective, Nick Carter takes a close look at Italy’s troubled history, tracing the roots of current problems such as corruption and organized crime. Kate Saffin finds the book to be a detailed history of […]

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