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    A lack of ‘real democracy’ is the key reason driving the spread of protests across the world

A lack of ‘real democracy’ is the key reason driving the spread of protests across the world

The world has seen a number of high profile protests in recent years, from the Arab Spring to the “Indignados”, or the Euromaidan in Kyiv. Hernán Cortés Saenz looks at data from more than 800 protests across the world since 2006, finding that protests are increasing, especially in developing regions such as Latin America. He writes that these protests […]

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    Spain’s labour market and social reforms have exacerbated the country’s unemployment problem

Spain’s labour market and social reforms have exacerbated the country’s unemployment problem

Spain was one of the countries hardest hit by the Eurozone crisis. Vincent Navarro writes on labour market and social reforms which have taken place within the country as part of the response to the crisis. He argues that policies aimed at deregulating the labour market have done little to solve Spain’s unemployment problem and have been more geared […]

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    Persistent unemployment poses a substantive threat to democracy in Southern European countries

Persistent unemployment poses a substantive threat to democracy in Southern European countries

The purpose of competitive elections is to reward good politicians and punish bad ones, but what happens if elections can no longer fulfil this role? Diego Muro and Guillem Vidal write that developments in Southern European countries since the start of the financial crisis have undermined the legitimising role of elections. Suffering from persistent unemployment rates, citizens’ frustration has […]

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Public spending cuts in Spain have been more severe in those areas under the control of regional governments

Spain has pursued an austerity programme as part of its response to the financial crisis. Jacint Jordana compares spending cuts in areas under the control of regional governments, including the bulk of health and education spending, with areas controlled at the national level, such as pensions and welfare. He argues that due to a 2009 law on decentralised public finances, […]

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A federal Spain within a federal Europe would offer the best solution for Catalonia

The issue of European integration has played an important role in the debate over Catalan independence. Francesc Trillas writes that an independent Catalonia would have competing motivations in the sense that closer European integration would potentially undermine its independence, but stepping back from European integration would have a damaging effect on its ability to trade with other European states. He […]

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Catalan support for the Spanish football team does not illustrate a ‘dual identity’

The question of identity in Catalonia and Spain is contentious and reflects the polarised political climate between Madrid and Barcelona. Jordi Mas writes on the notion that support for the Spanish national football team in Catalonia demonstrates that Catalan and Spanish identities are not necessarily incompatible. He argues that mere support for a football team does not constitute identity, and […]

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