British and Irish Politics and Policy

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    Young Cosmopolitans: values, identity, and the youth vote in the EU referendum

Young Cosmopolitans: values, identity, and the youth vote in the EU referendum

The Brexit referendum exposed strong intergenerational divisions. With Britain’s young people having overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining in the European Union, Rakib Ehsan explores the driving factors behind this support.

The June 2016 referendum on EU membership rocked the political establishment. The decision to leave the EU represented a rejection of what the vast majority of the political […]

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    To meaningfully support carers, we must rethink their purpose and contribution

To meaningfully support carers, we must rethink their purpose and contribution

What does supporting carers mean in practice, and how can the government fulfil this mandate? Building on recent research commissioned by NHS England, Melanie Henwood, Mary Larkin, and Alisoun Milne explain that the narrative around carer support needs to be reframed.

Much of the prevailing discourse around ’supporting carers’ is presented in terms of enabling people to keep caring […]

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    Let’s lose control: public procurement policy before, during, and after EU membership

Let’s lose control: public procurement policy before, during, and after EU membership

David Clayton and David Higgins assess UK public procurement policy since the early 1970s. They explain why the EU’s common legal regime has had a positive impact on the UK economy, and therefore why leaving it will have negative implications.

Public procurement was raised during the 2016 Referendum campaign as part of a Leave critique of ‘red-tape’, and to claim […]

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    Schrodinger’s devolution and the potential for ongoing political instability after Brexit

Schrodinger’s devolution and the potential for ongoing political instability after Brexit

Territorial governance in the UK has taken the form of ‘Schrodinger’s devolution’, where the devolved nations both have and have not experienced fundamental constitutional change. But Brexit highlights the need for exact decisions where ambiguity has so far existed, explain Mark Sandford and Cathy Gormley-Heenan.

One of the less anticipated features of Brexit has been the lengthy and almost intractable […]

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    Despite the government’s U-turn, Universal Credit still has major problems

Despite the government’s U-turn, Universal Credit still has major problems

While the 2018 Budget proposals mitigate some of the risks of Universal Credit implementation and may help certain groups eligible for work allowances, they overall do little to offset the erosion in household incomes caused by welfare reforms, explains Dan Finn.

Universal Credit (UC) aims to simplify and modernise the income and employment support system for millions of households. The […]

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    Losing the ‘Europeanisation’ meta-narrative for modernising British democracy

Losing the ‘Europeanisation’ meta-narrative for modernising British democracy

Contrary to claims of Britain’s enduring political and constitutional distinctiveness, in the period from 1997 to 2016 the UK in fact modernised its polity by following several strong ‘Europeanisation’ trends. British democracy came to increasingly resemble other European liberal democracies in some fundamental ways. Yet now this meta-narrative may be lost following Brexit. Patrick Dunleavy explores some implications of […]

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    Micro-institutions in liberal democracies: what they are and why they matter

Micro-institutions in liberal democracies: what they are and why they matter

Liberal democracies combine core ‘macro-institutions’ (like free elections and control by legislatures) with swarms of supportive ‘micro-institutions’. By contrast, semi-democracies keep only the façade of macro-institutions, subverting a range of critical micro-institutions so as to make political competition and popular control a hollow sham. Drawing on a new book, Patrick Dunleavy explains why these developments mean that political science […]

Austerity is over? It never really began

UK fiscal policy has never conformed to the textbook definition of austerity. In this sense, and contrary to what Theresa May has been declaring, austerity is not over: it never really began. Craig Berry explains what more the 2018 budget tells us about the austerity-ending hypothesis.

Austerity has attained a rarefied status in British political discourse. Like ‘equality’ and ‘freedom’, […]