British and Irish Politics and Policy

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    Membership organisations: how to boost numbers and activate engagement

Membership organisations: how to boost numbers and activate engagement

To help organisations increase their number of active members, Kate Dommett and Sam Power explain how people decide whether to join (and remain in) an organisation, as well as what may be keeping them from participating in its activities.

Membership has historically been a key part of the democratic system. Through membership, political parties, campaigning and professional bodies have made […]

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    The process of leaving political office in Britain and its implications for democracy

The process of leaving political office in Britain and its implications for democracy

Drawing on interviews conducted with British politicians, Dame Jane Roberts explains the different impacts of leaving political office. She writes that the process is often made unnecessarily harsh, something that may be preventing some politicians from standing down altogether, with implications for representative democracy.

Losing political office is an integral part of any system of representative democracy. But we don’t […]

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    Pushing the BoE to the limit: what a no-deal Brexit will mean for UK exchange and interest rates

Pushing the BoE to the limit: what a no-deal Brexit will mean for UK exchange and interest rates

The absence of a trade agreement between UK and EU will yield further depreciations of the pound relative to leading currencies, explain Michael Ellington and Costas Milas. This will then lead to a sharp cut in the Bank of England’s policy rate and to another round of quantitative easing. In other words, a no-deal Brexit will push the Bank […]

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    Brexit psychology: cognitive styles and their relationship to nationalistic attitudes

Brexit psychology: cognitive styles and their relationship to nationalistic attitudes

Leor Zmigrod looks at the cognitive underpinnings of nationalistic ideology in the context of Brexit. She writes that those with strongly nationalistic attitudes tend to process information in a more categorical manner, and this relationship manifests itself through a tendency to support authoritarian and conservative ideologies.

The failure of political polling in the recent elections of Europe and North America […]

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    What are the implications of complex systems thinking for policy?

What are the implications of complex systems thinking for policy?

Can a concept derived from the natural sciences be applicable to the political and social sciences? Sarah Quarmby looks at some key questions surrounding complex systems approaches, and considers what these can and can’t add to our understanding of policy.

Complex systems thinking is experiencing a moment of popularity within the worlds of policy research and practice. It’s an intuitively […]

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    British policy and Qaddafi’s Libya: Landmark victory in the battle for information rights

British policy and Qaddafi’s Libya: Landmark victory in the battle for information rights

Following the end of a long-running Freedom of Information battle with the Cabinet Office over the release of files relating to UK policymaking and the Qaddafi regime between 1988 and 2011, Nigel Ashton reflects on the process and its importance for information rights.

‘Freedom of Information. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and I […]

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    In-work conditionality is based on weak evidence – but will the policy sink or swim?

In-work conditionality is based on weak evidence – but will the policy sink or swim?

The public seem to be unaware of the poor evidence underpinning in-work conditionality, write Jo Abbas and Katy Jones. But research suggests that this policy is unfair and ineffective, and so once Universal Credit is rolled out, it could face resistance both from claimants and the wider public.

The government’s flagship benefit, Universal Credit (UC), sees the introduction of ‘in-work […]

Shallow, hostile, toxic: Corbynism’s social media problem

Social media creates a bubble in which Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters validate each other but convince few others, writes Andrew S. Crines. At the same time, debates on Labour’s future currently lack the intellectual justification which writers of the left previously enjoyed. This combination renders Labour unable to articulate a clear message about its vision for the country.

The Labour Party […]