Party politics and elections

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    What determines how much an MP spends on communicating with their constituents?

What determines how much an MP spends on communicating with their constituents?

Why do some MPs invest more in constituency communication than others? Using data from the Communications Allowance between 2007 and 2010, Katrin Auel and Resul Umit identify key incentives that explain this puzzle.

Everyone agrees that parliamentarians should keep in touch with the people they represent: constituents demand more of their representatives’ attention, while parties encourage their members to reach […]

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    ‘Rivers of Blood’ fifty years on: Enoch Powell’s rhetoric of blame and exclusion

‘Rivers of Blood’ fifty years on: Enoch Powell’s rhetoric of blame and exclusion

It is five decades since Enoch Powell told a Conservative Association meeting in Birmingham that soon “the black man will have the whip hand over the white man”. Judi Atkins analyses the rhetoric of that speech and concludes that, although Powell’s notorious prediction of a race war has not materialised, his rhetoric of division and blame still forms part […]

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    Fraud unravels everything: Brexit is voidable and Article 50 can be revoked

Fraud unravels everything: Brexit is voidable and Article 50 can be revoked

The allegations of overspending and corruption surrounding Vote Leave’s campaign are a good enough reason to declare the 2016 referendum void, argues Ewan McGaughey and explains the relevant law. He concludes that the greater a vote’s impact, the greater must be its integrity; but there is a bigger question to consider: whether we want to redo the referendum, until […]

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    We must rethink Russia’s propaganda machine in order to reset the dynamic that drives it

We must rethink Russia’s propaganda machine in order to reset the dynamic that drives it

To understand how Russian propaganda works, we first have to discard the idea that the Kremlin is in charge of a coordinated media machine acting together with cyber-warriors to attack a single audience. Stephen Hutchings explains why Russian media discourses are much more complicated than often presented.

The theme of propaganda dominated much British media coverage of the Skripal […]

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    Reason over politics: how The Economist has portrayed austerity since 1945

Reason over politics: how The Economist has portrayed austerity since 1945

The Economist has historically framed austerity as a necessary evil, finds Timo Harjuniemi. He explains why this portrayal is exemplary of how post-political journalism frames economic policy-making more broadly, with one of the consequences being that the debate surrounding the necessity of austerity measures has become less pluralist.

“The unpalatable truth is that austerity lies ahead, whoever wins at the […]

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    Why do our feelings about politics matter – and do they matter more now?

Why do our feelings about politics matter – and do they matter more now?

It is too simplistic to argue that current heated debates about politics, especially in the context of Brexit and Trump, are due to the fact that our emotions about politics matter more now than before. Laura Jenkins argues that our feelings about politics have always mattered. In fact, these recent unexpected political outcomes could prove to be an example […]

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    Country, city, town: how different types of community influence English and British identities

Country, city, town: how different types of community influence English and British identities

Does the place we live in shape our national identity? John Denham presents data on how identities vary across six different types of community. He demonstrates that although in almost all areas the largest single identity is ‘equally English and British’, the gap between the ‘more English’ and the ‘more British’ varies across communities of different size.

For many of […]

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    Sinn Fein won’t drop its abstentionist policy over Brexit – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Sinn Fein won’t drop its abstentionist policy over Brexit – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Sean Swan provides a brief history of how Sinn Fein came to adopt its abstentionist policy and explains why it will not change a century-long stance to help defeat Brexit in Westminster. He writes that if they were to drop abstentionism, dissident republican organisations would gain support, to the detriment of the peace process. At the same time, were […]