democracy

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    Confidence motions, humble addresses, and amendments: Brexit’s procedural dilemmas

Confidence motions, humble addresses, and amendments: Brexit’s procedural dilemmas

Brexit has revealed some of the tools that govern the legislative process and how these interact with party politics. Louise Thompson summarises the key procedural dilemmas faced in the Commons so far, and explains why things could get even more complicated in 2019.

As we watch the continued unfolding of the Brexit story and wait to see when (and if) […]

#3OD: OpenData, Open Dialogue, Open Democracies

Introducing the Race Disparity Audit’s Ethnicity Facts and Figures website, Zamila Bunglawala explains the importance of open and accessible data to democracies.

My dream is #3OD. That is: open data coupled with open dialogue to achieve open democracies – but we are not there yet. Not everything that counts is counted. Not everything that’s counted is accessible. And not everything […]

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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 […]

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    Who spoke at Labour’s conference, who didn’t, and what this tells us about a People’s Vote

Who spoke at Labour’s conference, who didn’t, and what this tells us about a People’s Vote

Who gets to speak at UK party conferences? Zac Greene and Javier Sajuria argue that selection is made by the leadership in order to influence the debate and resulting policies. The exclusion of prominent Remain voices from Labour’s 2018 conference therefore confirms the leadership’s conviction to leave the EU.

As party conference season is fully underway, Labour’s was off to […]

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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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    Making a 21st century constitution: the rules we have established for democracies are now outdated

Making a 21st century constitution: the rules we have established for democracies are now outdated

Democratic constitutions are unfit for purpose, with governments facing increased pressures from populists and distrust from citizens. The only way to truly solve these problems is through reform, argues Frank Vibert. He draws on his new book on the topic and sets out the ways in which constitutions should be revitalised.

Democracies are struggling in many parts of the world. […]

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    A changing democracy: the British political tradition has never been more vulnerable

A changing democracy: the British political tradition has never been more vulnerable

Never before has the British political tradition been more contested, write Matthew Hall, David Marsh, and Emma Vines. They explain that British democracy is facing three major challenges – Scottish independence, Brexit, and anti-politics – and these have the potential to force change on an otherwise stale political establishment.

British politics is in a state of flux; yet for all the […]