politics

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    How effective is online communication between the elected and their electors?

How effective is online communication between the elected and their electors?

In its early days, some considered the internet to be the silver bullet that could deal with the deficits of representative democracy. Others had been less optimistic vis-à-vis its potential to foster democracy. Hartwig Pautz looks at whether the e-democracy tool WriteToThem allows for meaningful communication between citizens and their elected representatives.

Since its creation, the internet has been […]

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    Choosing uncertainty: why rational decision-making doesn’t always work in politics

Choosing uncertainty: why rational decision-making doesn’t always work in politics

Peter Allen applies LA Paul’s idea of transformative experience to political life. He explains that many decisions in politics – whether to run for office, whom to vote for, or those that politicians make daily – can be personally or collectively transformative. Without acknowledging that uncertainty is part of the process, and if we try to decide rationally, we […]

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    The plumage and the bird: We need to reappraise what is ‘essential’ and what ‘superfluous’ in political life

The plumage and the bird: We need to reappraise what is ‘essential’ and what ‘superfluous’ in political life

Political theories have often included frameworks that minimize the importance of some aspects of human flourishing and prioritize others. Rodney Barker takes issue with these distinctions, arguing for the fundamental importance of cultural choices and display in understanding human conduct.

At the end of the eighteenth century, the conservative Edmund Burke denounced the revolutionary regime in France and defended monarchy […]

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    Legislation at Westminster: how parliament matters more than people think

Legislation at Westminster: how parliament matters more than people think

The Westminster parliament is famous throughout the world, but often presented as relatively non-influential when it comes to making the law. Meg Russell and Daniel Gover’s new book Legislation at Westminster is the most detailed study of the British legislative process for over 40 years, and challenges these assumptions. Here the authors summarise their findings on how different groups […]

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    Politics as usual?: Rising violence against female politicians threatens democracy itself

Politics as usual?: Rising violence against female politicians threatens democracy itself

Violence against female politicians – and the threat of it – is becoming much more common, and not only in Britain. Mona Lena Krook looks at how social media has opened up new channels for harassment, what distinguishes misogynistic attacks, and how other countries are responding to them. Ignoring or playing down the problem is not an option: it represents a […]

The future of democracy: is there ground for optimism?

In what is often described as a post-political and post-truth world, is it worth being positive about democracy’s future? Is there even anything new to say about democracy altogether? Inspired by a new book on the crises of American democracy, Matthew Flinders takes a broader view and explains the book’s relevance and reach.

It is a brave scholar who dares […]

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    Whataboutery: when trauma trumps politics in conflictual societies

Whataboutery: when trauma trumps politics in conflictual societies

In conflictual societies, trauma often does more than inform politics, write Adrian Little and Juliet Rogers. Focusing on examples from Northern Ireland, Australia, and South Africa they explain how the symptoms of trauma become the symptoms of policy.

In 2013 we presented a paper at Queens University Belfast, on the problem of trauma informing – and often overtaking – political […]