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    The 2019 European Parliament: the far right International is here – when will the left wake up?

The 2019 European Parliament: the far right International is here – when will the left wake up?

The political forces most hostile to European integration are also the only ones to have formulated a common vision for Europe, writes Lea Ypi (LSE). Now is the time to bring the various local social justice campaigns together, and put them at the service of a renewed political project.

As Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini, Geert Wildeers and other far-right […]

Long read | Brexit is an English problem

Brexit is driven less by contextual and conjunctural factors than by history and structure, writes Hudson Meadwell (McGill University). It is not the short-term dynamics of the referendum campaign or the machinations of pre- and post-referendum party politics, or the current state of public opinion that need to be accounted for in understanding Brexit, both as event and process in British and […]

Feeling vulnerable and unwelcome: the impact of Brexit on EU nationals

Brexit has left EU nationals feeling vulnerable and sometimes unwelcome in the UK. Sara Benedi Lahuerta and Ingi Iusmen (University of Southampton) carried out research among Polish nationals in Southampton, who explained how an increasingly hostile climate has affected them.

Recent evidence shows that anti-immigration and xenophobic attitudes in the UK reached a peak during the Brexit referendum campaign and shortly […]

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    Right-wing populists threaten business interests in liberal democracies

Right-wing populists threaten business interests in liberal democracies

Right-wing populism is transforming the relationship between business and politics in capitalist democracies. “F*ck business” – Boris Johnson’s remark makes bluntly clear that the era when business and big banks were said to run the world is over. With the advent of Brexit and Trump, interest in populism has surged, but relatively little is known about how businesses are […]

The ‘sovereign state’ is a myth. Europe’s nations are stronger when they band together

The quest for absolute sovereignty – the aim of many Brexiteers – is not the way to maintain peace in Europe, writes Beatrice Heuser (University of Glasgow). The EU is not perfect. But nothing suggests that Britain will be any better off outside it, and its departure will weaken the remaining members.
At the age of 60, the present European […]

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    Electoral hostility: politically driven conflicts between people are undermining democracy

Electoral hostility: politically driven conflicts between people are undermining democracy

A study of the 2019 European Parliament election campaign indicates that electoral hostility is no longer the reserve of public attitudes towards political elites, but is also manifesting animosity between citizens, writes Sarah Harrison (LSE). She finds that people are now less willing to accept sacrifices to protect others in the community whom they disagree with. This dynamic puts into questions […]

‘We’re better off out’: Nigel Farage, the chicken farm and the emotional resonance of the Leave campaign

Nigel Farage set the tone for a great deal of the press coverage of the EU referendum. Discourses of Brexit, a new collection edited by Veronika Koller (Lancaster University), Susanne Kopf (Wirtschaftuniversität Wien) and Marlene Miglbauer (Pädagogische Hochschule Burgenland), looks at the different discourses used by the Leave and Remain campaigns. In this extract from the book’s introduction, they offer […]

What do 11-year-olds think about Brexit? I asked – and they didn’t hold back

Katrina Lloyd (Queen’s University Belfast) asked 11-year-olds living in Northern Ireland what they thought about Brexit.

Brexit has been a seismic event in UK politics, but its real implications will be felt most by future generations of children. Once the immediate political drama is over, it is today’s young people who will live in the new reality of life outside […]

Cosmopolitan Brexiteers, or when ‘European’ means inward-looking

Commentators (and Theresa May) have talked up the identity divide between anti-Brexit ‘cosmopolitans’ and those who support leaving the EU. But the concept of ‘cosmopolitanism’ is more elastic than these polarised identities suggest, says Eleni Andreouli (Open University). For some, it is possible to reframe Brexit as a chance to embrace a more global identity by establishing new trade […]

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    The people’s vote that ended Communism: lessons from Poland on the role of elections

The people’s vote that ended Communism: lessons from Poland on the role of elections

Thirty years ago today, on June 4 1989, Communism ended in Poland. In this post, Jim Bjork (KCL) argues that what made the end of authoritarian rule in Poland a success story was not an expression of unitary national will but rather an ability to navigate conflicts and accommodate different interests over time. Reflection on the power and the limits of plebiscitary […]