To mark the end of 2018 we’ve compiled a list of our most read articles from the last year, measured by page views.

Immigration was a key topic in Italy’s election campaign, with several candidates arguing that the flow of people into the country during the migration crisis has increased the risk of crime. But has immigration really generated more crime in Italy? Drawing on data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics, Donato Di Carlo, Julia Schulte-Cloos and Giulia Saudelli illustrate that crime rates across Italian regions and the share of crimes committed by foreigners have both fallen significantly over the last decade.

Only a handful of European states are currently governed by left-wing governments, and several of the traditionally largest left-wing parties, such as the Socialist Party in France, have experienced substantial drops in support. Jan Rovny argues that while many commentators have linked the left’s decline to the late-2000s financial crisis, the weakening of Europe’s left reflects deep structural and technological changes that have reshaped European society, leaving left-wing parties out in the cold.

Anti-government protests in Romania made international headlines in the summer, with over 400 people left injured following clashes between protesters and police on 10 August. Dennis Deletant writes that the protests are a symptom of a growing malaise in Romanian society fostered by the ruling Social Democrats that is estranging the citizen from the state.

Growth in support for the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has been a key talking point in German politics since the 2017 federal elections, but as Leopold Traugott wrote back in September, the AfD was not the only German party riding high in the polls. The rise of the German Greens ultimately became one of the main stories of German politics in 2018.

Although published back in 2016, this article from Simon Hix on the role of unelected bureaucrats in the EU continued to be widely shared, making it the fifth most popular article on the site in 2018.

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Note: Interviews give the views of the interviewees, and not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics. Featured image credit: Colin Knowles (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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