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    How populist radical right parties have eroded the EU’s human rights agenda in the Mediterranean

How populist radical right parties have eroded the EU’s human rights agenda in the Mediterranean

It is often assumed that populist radical right parties will support disengaging from the European Union by default. Adrià Rivera Escartin writes that although many of these parties do support disengaging from the EU, there is the potential for a different approach to be adopted in future which might be termed ‘informal and illiberal Europeanisation’. Italy’s capacity to shape […]

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Book Review: Resist: Stories of Uprising edited by Ra Page

In Resist: Stories of Uprising, editor Ra Page brings together contributors to offer an anthology of short stories and critical essays that narrate a rich counter-history of resistance in the UK, spanning from the Boudicca Rebellion to the protests in response to Grenfell Tower. Positioning fiction as a radical medium, this is a valuable book that will be of particular interest to participants and scholars […]

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    If Poland’s government believes in ending discrimination, it should reassess its conception of Polish identity

If Poland’s government believes in ending discrimination, it should reassess its conception of Polish identity

In recent years, a march has been held in Poland to mark the country’s independence. While the event is viewed as an opportunity to remember those who died in the process of establishing the Polish state, it has also faced allegations of racism and xenophobia. Bolaji Balogun argues that in light of these debates, it is worth examining how ethnic […]

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    Who gets the blame? How policymakers in the EU shift responsibility when things go wrong

Who gets the blame? How policymakers in the EU shift responsibility when things go wrong

EU membership provides ample opportunities for politicians at the national level to shift blame for unpopular decisions to the EU’s institutions, while EU-level actors also have an incentive to blame national politicians when things go wrong. Drawing on a new study, Tim Heinkelmann-Wild explains how these blame-avoidance processes function in practice.

When EU policies are publicly contested, policymakers try […]

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    Public intellectuals and experts cannot tell citizens what to do

Public intellectuals and experts cannot tell citizens what to do

How should academics approach their roles as public intellectuals in light of decreasing trust in experts and growing need for their expertise? Peter J. Verovšek argues there is a need to ensure the strategic competition for media power does not destroy the quality of public debate that is necessary to maintain a functioning representative democracy. Academics should view themselves as guardians of the […]

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    Trust spillovers: Does increasing public trust in the EU’s institutions undermine support for national institutions?

Trust spillovers: Does increasing public trust in the EU’s institutions undermine support for national institutions?

Several studies have identified a link between the public’s trust in national institutions and their trust in the EU’s institutions. Yet the effect of this link is unclear, with some studies finding that an increase in trust in national institutions boosts trust in the EU’s institutions, and other studies identifying the opposite relationship. Drawing on a new study, Goran […]

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    Understanding the key factors that lead countries to reform their pension systems

Understanding the key factors that lead countries to reform their pension systems

Faced with ageing populations and strains on their public finances, many countries across Europe have endeavoured to reform their pension systems, yet these reforms have varied substantially in their content and aims. Leandro N. Carrera and Marina Angelaki present findings from a novel study of eight European countries to highlight the key factors that lead countries to undergo significant […]

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    How will the latest judicial reform controversy affect Poland’s presidential election?

How will the latest judicial reform controversy affect Poland’s presidential election?

New disciplinary procedures for Polish judges have moved a controversial judicial reform programme to the top of the political agenda in the run-up to Poland’s presidential election in May. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that although the issue could mobilise and consolidate the right-wing vote, thereby helping incumbent President Andrzej Duda, the potential for political instability and legal chaos means it […]

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    Book Review: Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers

Book Review: Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers

In Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers, David Scott FitzGerald argues that the rich democracies of the Global North have developed ways to evade the spirit of international humanitarian laws when it comes to migration, whilst simultaneously de jure adhering to them. With a rich empirical basis and a clear, accessible style, this compelling and topical book will appeal to […]

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    Lessons from the Nordics: Does party membership still provide a meaningful link between citizens and politics?

Lessons from the Nordics: Does party membership still provide a meaningful link between citizens and politics?

Political parties play a crucial role in enabling the views of citizens to be represented in political decision-making. Yet across Europe, the vast majority of citizens no longer actively participate in political parties, with party membership numbers experiencing a sharp fall in recent decades. Drawing on a new edited volume covering the Nordic countries, Marie Demker, Knut Heidar and […]

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Brexit may make EU trade policy more progressive

The conventional wisdom amongst many commentators has been that Brexit will render EU trade policy more protectionist, as the Union will be losing one of its more liberal member states. Ferdi De Ville and Gabriel Siles-Brügge argue that this is not necessarily the case. Instead, they highlight how the EU could render its trade policies more progressive by insisting on more stringent ‘level […]

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    The failed integration of an anti-system party: Where Luigi Di Maio and the Five Star Movement went wrong

The failed integration of an anti-system party: Where Luigi Di Maio and the Five Star Movement went wrong

Luigi Di Maio is expected to resign as leader of Italy’s Five Star Movement later today. Mattia Zulianello writes that Di Maio’s resignation will represent the latest twist in the story of an anti-system party that has suffered from a failed attempt to integrate into the system it previously opposed.

According to reports from several Italian media outlets, Luigi Di […]

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    A question of trust: Intra-party delegation in the European Parliament

A question of trust: Intra-party delegation in the European Parliament

Much of the European Parliament’s work rests on negotiations within parliamentary committees, as well as other informal negotiations that take place behind closed doors. But what determines the selection of the MEPs who participate in these negotiations? Drawing on a new study, Fang-Yi Chiou, Bjørn Høyland and Silje Synnøve Lyder Hermansen illustrate that loyalty to the leadership of the […]

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    How war helped facilitate the introduction of unemployment insurance in the West

How war helped facilitate the introduction of unemployment insurance in the West

The question of whether governments should provide financial assistance to the unemployed has proven to be one of the most heated issues in modern politics. Yet given the opposition such schemes have faced throughout history, what prompted states to introduce them? Drawing on a new study, Herbert Obinger and Carina Schmitt highlight the crucial impact the West’s experience with […]

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Book Review: Anatomies of Revolution by George Lawson

In Anatomies of Revolution, George Lawson offers a new account of how revolutions begin, unfold and end through a dynamic amalgam of in-depth sociological theory, multiple historical narratives and poignant commentary on contemporary politics. This book is a triumph when it comes to a creative theorisation of revolution, writes Eric Loefflad, providing clarity not in spite of complexity, but through it. 
If you are […]

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    Why ‘greening’ the EU’s institutions remains far from straightforward

Why ‘greening’ the EU’s institutions remains far from straightforward

In response to the increasing salience of climate change, there have been renewed efforts to enhance the green credentials of the EU’s institutions. As Tobias Tesche writes, these efforts include proposals for the European Central Bank and European Investment Bank to take climate change into greater consideration when making decisions. Yet not all of these proposals have been well […]

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Austria’s new ÖVP-Green government: united in diversity?

Austria’s new coalition government, incorporating the conservative ÖVP and the Green Party, was sworn in on 7 January. Paul Schmidt writes that the two parties have so far expressed a desire to find working compromises between their competing priorities. However, the rest of Europe will be watching with interest to see if their partnership remains sustainable in the long-term.

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    Battle of the mandate: Defining the dispute over a new Scottish independence referendum

Battle of the mandate: Defining the dispute over a new Scottish independence referendum

The ongoing dispute over whether a new Scottish independence referendum should take place reflects very different interpretations of Scotland’s sovereignty, writes Anthony Salamone. Questions of whether Westminster or Holyrood can determine if a new referendum is held are distinct from the issue of independence itself, and will most likely continue to be contested at least until after the next Scottish […]

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    If governments want to target the inflation of CEO pay, they should also address pay inequality between managers

If governments want to target the inflation of CEO pay, they should also address pay inequality between managers

A number of governments across the world have sought to regulate the pay of company executives to help reduce inequality. However, as Renira C. Angeles and Achim Kemmerling explain, efforts to control average levels of executive pay often overlook the inequality that exists between managers, firms and sectors.

Since the 1980s, there have been numerous scandals about the excessive growth […]

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    There is a good reason for EU banks to hold their own country’s sovereign debt

There is a good reason for EU banks to hold their own country’s sovereign debt

The so called ‘moral suasion’ hypothesis indicates that governments may implicitly force their domestic banks to hold a larger chunk of government bonds when they experience stress. But is this reason to shift responsibilities from national to supranational institutions? Orkun Saka argues that there is in fact a good reason for EU banks to hold their own country’s sovereign […]

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