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What Brexit means for the UK’s public infrastructure

The UK has received support from the European Investment Bank for a variety of infrastructure projects. However, as Micaela Mihov explains, the loss of this support following Brexit may have a negative impact on the country’s public infrastructure. She argues that one of the best options to mitigate the impact would be the establishment of a UK infrastructure bank.

Since […]

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    Post-crisis banking in the euro area and Greece: How can a pan-European banking sector be created?

Post-crisis banking in the euro area and Greece: How can a pan-European banking sector be created?

Banks in the euro area have stabilised since the financial crisis, but as Eleni Louri-Dendrinou and Petros Migiakis write, their profitability has not improved to the degree experienced in other countries such as the Nordics or the United States. With the post-crisis macro-economic environment now deteriorating, they argue it is vital policymakers focus on the creation of a genuine […]

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    The ‘lavender vote’: How sexuality affects the choices of voters across Europe

The ‘lavender vote’: How sexuality affects the choices of voters across Europe

Drawing on a new study, Stuart J. Turnbull-Dugarte demonstrates that sexuality has a significant impact on political behaviour across western Europe, with lesbian, gay and bisexual voters far more likely to back parties on the left.

In a recent study, I carried out what is likely to be the first large cross-national analysis of the voting preferences of lesbian, gay […]

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    The fiscal stimulus that is not: Why there is no fiscal expansion in sight for the Eurozone

The fiscal stimulus that is not: Why there is no fiscal expansion in sight for the Eurozone

Euroland or Neverland? Lorenzo Codogno argues that constrained monetary policy calls for a greater role for fiscal policy in supporting the Eurozone economy, as former ECB President Mario Draghi recently suggested. Yet of the three potential routes that could be taken in this regard, none seem destined to be implemented. Leaving aside structural issues, which may well prolong current […]

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    How John Stuart Mill can help tame ideological Brexit free-riders

How John Stuart Mill can help tame ideological Brexit free-riders

In an ‘epistocracy’, only some people would be allowed to vote. Those who advocate this system have cited Brexit and Trump’s election as evidence that the franchise should be restricted to those who have sufficient ‘political knowledge’ to use it. Linsey McGoey explains why, contrary to their claims, John Stuart Mill would not have endorsed this dangerous form of […]

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The danger of personalised power in the EU

The EU has frequently been caricatured as a ‘faceless bureaucracy’, where rules and procedures take precedence over powerful personalities. Yet this depersonalisation of power has recently been challenged by the emergence of some visible, decisive figures. Jonathan White argues that while this may be seen as a welcome improvement by some observers, when power is located in a small, […]

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    Explaining the surge of the far-right ahead of Spain’s election

Explaining the surge of the far-right ahead of Spain’s election

The far-right party Vox is expected to see a sharp increase in support in the Spanish general election on Sunday. Mariana S. Mendes writes that the party has clearly benefited from the heightened attention paid to Catalan independence in recent weeks, but it has also managed to successfully instrumentalise the issue of irregular migration, despite a fall in the […]

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Can the European Union tackle corruption and state capture?

A key aim of the EU’s eastern enlargement was to improve standards of governance and the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe. Yet as Dimitar Bechev explains, the last 15 years have produced a mixed record. He argues that while the EU cannot offer any silver bullets, it is still a badly-needed ally in strengthening the rule of […]

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    How coalition dynamics affect Eurosceptic voting in European Parliament elections

How coalition dynamics affect Eurosceptic voting in European Parliament elections

A widely held view of European Parliament elections is that they are ‘second order’ contests, with voters often casting their ballot on the basis of national rather than European issues. Drawing on a new study, Francesco Zucchini and Stefano Camatarri assess the impact of one domestic factor which has largely been overlooked in previous research: the makeup of a […]

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    Much greener than expected: Key takeaways from the 2019 Swiss federal elections

Much greener than expected: Key takeaways from the 2019 Swiss federal elections

Green parties were the main winners from the 2019 Swiss federal elections held on 20 October. Clive H. Church explains that in a country known for the stability of its party system, the gains made by the Green Party and the Green Liberals were striking. However, given the unique way in which governments are formed in Switzerland, and with […]

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    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ghosts of West European communism live on

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ghosts of West European communism live on

Germany will mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November. Martin J. Bull writes that alongside the sweeping changes that occurred in central and eastern Europe, the end of the Cold War also had a lasting legacy for western European states. While the demise of western Europe’s communist parties after 1989 appeared to […]

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    What to expect from Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the European Central Bank

What to expect from Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the European Central Bank

Christine Lagarde will officially take over from Mario Draghi as the new President of the European Central Bank today. Sebastian Diessner explains that while Lagarde is widely expected to pursue similar policies to her predecessor, the politics surrounding her presidency may play out very differently.

The Eurozone’s monetary policy has become more contested and politically salient than almost ever before. In […]

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    Not in my sandwich: How GMOs, hormones and values combined to make CETA and TTIP so heavily politicised

Not in my sandwich: How GMOs, hormones and values combined to make CETA and TTIP so heavily politicised

The EU’s free trade agreement with Canada (CETA) and the ultimately unsuccessful negotiations over a trade agreement with the United States (TTIP) proved extremely controversial. But why were these two initiatives, as opposed to those the EU has agreed with other countries, so heavily politicised? Francesco Duina argues the explanation lies in the values and identities which were at […]

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    Civil society needs support to fight corruption and organised crime in the Western Balkans

Civil society needs support to fight corruption and organised crime in the Western Balkans

Civil society organisations and investigative journalists in the Western Balkans are critical to raising awareness about fighting corruption and organised crime, as well as supporting state authorities to develop effective strategies. But as Andi Hoxhaj explains, they lack capacity and resources to address these complex issues, while activists are often harassed and intimidated by the authorities and other powerful […]

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    The Italian right sweeps to victory in Umbria: What now for the second Conte government?

The Italian right sweeps to victory in Umbria: What now for the second Conte government?

Regional elections in Umbria on 27 October produced a clear victory for Matteo Salvini and the Italian right. Daniele Albertazzi and Mattia Zulianello write that with the Five Star Movement and Democratic Party failing to pass their first electoral test since forming a government together in the summer, Italy could soon be heading for a new general election.

The Italian […]

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    Improving tax collection through depoliticisation: The story of a key Troika-led reform in Greece

Improving tax collection through depoliticisation: The story of a key Troika-led reform in Greece

Greece created an independent public revenue authority as a condition for receiving financial assistance during the country’s debt crisis. As Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Argyris G. Passas explain, the reform effectively depoliticised tax collection, which had long been a major problem in Greece. They write that while it is still too early to assess whether the reform will be […]

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    Conflict minerals policy shows the EU can and does learn from the mistakes of others

Conflict minerals policy shows the EU can and does learn from the mistakes of others

The EU’s Conflict Minerals Regulation, which will come into force in 2021, aims to restrict the trade of minerals that are mined via forced labour and used to finance armed conflicts. As Dirk-Jan Koch and Olga Burlyuk explain, the EU attempted to learn from the mistakes of earlier legislation in the United States that had sought to tackle the […]

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    Are men really more interested in politics than women – or are we just asking the wrong questions?

Are men really more interested in politics than women – or are we just asking the wrong questions?

A persistent finding in public opinion research is that men, on average, tend to express more interest in politics than women. Drawing on new research on the views of Spanish citizens, Marta Fraile, Raúl Gómez, Mónica Ferrín and Gema García-Albacete explain that one potential reason for this is that the questions contained in surveys might obscure hidden differences in […]

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    Why attitudes toward globalisation matter for voting behaviour

Why attitudes toward globalisation matter for voting behaviour

Academics and political commentators frequently cite responses to globalisation as an explanation for some of the recent changes that have occurred in European politics. But how do citizens actually make sense of the concept of globalisation? Drawing on a new study, Matthias Mader, Nils Steiner and Harald Schoen provide evidence that German citizens hold meaningful attitudes toward globalisation, and […]

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    Will Spain’s latest attempt to extradite Carles Puigdemont succeed?

Will Spain’s latest attempt to extradite Carles Puigdemont succeed?

After two previous attempts, first in Belgium, then in Germany, a fresh European Arrest Warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. Auke Willems argues that this will not merely be a rerun of prior cases. The Belgian courts will have to answer a number of ‘new’ fundamental questions before granting the request to […]

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