Jan Rovny

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    A not so silent revolution: The new power of old divides in European politics

A not so silent revolution: The new power of old divides in European politics

The traditional left-right divide which shaped political competition across Europe in the post-war period is increasingly being supplanted by new patterns of competition. Drawing on the experience of the 2019 European Parliament elections, Anja Durovic, Caterina Froio, Gilles Ivaldi, Sarah de Lange, Nonna Mayer and Jan Rovny explain that one of the more interesting developments is the way that […]

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    The ‘Brahmin left’ vs the ‘Merchant right’: A comment on Thomas Piketty’s new book

The ‘Brahmin left’ vs the ‘Merchant right’: A comment on Thomas Piketty’s new book

In a section of his latest book, Thomas Piketty attempts to chart how political competition has evolved in contemporary societies. Jan Rovny writes that although many of Piketty’s conclusions are not entirely original, they touch on important shifts that have taken place in recent decades. Among the most important is the reversing role of education in political alignment: while […]

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What happened to Europe’s left?

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 […]

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Three lessons from the Czech presidential election

Miloš Zeman won a second term as Czech President on 27 January, narrowly defeating opposition candidate Jiří Drahoš. Jan Rovny writes that the country is now sharply divided between two political blocs that cut across old left-right allegiances, with identity politics playing an increasingly important role in shaping support. The presidential election also underlined that Czech politics is likely […]

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    Election reaction: The Czech Republic shifts toward the Polish and Hungarian model

Election reaction: The Czech Republic shifts toward the Polish and Hungarian model

The Czech Republic held parliamentary elections on 20 and 21 October, with ANO, led by Andrej Babiš, emerging as the largest party. Jan Rovny argues that although there are some distinct features of ANO and the Czech party system, the country’s political outlook now has broad similarities to its two central European neighbours Hungary and Poland.

Credit: Chris Jones (CC […]

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    Hungary and Poland’s anti-democratic turn: a new era or more of the same?

Hungary and Poland’s anti-democratic turn: a new era or more of the same?

Reforms affecting the independence of courts and the media in Hungary and Poland have received significant attention in recent months. But to what extent do these developments constitute a genuine shift in the nature of Hungarian and Polish politics? Jan Rovny writes that while both countries have witnessed a rise in support for parties with anti-democratic tendencies, the dynamics […]

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