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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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    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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    Interest group access to Commission expert groups varies substantially across policy areas

Interest group access to Commission expert groups varies substantially across policy areas

The access of interest groups to the European Commission has important implications for the legitimacy of the EU policy process. Yet there is a widely held assumption that groups representing specific interests, such as business associations, are likely to enjoy greater access than those representing ‘diffuse’ interests, such as environmental and consumer organisations. Drawing on new research, Carl Vikberg […]

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    Austria’s new ÖVP-Green coalition is unlikely to alter the country’s conservative course

Austria’s new ÖVP-Green coalition is unlikely to alter the country’s conservative course

On 7 January, Austria’s new government was sworn in by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. For the first time in history, the country will be co-governed by the centre-left Green Party, who became the junior coalition partner of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP). However, as Maya Janik explains, there is little reason to believe the composition of the […]

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Taking stock of Christine Lagarde’s challenges at the ECB

Lorenzo Codogno and Mara Monti argue that Christine Lagarde’s challenges at the helm of the ECB remain daunting, despite smooth sailing during her first press conference and a notably different communication style. Issues will emerge from different sources, not least the ECB’s problematic relationship with political actors, but she appears well equipped to address these as they arise.

Christine Lagarde’s […]

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    Ursula von der Leyen: “We have to be very clear that Brexit is a matter of trade-offs and choices”

Ursula von der Leyen: “We have to be very clear that Brexit is a matter of trade-offs and choices”

Following her recent lecture at LSE, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, took questions from LSE staff, students and members of the media on the Brexit process and the need for close relations to be maintained between the UK and the EU.

Might it be possible to agree the outline of a deal (with the UK) […]

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    Is the liberal international order in a state of terminal decline?

Is the liberal international order in a state of terminal decline?

The disengagement of the United States from multilateral cooperation and a rise in ‘illiberal’ politics across the globe have led many observers to conclude the liberal international order is in a state of decline. Drawing on a new study, Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni and Stephanie C. Hofmann argue that what we may be witnessing is not necessarily the breakdown of the existing order, but […]

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    What are the prospects for Poland’s radical right Confederation?

What are the prospects for Poland’s radical right Confederation?

Poland’s October election saw the unexpected success of a strongly pro-free market and nationalist radical right challenger to the ruling party. However, as Aleks Szczerbiak writes, the new grouping’s youthful, anti-establishment core electorate is notoriously fickle, and its ideological eclecticism – and the presence of highly controversial personalities among its leaders – makes it an unstable political construct.

Formally constituted […]

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Switzerland’s ‘green tsunami’ slows to a trickle

Green parties were the main winners from the 2019 Swiss federal elections held on 20 October. However, as Clive H. Church writes, developments since the vote have illustrated the extent to which Swiss politics remains resistant to change. While the election generated some momentum behind efforts to strengthen the country’s climate policies, it remains unclear how far the process […]

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What to expect from the Croatian presidential election

Croatia will hold a presidential election on 22 December, with a second round of voting set for 5 January if no candidate wins a majority. Tena Prelec previews the contest and assesses what the result might mean for the country’s next parliamentary election, due to be held in 2020.

In spite of 11 candidates gracing the stage of the one […]

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    It’s in the EU’s interest for Brexit to go badly – but not too badly

It’s in the EU’s interest for Brexit to go badly – but not too badly

The EU has good reason to hope that Brexit goes badly, writes Paul David Beaumont. This would continue to deter Eurosceptic parties on the continent from hardening their stance. But at the same time, an unambiguously disastrous Brexit would risk depoliticising EU membership, reducing the incentive to address the EU’s many flaws.

If we get the politics we deserve, Britain deserves […]

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    Who supports Catalan independence, and is there a way forward?

Who supports Catalan independence, and is there a way forward?

Using recent survey data, Sergi Pardos-Prado explains that support for independence in Catalonia is strongly driven by education and language, and robustly associated with liberal sociocultural values. When it comes to the way forward, there is little consensus on the best outcome for Catalonia: those who favour independence are not in a majority, but those who oppose independence are […]

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