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    A mixed record: Assessing Ukraine’s domestic reforms under Volodymyr Zelenskiy

A mixed record: Assessing Ukraine’s domestic reforms under Volodymyr Zelenskiy

The so called ‘Normandy Four’, incorporating the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, met on 9 December in Paris to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Ryhor Nizhnikau and Arkady Moshes write that alongside the conflict resolution process, it is also vital to assess how Ukraine’s domestic situation has developed since the election of Volodymyr Zelenskiy as President […]

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    The Alternative Vote system could have delivered a clearer signal on Brexit

The Alternative Vote system could have delivered a clearer signal on Brexit

The confusing scramble by Remainers to vote tactically in the UK general election has exposed the failings of the First Past the Post system, writes Tarun Khaitan. He explains why the Alternative Vote system could have delivered a clearer signal about Brexit – particularly as it would have discouraged Labour from engaging in strategic ambiguity about it, and forced voters to deliberate […]

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    The proposed reform of the European Stability Mechanism must be postponed

The proposed reform of the European Stability Mechanism must be postponed

Eurozone finance ministers reached a preliminary agreement on a reform of the European Stability Mechanism in June, but failed to conclude it last week. The reform is now set to be discussed during the European Council meeting on 12-13 December. Shahin Vallée, Jérémie Cohen-Setton, Paul De Grauwe and Sebastian Dullien write that the proposal should not be endorsed in […]

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    A new expert survey suggests the UK’s general election will be tighter than expected

A new expert survey suggests the UK’s general election will be tighter than expected

There are many ways to estimate the likely outcome of an election, from projections and models based on polls to citizen forecasts. Another approach is to survey experts for their predictions and, writes Joe Greenwood, the Political Studies Association recently did just that in relation to the general election. Moving beyond the current polling figures, the experts anticipate a […]

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How your partner affects your likelihood to vote

Previous research has indicated that those with partners are more likely to vote than those who are single. Drawing on a new study, Stijn Daenekindt, Willem de Koster and Jeroen van der Waal write that the impact of partners on voting is more complex than has previously been assumed. They explain that while partners can motivate each other to […]

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    Lessons from East Germany: How authoritarian states can use international travellers to promote their interests

Lessons from East Germany: How authoritarian states can use international travellers to promote their interests

Authoritarian regimes typically place restrictions on the ability of citizens to travel abroad. Astrid Hedin maps the bureaucratic procedures of the former East Germany, showing how travel controls were organised to screen travellers, shape political narratives, and harvest information on western counterparts. These travel controls remain part of the institutional heritage and bureaucratic traditions of authoritarian post-communist states today.

Recently, […]

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    What to expect from Law and Justice’s second term in government

What to expect from Law and Justice’s second term in government

Law and Justice maintained its position in power at the Polish general election in October, but the party may well face a more challenging political and economic environment during its second term in office. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that to govern effectively, Law and Justice will need to win next May’s crucial presidential election, hope the economy remains buoyant enough […]

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    Lessons from Article 50: Why exit clauses should include penalties for the seceding state

Lessons from Article 50: Why exit clauses should include penalties for the seceding state

If Article 50 enabled Brexit, does this mean that exit clauses make secessions from a political union more likely? Drawing on a new study, Martijn Huysmans and Christophe Crombez demonstrate that exit clauses which incorporate penalties for the seceding state can lead to more efficient exit decisions. They argue that further research into exit clauses might help enable efficient […]

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UK general election primers: Immigration

Polling data suggests that Brexit is viewed as the most important issue for voters ahead of the UK’s general election on 12 December. Immigration, which has previously been viewed as one of the most important issues, has experienced a relative decline in salience since the last general election in 2017, but its purported effects on the labour market and the […]

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    Macron closed the door on Albania, but Tirana’s youth has opened a window to Europe

Macron closed the door on Albania, but Tirana’s youth has opened a window to Europe

The city of Tirana has been awarded the title of European Youth Capital for 2022. Epidamn Zeqo, Director of Strategic Planning and Implementation of Priorities for the Municipality of Tirana, explains what the award means for the city and for Albania as a whole. He writes that despite disappointment at the EU’s decision to block the start of membership […]

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Why Europe’s immigration policies are not converging

Are immigration policies in European countries converging? Or do some countries remain more open to immigrants than others? Drawing on a new study, Erica Consterdine and James Hampshire write that while it might be expected that globalisation would have encouraged European states to adopt similar immigration policies, there is little sign this has occurred. There is some evidence that […]

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    Within a single generation, Poland has gone from one of the most egalitarian countries in Europe to one of the most unequal

Within a single generation, Poland has gone from one of the most egalitarian countries in Europe to one of the most unequal

Poland experienced a sharp rise in inequality during its transition from communism to capitalism, and this trend has continued into the 2000s. Pawel Bukowski and Filip Novokmet chart a century of data on Polish inequality to examine the key causes. Their work illustrates the central role of policies and institutions in shaping long-run inequality. This rising inequality and promises […]

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    The misuse of CAP funds in Central and Eastern Europe is a symptom of corruption, not a cause

The misuse of CAP funds in Central and Eastern Europe is a symptom of corruption, not a cause

An investigation published by the New York Times has raised concerns about the misuse of EU Common Agricultural Policy funding in several states in Central and Eastern Europe. Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni and Philip Schnattinger argue that although the report should be welcomed, it provided a misleading impression of the wider issues with land distribution in post-communist Europe. The misuse of […]

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    Serbia’s deal with the Eurasian Economic Union: A triumph of foreign policy over economics

Serbia’s deal with the Eurasian Economic Union: A triumph of foreign policy over economics

Serbia recently signed a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Vuk Vuksanovic writes that although the deal was praised by some politicians for opening up new economic opportunities, the economic impact is likely to be minimal for both Serbia and the EAEU. He argues the real aim of the agreement from Serbia’s perspective was to use […]

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    Is the legislative expansion of the European Union grinding to a halt?

Is the legislative expansion of the European Union grinding to a halt?

The amount of legislation a political system produces is an important indicator of its performance. Yet as Dimiter Toshkov explains, when it comes to the adoption of new legislation, the last European Parliament and Commission were among the least productive in recent history. He argues that a less political and more pragmatic Commission may be more successful in finding […]

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    North Macedonia shows why efforts to tackle corruption must be backed up by research

North Macedonia shows why efforts to tackle corruption must be backed up by research

The discovery of thousands of illegally wiretapped recordings generated a major scandal in North Macedonia in 2015. Following the scandal, there were renewed demands to tackle corruption and state capture. Misha Popovikj argues that the experience in the four years since highlights why anti-corruption strategies must be built on a thorough diagnosis of the problem.

Back in 2015, European […]

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    Brexit and the tragedy of the Commons: How wedge issues generate detrimental outcomes

Brexit and the tragedy of the Commons: How wedge issues generate detrimental outcomes

It is unclear whether the UK’s general election on 12 December will unlock the stalemate over Brexit that characterised the previous parliament. Tim Heinkelmann-Wild and Lisa Kriegmair write that the inability of Theresa May and Boris Johnson to win the backing of MPs for their Brexit strategies illustrates the impact that ‘wedge issues’ can have on party politics. As […]

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    Why differentiated integration and disintegration will shape post-Brexit Europe

Why differentiated integration and disintegration will shape post-Brexit Europe

Brexit promises not only to have a major impact on British politics, but also on the nature of European integration. Drawing on a new book, Jarle Trondal, Stefan Gänzle and Benjamin Leruth explain why processes of differentiated integration and disintegration could play a greater role in the EU following Brexit.

The United Kingdom is set to become the first member […]

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    Evidence from Norway: Does immigration reduce the strength of trade unions?

Evidence from Norway: Does immigration reduce the strength of trade unions?

If a large number of foreign workers enter a labour market, it might be expected to have a negative impact on the strength of trade unions. Presenting findings from a recent study of workers in Norway, Henning Finseraas, Marianne Røed and Pål Schøne explain that although a rise in immigration following the EU’s 2004 enlargement did have some important […]

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Britain’s Europe and the end of Empire

Britain’s relationship with Europe has a complex history, of which Brexit is merely the latest development. Simon Glendinning explains that the country’s post-War understanding of both itself and of Europe has often been caught up in a (selective) history and memory of British and European discovery, colonialism and Empire. The hope that the UK might find a new post-Empire […]

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