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    How smallness produces clientelism, polarisation, record turnout and corruption in Malta

How smallness produces clientelism, polarisation, record turnout and corruption in Malta

Politics in Malta is characterised by deep polarisation between the country’s two main parties and high levels of voter turnout in elections. Wouter Veenendaal explains that these two features are directly tied to the country’s small size, as is the prevalence of clientelism and corruption. All of these elements were evident in the response to the murder of Maltese […]

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    Understanding the enhanced role of the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations

Understanding the enhanced role of the European Parliament in the Brexit negotiations

The European Parliament was initially viewed as having a fairly limited part to play in the Brexit negotiations. However, as Carlos Closa writes, the Parliament has effectively crafted a central role for itself in the process. This has been achieved by combining the unconcealed brandishing of its veto threat with the promotion of strong internal unity and supporting the […]

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    What emotions do politicians express with their tweets? The case of Renzi, Berlusconi, Salvini, and Di Maio

What emotions do politicians express with their tweets? The case of Renzi, Berlusconi, Salvini, and Di Maio

Twitter has become a major political campaigning tool, but what determines the style of tweets used by politicians to build support? Margherita de Candia and Claudio Bellei present evidence from a study of the strategies used by four Italian politicians: Matteo Renzi, Silvio Berlusconi, Matteo Salvini, and Luigi Di Maio. They explain that although certain politicians, such as Berlusconi, […]

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European Parliament elections preview: Greece

The last European Parliament elections in 2014 took place during a period of significant tension over the Greek debt crisis. As Zoe Alipranti explains, this time around, the European Parliament elections in Greece are unlikely to feature such a high level of polarisation over Europe. Syriza has drifted away from its radical Euroscepticism, and although substantial dissatisfaction persists among […]

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    The continued strategic relevance of Merkel-style centrism in Germany

The continued strategic relevance of Merkel-style centrism in Germany

With Angela Merkel set to step down as German Chancellor, many members of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) had hoped for the party to shift away from centrist politics toward a more conservative platform. Luuk Molthof argues that this would not only be a strategic mistake for the CDU, but would also overlook the continued strategic relevance of Merkel-style […]

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    The link between greenhouses, bull-fighting and support for Vox in Spain

The link between greenhouses, bull-fighting and support for Vox in Spain

The emergence of the radical right party Vox was one of the main stories of the 2019 Spanish general election. Rubén Ruiz-Rufino presents an analysis of the link between support for Vox and the use of land in Spanish provinces. He highlights that citizens living in regions with high levels of agriculture appear more likely to express support for […]

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    Can the EU and the League of Arab States develop closer relations? History suggests otherwise

Can the EU and the League of Arab States develop closer relations? History suggests otherwise

From 1974 to 1979, the EEC and Arab League met regularly for the Euro-Arab Dialogue, but efforts to establish close relations failed to meet expectations. Philipp Hirsch writes that today, the European Union and League of Arab States are once again attempting stronger cooperation. But based on historical experience, Brussels should not invest too much hope in the capacity […]

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The flawed assumption of the centrist paradox

The so called ‘centrist paradox’ refers to the idea, proposed by David Adler, that an observed decline in support for democracy across the world has occurred primarily among centrist voters, rather than those who lie at the extremes of the policy spectrum. Elli Palaiologou argues that this theory is based on a flawed assumption that all individuals located between […]

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    Ukraine after the presidential elections: Sailing through stormy waters?

Ukraine after the presidential elections: Sailing through stormy waters?

Following his victory in Ukraine’s presidential election on 21 April, Volodymyr Zelensky must now turn to the challenges facing him in office. Maya Janik explains that in the months leading up to the country’s next parliamentary elections in October, the political situation will be marked by political volatility and rising tensions. Until then, the main task for Zelensky will […]

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    European citizens increasingly turn to nationalist orientations when developing positions on the EU

European citizens increasingly turn to nationalist orientations when developing positions on the EU

It is often stated that the late-2000s financial crisis prompted a rise in both Euroscepticism and nationalism across the EU. Yet as Nick Clark and Robert Rohrschneider explain, despite evidence of a drop in support for the EU since the crisis, previous research has found the proportion of individuals identifying exclusively with the nation state has remained relatively stable. […]

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    ‘Gendering’ the EU budget? Why gender equality should play a greater role in EU budget negotiations

‘Gendering’ the EU budget? Why gender equality should play a greater role in EU budget negotiations

Coverage of EU budget negotiations typically focuses on the contributions of individual member states and the trade-offs required to secure an agreement. But as Firat Cengiz writes, EU budget decisions can also significantly affect structural inequalities facing EU citizens. There is a clear case for making the issue of gender equality a more visible part of the EU budgetary […]

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    EU citizens who express fear about immigration are keener to delegate the issue to the EU’s institutions

EU citizens who express fear about immigration are keener to delegate the issue to the EU’s institutions

The migration crisis that began in 2015 prompted a debate over whether the EU’s institutions or national governments should take the lead in managing the crisis. But how do citizens’ attitudes toward immigration affect their views on transferring powers to Brussels to deal with the issue? Drawing on a new study, Nicolò Conti, Danilo Di Mauro and Vincenzo Memoli […]

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European Parliament elections preview: Latvia

The European elections in Latvia will come shortly after the country’s last general election, which took place at the end of 2018. As Licia Cianetti and Ryo Nakai explain, the general election signified a major change in the Latvian party system, with three new parties winning almost half of the votes. The upcoming elections on 25 May will likely […]

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    Green principled pragmatism: How the EU combines normative and consequentialist motivations in its climate policy

Green principled pragmatism: How the EU combines normative and consequentialist motivations in its climate policy

The EU is often viewed as a key global actor in efforts to tackle climate change, but are the EU’s actions motivated by altruistic concerns for the environment or rather by pragmatic political and economic motivations? Franziskus von Lucke writes that while EU climate policy does contain some clear normative elements, there have also been tangible political and economic […]

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    EU enlargement in the Western Balkans: The missing issue in the 2019 European election campaign

EU enlargement in the Western Balkans: The missing issue in the 2019 European election campaign

The campaign for the European Parliament elections on 23-26 May offers an opportunity for key EU policy areas to be debated. Yet as Anna Nadibaidze writes, the issue of EU enlargement in the Western Balkans has so far remained far from the agenda. She explains that with public opinion focused on other topics and both mainstream and Eurosceptic parties […]

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    Internal divisions in Turkey deepen: Lessons from the recent local elections

Internal divisions in Turkey deepen: Lessons from the recent local elections

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered a disappointing result in the country’s local elections on 31 March. But did the results reflect the beginning of the end for the AKP’s dominance over Turkish politics, or were they simply a consequence of voters backing individual candidates who made convincing appeals to local voters?

The Turkish local elections on […]

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    Finland’s election showed the limitations of existing models of electoral competition

Finland’s election showed the limitations of existing models of electoral competition

Recent elections in many European countries have seemed less predictable, as party systems fragment and new parties challenge the established ones on a range of issues. Looking at the recent case of Finland, Zhen Im, Hanna Wass, Heikki Hiilamo and Timo Kauppinen argue that political scientists need to develop new models for mapping multiple, changing issues for electoral competition.

The 2019 Finnish parliamentary elections on 14 […]

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    The emergence of the populist radical right in Spain demonstrates the conditions under which such parties succeed

The emergence of the populist radical right in Spain demonstrates the conditions under which such parties succeed

One of the key stories in the leadup to the 2019 Spanish general election this weekend has been the emergence of the radical right party Vox. James Dennison and Mariana Mendes explain that the rise in support for Vox – in a country which until now had largely ignored the appeal of radical right parties – illustrates the conditions […]

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Do Spain’s minority governments work?

Minority governments are a common phenomenon in Spain and it is possible another minority government will emerge from the upcoming Spanish general election on 28 April. But how effective are these governments in office? Bonnie N. Field explains that in the past, minority governments were almost as successful as majority governments in implementing their policies. However, recent developments such […]

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Why Europe should worry about Thierry Baudet

On 20 March, the right-wing populist Forum for Democracy (FvD) won the largest share of the vote in the Netherlands’ provincial elections. Ben Margulies argues that the party and its leader, Thierry Baudet, should give cause for concern to those who support European liberal democracy. The FvD takes a radical-right populist discourse, but pitches it in a cultural language […]

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