Elections, party politics and government across Europe

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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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    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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    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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UK general election: The view from across Europe

The Conservative Party’s victory in the UK’s general election was keenly watched elsewhere across Europe. Stuart Brown presents an overview of analysis and reactions from the continent.

“Johnson convinced a majority of voters he could get them out of a maze in which they had been stuck for more than three years”

Le Monde writes that whatever one may think about Boris Johnson’s […]

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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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    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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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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    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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    Book Review: In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy by Katrina Forrester

Book Review: In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy by Katrina Forrester

With In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy, Katrina Forrester explores how John Rawls’s justice theory became the dominant way of thinking about institutions and individuals in the second half of the twentieth century. This important work sheds light on the conceptual roots of modern political thought while at the same time disclosing its limits, writes Rahel […]

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The Expo dilemma: What a trivial story tells us about Italy

Obey the law, and risk irreparable harm to a significant public interest, or break the law and safeguard it? Andrea Capussela writes that this dilemma was briefly the subject of debate in Italy. That nobody said that a third alternative existed casts some light on the country’s problems.

For a quarter of a century, Italy has been in decline. The […]

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    Book Review: Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World by Branko Milanovic

Book Review: Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World by Branko Milanovic

If capitalism has triumphed to become the sole socio-economic system globally, what are the prospects for achieving a fairer world? In his new book Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World, Branko Milanovic examines the historical shifts that have led to capitalism’s dominance and looks at the varieties of capitalism at work today to propose choices to ensure […]

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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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    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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    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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Podcast review: Putin: Prisoner of Power by Misha Glenny

In a new podcast series, British journalist Misha Glenny provides an examination of the rise and reign of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Peter Finn and Robert Ledger write that although the series is relatively short, it constitutes a weighty journalistic endeavour with insights on the evolution of post-Soviet Russia and Putin’s expansion and consolidation of power.

There is currently a […]

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