Elections, party politics and government across Europe

What to expect from the 2019 Swiss federal elections

Switzerland will hold federal elections on 20 October. Sean Mueller explains that the vote will once again demonstrate the high level of stability that exists within the Swiss party system.

You may be forgiven for not knowing what happens on 20 October, for not much will in fact happen. The Swiss will vote for a new parliament, yes, and a […]

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    Book Review: Why Not Default? The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt by Jerome Roos

Book Review: Why Not Default? The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt by Jerome Roos

In Why Not Default? The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt, Jerome Roos explores why sovereign defaults have been an undesirable last option by systemically unpacking the structural characteristics of the contemporary debt market. This is a fresh and painstakingly researched approach that raises vital questions for economists, political scientists and policymakers to address in the era of relatively low cost, yet mounting, […]

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    Polish election preview: Are Law and Justice heading for a majority?

Polish election preview: Are Law and Justice heading for a majority?

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has a significant polling lead ahead of the country’s elections on Sunday. Ben Stanley previews the contest, writing that the polls indicate the party is currently on course to secure a comfortable majority. Should they fall short of a majority, however, there would be substantial uncertainty about what would come next.

To the long-term […]

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    Five minutes with António Costa Pinto on Portugal’s election: “Left-wing voters preferred the renewal of the previous agreement to a single Socialist majority”

Five minutes with António Costa Pinto on Portugal’s election: “Left-wing voters preferred the renewal of the previous agreement to a single Socialist majority”

The Socialist Party (PS) finished in first place in Portugal’s election on 6 October, ahead of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). In an interview with EUROPP’s Managing Editor Stuart Brown, António Costa Pinto explains what the result means for Portugal, and how the country’s next government might differ from the incumbent left-wing administration that has been in power since […]

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Who will win the Polish election?

It is almost certain that Law and Justice will emerge from Poland’s parliamentary election this Sunday as the largest grouping, but far from clear if it will retain its overall majority, writes Aleks Szczerbiak. If the governing party secures a second term, it will entrench and push ahead with its reform programme, while any alternative coalition government is likely […]

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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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    Whatever happened to the Westminster Model? The ‘Italianisation’ of British politics

Whatever happened to the Westminster Model? The ‘Italianisation’ of British politics

The UK was once viewed by political scientists as embodying a distinct majoritarian form of politics – the ‘Westminster Model’ – that stood in contrast to the ‘consensus’ democracies found elsewhere in Europe. Several of the countries in the latter group, such as Italy, were often assumed to be inherently prone to instability in comparison to the UK. Yet […]

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Why is Poland’s Law and Justice party still so popular?

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has a lead in the polls ahead of the country’s parliamentary election on 13 October. Aleks Szczerbiak writes that despite intense domestic and international criticism, the party remains popular because it is trusted on the socio-economic issues that voters care most about.

Poland’s parliamentary election on 13 October is likely to be one of […]

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    Austria’s snap election: Kurz is back and so are the Greens

Austria’s snap election: Kurz is back and so are the Greens

Austria went to the polls on 29 September after a major political scandal led to the fall of the previous government. The centre-right ÖVP, led by Sebastian Kurz, won the election and further increased their vote share. Jakob-Moritz Eberl, Eva Zeglovits and Hubert Sickinger write that despite securing a clear victory, the election saw the ÖVP’s campaign engine stutter […]

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    Book Review: Social Mobility and its Enemies by Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin

Book Review: Social Mobility and its Enemies by Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin

In Social Mobility and its Enemies, Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin offer a thought-provoking assessment of the state of social mobility in Britain. In the context of much social and political change and rising levels of inequality in Britain, this book is able to dispel the myth of meritocracy and suggest evidence-informed avenues for achieving a fairer society for all, writes Ross Goldstone. 
Social Mobility and […]

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    How LGBT rights became a key battleground in Poland’s election

How LGBT rights became a key battleground in Poland’s election

LGBT rights have played a prominent role in the run-up to Poland’s election on 13 October. Lukasz Szulc writes that the ruling Law and Justice party has attempted to shore up its support by taking a harsh line on the issue, and while LGBT rights will probably not stay high on the party’s agenda after the election, it will […]

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    Why the radical right is no longer the exclusive domain of older, male voters

Why the radical right is no longer the exclusive domain of older, male voters

The typical radical right voter is often assumed to be older and male, with conservative views on women’s and LGBT rights. Drawing on a new study, Caroline Marie Lancaster writes that this assumption should now be reassessed. She finds evidence that there has been a particularly striking increase in the number of radical right voters who also support gender […]

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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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    A sputtering car goes into reverse: The German recession and its consequences

A sputtering car goes into reverse: The German recession and its consequences

Heiner Flassbeck and Patrick Kaczmarczyk write that amidst global political and economic fragility, the downturn in the Germany economy adds to the uncertainty in a world that, as Paul Krugman put it, has a “Germany problem”. It not only raises questions and doubts over the future of the largest European economy but, more importantly, over the future of the […]

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    So, you want to buy 98 per cent of our territory? A Danish perspective on American-Danish-Greenlandic relations

So, you want to buy 98 per cent of our territory? A Danish perspective on American-Danish-Greenlandic relations

President Trump’s offer to buy Greenland reflects an increased American interest in the territory. As Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen writes, while Greenland will not be sold any time soon, complicated trilateral negotiations will commence, where Denmark will have to strike a balance between several pressures.

Although President Trump’s recent offer to buy Greenland from Denmark was always unlikely to succeed, the […]

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    Should the law intervene when politicians make discriminatory statements? Reflections from Brazil and the United Kingdom

Should the law intervene when politicians make discriminatory statements? Reflections from Brazil and the United Kingdom

If the employee of a large company makes a discriminatory statement, they typically face disciplinary consequences. Yet politicians not only have the freedom to make such statements, but can even be rewarded at the ballot box for doing so. Drawing on recent cases in Brazil and the UK, Javier García Oliva and Rafael Valim ask whether there is a […]

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What to expect from Austria’s election

Austria will hold a parliamentary election on 29 September. The election was called following the collapse of the governing coalition between the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ). Paul Schmidt previews the vote, explaining that awareness of the interlinkages between domestic and European politics and a relative rise in political interest will be two […]

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    What the Faroe Islands can tell us about small states, autonomy and climate change

What the Faroe Islands can tell us about small states, autonomy and climate change

The Faroe Islands held a general election on 31 August. Lise Lyck writes that while the size of the population in the Faroe Islands is small, the islands are of wider significance, particularly given the environmental importance of the North Atlantic and renewed interest in the region following Donald Trump’s ‘offer’ to buy Greenland.

President Trump’s “offer” to buy Greenland […]

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    From one marriage of convenience to another: Will Italy’s new M5S-PD government last longer than its predecessor?

From one marriage of convenience to another: Will Italy’s new M5S-PD government last longer than its predecessor?

The Five Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (PD) have formed a new governing coalition in Italy. The coalition will allow both parties to avoid a snap election which Matteo Salvini’s League had hoped to trigger by collapsing the previous government. Davide Angelucci, Pierangelo Isernia, Gianluca Piccolino and Andrea Scavo write that given the ideological differences between the […]

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    Five things to know about Sunday’s elections in eastern Germany

Five things to know about Sunday’s elections in eastern Germany

The radical right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) made large gains in the Brandenburg and Saxony state elections on 1 September. Manès Weisskircher highlights five takeaways from the elections, noting that while the AfD captured the headlines, there were several other important developments.

International media coverage has paid a lot of attention to the elections in Brandenburg and Saxony, two states […]

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