Elections, party politics and government across Europe

Can millennials save the labour movement?

Young workers are less likely than older workers to be union members even though they may have a more favourable view of unions. Maite Tapia, Lowell Turner and Salil R. Sapre argue that unions can be reinvigorated by tapping into young people’s energy, creativity and transformative leadership potential.

Millennials – born between 1980 and 2000 – are disproportionately employed in low […]

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    Privatising the nation: Why Europe needs to separate the ‘nation’ from the ‘state’

Privatising the nation: Why Europe needs to separate the ‘nation’ from the ‘state’

Does the nation state have a future in Europe? Joan Costa Font writes that several developments in European politics, including mobility/migration, weakening national identities, and the rise of regional secessionist movements should prompt a reassessment of what a nation state is in modern Europe. He suggests a clear separation is needed between national cultures, which should be opted into […]

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    Harnessing entrepreneurship: A generational challenge for Greece

Harnessing entrepreneurship: A generational challenge for Greece

Throughout Greek history, economic crisis has been the impulse for progress. Michael Cottakis argues that today, again, a crisis must be used to spark a brighter dawn for the country. Greece’s future depends on the emergence of a youthful new movement of entrepreneurs to supply the country with new economic dynamism.

Pre-classical Greece was one of the Mediterranean’s poorest regions. […]

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    Poland has become Europe’s growth champion, but can this success continue?

Poland has become Europe’s growth champion, but can this success continue?

The Polish economy has become a key European success story, with the country recording high levels of growth since 1989 and making strides in ‘catching up’ with Western Europe. Based on a new book, Marcin Piatkowski identifies the roots of Poland’s success and what the country must do to continue its progress in the coming decades.

For more than a […]

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    Merkel’s decision to stay on may have set the stage for turbulence at the end of her Chancellorship

Merkel’s decision to stay on may have set the stage for turbulence at the end of her Chancellorship

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will succeed Angela Merkel as the leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union, but Merkel will continue as German Chancellor for the time being. Robert Ledger and Peter Finn write that in the short-term, Kramp-Karrenbauer’s success has reduced the likelihood of imminent elections, but the German party system is currently in a state of flux and there […]

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How will ‘Polexit’ play out in Polish politics?

The claim by Poland’s liberal-centrist opposition that the country’s Law and Justice government wants to take Poland out of the EU is potentially extremely dangerous for the ruling party. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that to neutralise the opposition’s apparently effective narrative, the Polish government is now trying to defuse its row with the EU institutions while leaving the core of […]

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    Was Georgia’s presidential election a pyrrhic victory for Georgian Dream?

Was Georgia’s presidential election a pyrrhic victory for Georgian Dream?

Salome Zourabichvili is set to take office as the new President of Georgia on 16 December, following her victory in the second round of the country’s presidential election on 28 November. Max Fras writes that although Zourabichvili eventually pulled through, the fact that she was pushed so close in the first round of voting should set alarm bells ringing […]

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    Does immigration explain the comeback of the radical right in Spain?

Does immigration explain the comeback of the radical right in Spain?

On 2 December, a radical right party – Vox – gained representation in the regional parliament of Andalusia: the first time such a party had won seats in a Spanish regional assembly since the country’s transition to democracy. But to what extent can this result be explained by immigration rates in Andalusia? Using demographic data, Dimiter Toshkov illustrates that […]

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    The scars of the past remain, but Spain must accept the reality of its history rather than trying to rewrite it

The scars of the past remain, but Spain must accept the reality of its history rather than trying to rewrite it

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Spain’s constitution, which was ratified by a referendum on 6 December 1978. George Kassimeris writes that despite the country’s progress over the last four decades, the ghosts of the past have not been fully laid to rest. He argues that rather than trying to re-write the reality of their history, Spanish citizens must […]

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When are Green parties successful?

Green parties have experienced unprecedented levels of success in several advanced democracies this year; however, in a great many others they remain only minor footnotes to national electoral contests. Zack P. Grant argues that variation in Green party support is largely a function of good economic times, the presence of tangible environmental disputes, and mainstream parties actively attempting to emulate the positions of […]

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    Is the rule of law under threat? Lessons from Spain, the UK and Brazil

Is the rule of law under threat? Lessons from Spain, the UK and Brazil

The rule of law is generally taken as a fundamental component of a healthy democracy. But as Javier García Oliva and Rafael Valim write, several countries across the world have recently seen the role of their judiciary compromised or called into question. They consider three illustrative examples: Spain and Catalonia, the UK’s parliamentary privilege, and corruption trials in Brazil.

Brazilian President-elect […]

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Book Review: New Female Tribes by Rachel Pashley

In New Female Tribes: Shattering Female Stereotypes and Redefining Women Today, Rachel Pashley presents the results of a survey of over 8,000 women in nineteen different countries, navigating the reader through a series of snapshots that show how women see themselves around the globe today. While at times engaging in broad brush-strokes in its depiction of four female ‘tribes’, this is a hopeful, […]

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    A high risk, high reward gamble: What are the benefits of a Kosovo-Serbia land-swap?

A high risk, high reward gamble: What are the benefits of a Kosovo-Serbia land-swap?

The prospect of Kosovo and Serbia exchanging territories received significant attention earlier this year. Beáta Huszka argues that while much of the reaction to the proposal was negative, a well-managed exchange based on domestic consensus and the mitigation of regional risks could have a stabilising effect for both countries. However, securing these conditions would be highly difficult in practice, […]

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    A decisive political battle: What the statute of limitations tells us about Italy’s ruling coalition

A decisive political battle: What the statute of limitations tells us about Italy’s ruling coalition

A disagreement over legal time-limits threatened to bring down Italy’s government until a deal was reached on 8 November. Andrea Lorenzo Capussela explains why this seemingly minor issue created tension between the parties in the ruling coalition, and why the underlying debate matters more for the country’s future than recent discussions over Italy’s budget deficit.

On 8 November, Italy’s governing coalition […]

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    The fight for succession – the CDU leadership battle heats up

The fight for succession – the CDU leadership battle heats up

The decision by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to step down from the party leadership of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party has triggered the start of an intense succession battle. As John Ryan explains, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Jens Spahn, and Friedrich Merz have emerged as three key front runners, with the result set to determine whether the party will continue […]

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    What can Carl Jung tell us about the appeal of populist politics?

What can Carl Jung tell us about the appeal of populist politics?

Economic inequality, globalisation and the failures of mainstream politicians have all been put forward as potential factors facilitating the rise of populist politics. But alongside this political and economic context, is there also a psychological context that can help explain the success of populist politicians? John Dreijmanis writes on what the work of Carl Jung can tell us about […]

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    Explaining the appeal of populist nationalism in Central Europe

Explaining the appeal of populist nationalism in Central Europe

Central Europe is often seen as particularly fertile ground for populist nationalism given the success of populist parties in countries like Austria and Hungary, but what explains the appeal of this brand of politics for voters in the region? Paul Schmidt writes that there are decreasing levels of trust in European cross-border solutions to the region’s problems, however he […]

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Who really won Poland’s local elections?

Poland held local elections on 21 October, followed by a second round of voting on 4 November. The elections were billed as a key test for the country’s Law and Justice government. As Aleks Szczerbiak explains, the liberal-centrist opposition mobilised its core supporters in urban areas, winning high profile mayoral races, but Law and Justice won the more politically […]

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    The SPD may deal the final blow to Angela Merkel’s chancellorship

The SPD may deal the final blow to Angela Merkel’s chancellorship

In the state elections held in Hesse on 28 October, Angela Merkel’s CDU and her grand coalition partner in the German government – the SPD – suffered heavy losses. Merkel later announced that she would not stand for party leader at the CDU conference in December and would not put herself forward as a candidate for chancellor at Germany’s […]

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    The liberal conception of ‘freedom’ is incapable of addressing the problems of contemporary capitalism

The liberal conception of ‘freedom’ is incapable of addressing the problems of contemporary capitalism

The rise of populism and ‘illiberal democracies’ are often viewed as a reaction to the failure of liberal capitalism to meet the needs of citizens. For Andrea Lorenzo Capussela, the liberal conception of freedom as ‘non-interference’ may lie at the heart of this equation. He suggests that a republican notion of freedom as ‘non-domination’ might be more useful in […]

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