Elections, party politics and government across Europe

How state-owned banks in Turkey support the ruling party

Government ownership of banks can help solve credit market failures and stabilise the supply of credit over the business cycle. However, it can also end up serving political interests and lead to a misallocation of financial resources. Çağatay Bircan and Orkun Saka provide new evidence that state-owned banks systematically engage in tactical redistribution of credit in line with the […]

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    The European Parliament elections: Trouble in paradise for Austria’s right-wing government?

The European Parliament elections: Trouble in paradise for Austria’s right-wing government?

The upcoming European Parliament elections represent the first nation-wide test for Austria’s right-wing coalition government. Manès Weisskircher provides an overview of the election in the country, where there is the potential for tensions to emerge within the government camp.

Since December 2017, Austria has been governed by a right-wing coalition of the centre right ÖVP and radical right FPÖ, a […]

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    How Brexit affects Italy – and its Eurosceptic politicians

How Brexit affects Italy – and its Eurosceptic politicians

How will Brexit affect Italy’s businesses, its citizens and its political landscape? Elisabeth Alber explains that while the country now has an avowedly Eurosceptic government, Italians have mixed feelings towards the EU. It is unclear how many Italians have been living in the UK, but Italy’s hopes of attracting them back seem to have been fruitless.

Brexit will undoubtedly affect the EU’s Member […]

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    Book Review: The Political Economy of Italy’s Decline by Andrea Lorenzo Capussela

Book Review: The Political Economy of Italy’s Decline by Andrea Lorenzo Capussela

In The Political Economy of Italy’s Decline, Andrea Lorenzo Capussela offers an account of Italy’s current political and economic malaise, charting the evolution of the current social order from the post-war years to the aftermath of the eurocrisis. This is an erudite and compelling study, writes Dominik A. Leusder, that will be a key theoretical resource for anyone seeking to better understand Italy’s […]

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Two months of protests in Serbia – what’s next?

Since the end of 2018, anti-government protests have been held across Serbia. Maja Bjeloš explains the background to the protests, which have demanded an end to government pressure on the media, stronger protection for journalists and political opponents against violence, investigations into alleged political killings, and electoral reforms.

The President of Serbia and the country’s ruling Progressive Party (SNS), Aleksandar […]

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    Topic-modelling the 2019 European Parliament elections: The long awaited battle over the ‘soul of Europe’?

Topic-modelling the 2019 European Parliament elections: The long awaited battle over the ‘soul of Europe’?

The campaign for the next European Parliament elections in May is now entering full swing. Miriam Sorace presents a detailed analysis of the platforms of the main European Party Groups ahead of the vote and assesses what the political consequences of the election might be for the EU over the next five years.

In his speech at the December […]

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The European state has become a modern Leviathan

The management of the EU budget and the role of the European Commission in the EU policy process have been key topics in debates over European integration in recent decades. César Baena and Michael Neubert argue that the growth in EU bureaucracy that has occurred during the integration process raises questions about how taxpayers’ money is being spent. But […]

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LSE IQ podcast: Should we fear the rise of the far right?

Right-wing populism is on the rise across the globe. The US, Brazil, India, Italy, Austria, Hungary and Poland have radical right-wing politicians as leaders or in government. Far right parties have also chalked up major electoral triumphs in countries like Sweden, France and Germany. And the UK’s vote to leave the EU was a decision encouraged, in part, by […]

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    How electoral systems affect support for populist parties in Europe

How electoral systems affect support for populist parties in Europe

Several radical right and radical left parties in Europe have seen their support increase in recent years. But how do electoral systems affect the potential for such parties to attract voters? James Downes and Edward Chan explain that while there is an assumption the radical right and left will benefit from proportional representation systems, the reality is somewhat more […]

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Who is to blame for Italy’s recession?

The Italian economy entered a recession at the end of last year, but as Adriano Cozzolino writes, there is little agreement over whether the current government, which entered office following the 2018 Italian election, should be held responsible for the economic situation. He argues that the country’s frailties stem from the systemic failures of a political economy model built […]

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The ideal Greek everyman: Andreas Papandreou at 100

Former Greek prime minister Andreas Papandreou is widely regarded as a key figure not only in contemporary Greek history, but in 20th century European politics. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, George Kassimeris writes on the legacy of an ideal Greek everyman whose years in power were touched with national pride, but who in the end failed to […]

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    What the ratification of the Prespa Agreement means for Greek politics

What the ratification of the Prespa Agreement means for Greek politics

The Prespa Agreement resolving the long-running Macedonia name dispute between Athens and Skopje was ratified in the Greek parliament on 25 January. Nikolaos Tzifakis explains that with a majority of Greek citizens opposed to the agreement, the issue stands to have a significant impact on the Greek parliamentary elections due to be held later this year.

On 25 January, the Greek […]

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    European Parliament election preview: Romania’s EU elections will be a battleground for reformist forces

European Parliament election preview: Romania’s EU elections will be a battleground for reformist forces

The 2019 European Parliament elections will be held on 23-26 May. Ahead of the elections, we will be previewing the contest in all 27 EU states (assuming the UK leaves in March). In the first article of the series, Bianca Toma and Alexandru Damian discuss the elections in Romania, which will offer an opportunity for reformist groups to put […]

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    The discredited economic vision at the root of France’s ‘gilets jaunes’ problem

The discredited economic vision at the root of France’s ‘gilets jaunes’ problem

The ‘gilets jaunes’ protest movement which began in France at the end of 2018 has become an outlet for French citizens to express their anger at rising costs of living. Alan Kirman writes that the movement is a reaction to measures that have hurt the poor while benefiting the wealthy and large firms.

At the end of the month of […]

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Can Robert Biedroń save the Polish left?

The Polish left-wing politician Robert Biedroń is planning to launch a new political movement in February, ahead of parliamentary elections due to be held later this year. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that as Poland’s most popular and charismatic left-wing politician, Biedroń’s initiative stands a good chance of achieving short-term success. But the grouping’s longer-term prospects are much more questionable, and […]

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    How the electoral success of radical right parties normalises public expressions of support for them

How the electoral success of radical right parties normalises public expressions of support for them

Support for radical right parties is often assumed to carry a degree of social stigma, which means that individuals are likely to privately support them but refrain from stating such support to others. But does this hold true once a party enters a national parliament? Drawing on a new study, Vicente Valentim illustrates that once a radical right party […]

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An assassination in Poland: Charity and political hate

On 13 January, Paweł Adamowicz, the Mayor of Gdańsk, was fatally stabbed during a charity event. Helena Chmielewska-Szlajfer writes that while the attacker reportedly had a history of mental illness, the reaction to the murder has uncovered deep political divisions that now exist in Polish society.

Paweł Adamowicz, the Mayor of Gdańsk, was fatally stabbed on Sunday while standing on […]

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The slow death of Hungarian popular sovereignty

Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, is often accused of promoting a form of ‘illiberal democracy’, where governance is rooted in the popular support of a majority of the country’s citizens, but without a strong guarantee of minority rights and the rule of law. Lise Esther Herman argues that this criticism, which has been put forward by many of Orbán’s […]

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    How Karl Polanyi can help us understand the threat posed by populism

How Karl Polanyi can help us understand the threat posed by populism

Populist politicians frequently champion direct democracy, yet other actors view populists as a threat to the democratic system. Ben Margulies draws on the work of Karl Polanyi in attempting to resolve this contradiction. He explains that populists typically believe democracy should be a vehicle for the people’s will, but crucially the people may never have the chance to change […]

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The gilets jaunes: The good, the bad and the ugly

The gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement in France currently has no affiliation with established political parties. As Anne Daguerre explains, this lack of a clear political platform has given rise to debates on the French left over whether the movement should be welcomed as a force for progressive politics or viewed with suspicion as an emanation of the populist […]

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