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Italy rues the rules

On 21 November, the European Commission formally objected to Italy’s draft budget for 2019. But the Italian government refuses to compromise. Iain Begg explores what this stand-off might mean for the governance of the Eurozone.

The contest between the Italian government and the European Commission over the former’s budget plans for 2019 has highlighted an enduring problem in EU economic […]

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    The EU talks big on protecting the Arctic, but it continues to prioritise economic interests over the environment

The EU talks big on protecting the Arctic, but it continues to prioritise economic interests over the environment

The Arctic is one of the world’s most environmentally fragile regions, but it also offers substantial economic opportunities. This has led many states and companies with an interest in the region to promote a policy of ‘sustainable development’ which can balance these opportunities with environmental protection. Sofía López, Bram De Botselier and Simon Schunz argue that while the EU […]

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    Tackling the free rider problem in the EMU does not have to be a zero-sum game: Italy’s budget deficit case

Tackling the free rider problem in the EMU does not have to be a zero-sum game: Italy’s budget deficit case

Italy’s government and the European Commission continue to be locked in a standoff over the Italian budget. Corrado Macchiarelli writes that while the budget plan is badly designed and must be addressed, there is also clearly a need for euro area reforms and more mutual recognition. Ultimately the Economic and Monetary Union is facing a political problem and the […]

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    Colonialism does connect Britain, the EU and Bosnia – but Britain is not being treated like a colony

Colonialism does connect Britain, the EU and Bosnia – but Britain is not being treated like a colony

The Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan, responding to the withdrawal agreement reached between the UK government and the EU over Brexit, indicated that the deal could leave the UK facing colonial rule of the sort imposed on Bosnia following the Yugoslav war. Catherine Baker argues that there is indeed a connection between Brexit Britain and post-Dayton Bosnia, but it is […]

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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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    Opportunity or threat? How Europeans view freedom of movement

Opportunity or threat? How Europeans view freedom of movement

Freedom of movement was one of the major issues during the UK’s EU referendum, but how do citizens in other EU countries view the topic? Drawing on new research, Sofia Vasilopoulou and Liisa Talving explain that although freedom of movement is popular overall among EU citizens, there is substantial variation between countries, with citizens in richer member states likely […]

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    Ideology (not economics) explains why the Troika treated Ireland less harshly than Greece

Ideology (not economics) explains why the Troika treated Ireland less harshly than Greece

Both Greece and Ireland suffered substantially during the Eurozone crisis, but as Judith Clifton, Daniel Díaz-Fuentes and Ana Lara Gómez write, the two countries’ treatment by the ‘Troika’ of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission was strikingly different. Drawing on new research, they explain that much of this stemmed from ideological reasons rather than economics: a far […]

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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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    Have British judges already left the EU? The impact of the Brexit vote on EU law in the UK

Have British judges already left the EU? The impact of the Brexit vote on EU law in the UK

In principle, EU law still applies in the UK until the day the country formally leaves. However, as Arthur Dyevre writes, the UK’s impending exit may have already altered the application of EU law in British courts. Drawing on new research, he explains that UK courts have submitted substantially fewer questions to the Court of Justice of the European […]

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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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    Book Review: 99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto by Brian Massumi

Book Review: 99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto by Brian Massumi

In 99 Theses on the Revaluation of Value: A Postcapitalist Manifesto, Brian Massumi offers a short yet intricate economic, cultural and philosophical work that aims to retrieve the concept of value from capitalist power. Through the book’s deliberately fragmented form, Massumi presents a relevant and urgent dissection of the processes by which we are currently shaped, and a hopeful vision of how […]

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November 11th, 2018|Book Reviews, featured|0 Comments|

Germany’s non-rebalancing of its mercantilist model

In a recent blog article, Donato Di Carlo argued that Germany has ‘quietly rebalanced’ its economy since the Eurozone crisis began. Patrick Kaczmarczyk presents a different take on the topic, writing that when German policy is viewed from a more long-term perspective, there has been little in the way of meaningful rebalancing. He states that without necessary adjustments being […]

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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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    The Brexit vote and Trump’s election were decided democratically. So why don’t they feel that way?

The Brexit vote and Trump’s election were decided democratically. So why don’t they feel that way?

The Brexit referendum and Trump’s election were each decided by a free and fair vote, yet large proportions of UK and US citizens have trouble accepting them as truly ‘democratic’. Brian Milstein writes that a working democracy requires more than free elections; it requires additional institutions, such as a well-functioning political public sphere and a responsive political party system, […]

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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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    Book Review: Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia by Tomas Matza

Book Review: Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia by Tomas Matza

In Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia,Thomas Matza offers an ethnographic account that explores the rise of psychotherapy in post-socialist Russia. Through in-depth interviews and observations of psychotherapists working in different institutions across the country, Matza not only probes deeply into their practice and perspectives, but also gives a human face to Russian experiences of flux and transition, […]

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    Universities are a bargaining chip in the Brexit free-trade future

Universities are a bargaining chip in the Brexit free-trade future

Higher education, although clearly not a government priority, is becoming a bargaining chip as the UK considers its future outside the EU. Anne Corbett examines the UK government’s proposal to treat higher education as a sweetener for free trade deals, an idea that is likely to have life in it whatever the immediate Brexit outcome.

Spare a thought for second order policy sectors […]

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    Shifting dynamics: Mapping the divisions between and within party groups in the European Parliament ahead of the 2019 elections

Shifting dynamics: Mapping the divisions between and within party groups in the European Parliament ahead of the 2019 elections

Party competition in the European Parliament has changed substantially in the aftermath of the Eurozone and migration crises. While the parliament was once characterised by a split between parties on the left and right, parties are also now sharply divided over their policies on immigration and European integration. Drawing on new research, Alexia Katsanidou and Zoe Lefkofridi illustrate how […]

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