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    Governments will soon be talking about ‘benefit cheats’ and ‘scroungers’ – political scientists should do the same

Governments will soon be talking about ‘benefit cheats’ and ‘scroungers’ – political scientists should do the same

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to create significant unemployment across Europe. Carlo Knotz writes that if past-crises are anything to go by, there is a high likelihood this could revive political debates about benefit fraud and disincentives to work. He argues that political scientists should aim to play a central role in these debates to explain the trade-offs that […]

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    Not too shy after all: Explaining when corporations appear in the media

Not too shy after all: Explaining when corporations appear in the media

Corporations are often thought to conduct most of their lobbying activities behind closed doors. As such, they may wish to avoid appearing in the news too frequently given the potential to attract public criticism over their political involvement. Drawing on a new study, Moritz Müller and Ellis Aizenberg examine the media strategies used by corporations to maximise their influence.

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Are Britain and Europe becoming ‘vassalised’?

The term ‘vassal state’ has been frequently used by those warning against a post-Brexit relationship that leaves the UK obliged to adopt EU rules or subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Yet as Glyn Morgan writes, there is a paradox in the use of the term given the EU’s power on the international stage is […]

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    How EU external energy policy has become ‘supranationalised’ – and what this means for European integration

How EU external energy policy has become ‘supranationalised’ – and what this means for European integration

Since the beginning of European integration, EU member states have been reluctant to share competences over their external energy relations. Against this backdrop, the new requirement to have bilateral energy agreements assessed by the Commission implies a surprising expansion of supranational powers in energy diplomacy. Philipp Thaler and Vija Pakalkaite take a closer look at this development and find […]

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    Does rising economic inequality create a representation gap between rich and poor? Evidence from Europe and the United States

Does rising economic inequality create a representation gap between rich and poor? Evidence from Europe and the United States

Economically powerful individuals are assumed to have greater capacity to influence politics than those with lower incomes. This might imply that as economic inequality increases, we should see a growing representation gap between rich and poor. Yet as Derek A. Epp and Enrico Borghetto explain, previous research has produced a mixed picture, with lobbyists that have the most financial […]

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    Europe as ideological resource: How far right parties can benefit from European integration

Europe as ideological resource: How far right parties can benefit from European integration

Far right parties typically oppose the European Union, yet European integration has paradoxically provided the far right with funding, visibility and a higher degree of credibility and respectability. Drawing on the case of the French Rassemblement National, Marta Lorimer explains how the EU may have inadvertently facilitated the success of some of its strongest critics.

Far right parties are strong […]

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    An institutional mismatch: Why ‘taking back control’ proved so appealing in the Brexit debate

An institutional mismatch: Why ‘taking back control’ proved so appealing in the Brexit debate

‘Taking back control’ was a key element of the Leave campaign’s case for Brexit, but why did the principle find such resonance among the British public? Drawing on a new study, Susanne K Schmidt writes that it is important to recognise some core features of the UK polity that contrast with the EU’s political system. These institutional differences formed […]

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Brexit: Simply an omnishambles or a major policy fiasco?

The UK’s referendum on EU membership in 2016 set off a chain of political events that can best be described as an ‘omnishambles’. But how did the country end up at this point, and what explains the approach pursued to implement Brexit following the result? Jeremy Richardson and Berthold Rittberger present their own overview of the Brexit saga, distinguishing […]

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    Fear of decline drives voters to the radical right when inequality increases

Fear of decline drives voters to the radical right when inequality increases

Income inequality and radical right voting have both increased in the past decades, but are the two phenomena linked? Sarah Engler and David Weisstanner write that rising inequality signals to voters higher up in the income and status hierarchy the threat of a ‘steep’ social decline. When inequality increases, these voters then turn to radical right parties who offer […]

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    What ECB speeches tell us about the battle of ideas during the Eurozone crisis

What ECB speeches tell us about the battle of ideas during the Eurozone crisis

A battle of ideas dominated the academic debate on the Eurozone crisis. One view stressed the importance of fiscal discipline, while the other highlighted the systemic roots of financial turmoil. Drawing on a new study based on a quantitative text analysis of ECB Executive Board members’ speeches, Federico Maria Ferrara shows how the ECB progressively moved from a fiscal […]

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    The reputation of the euro and the European Central Bank: Interlinked or disconnected?

The reputation of the euro and the European Central Bank: Interlinked or disconnected?

The Eurozone crisis had a clear impact on trust in the euro and the European Central Bank (ECB). However, drawing on a new study, Stephanie Bergbauer, Nils Hernborg, Jean-François Jamet and Eric Persson explain that there are significant differences in the way citizens place trust in the euro and the ECB. They find that while support for the euro is primarily […]

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    How the Basel Accord’s dependence on external institutions aggravated the 2008 financial crisis

How the Basel Accord’s dependence on external institutions aggravated the 2008 financial crisis

Deficiencies in the Basel II accord, which set recommendations on banking regulation, have been highlighted as one of the main causes of the global financial crisis that emerged in 2008. Manuel Becker and Simon Linder explain that a particularly problematic feature was the accord’s reliance on so called ‘regulatory import’, where regulators incorporate governance from an external forum into […]

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    How populist radical right parties have eroded the EU’s human rights agenda in the Mediterranean

How populist radical right parties have eroded the EU’s human rights agenda in the Mediterranean

It is often assumed that populist radical right parties will support disengaging from the European Union by default. Adrià Rivera Escartin writes that although many of these parties do support disengaging from the EU, there is the potential for a different approach to be adopted in future which might be termed ‘informal and illiberal Europeanisation’. Italy’s capacity to shape […]

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    How war helped facilitate the introduction of unemployment insurance in the West

How war helped facilitate the introduction of unemployment insurance in the West

The question of whether governments should provide financial assistance to the unemployed has proven to be one of the most heated issues in modern politics. Yet given the opposition such schemes have faced throughout history, what prompted states to introduce them? Drawing on a new study, Herbert Obinger and Carina Schmitt highlight the crucial impact the West’s experience with […]

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    Is the liberal international order in a state of terminal decline?

Is the liberal international order in a state of terminal decline?

The disengagement of the United States from multilateral cooperation and a rise in ‘illiberal’ politics across the globe have led many observers to conclude the liberal international order is in a state of decline. Drawing on a new study, Mette Eilstrup-Sangiovanni and Stephanie C. Hofmann argue that what we may be witnessing is not necessarily the breakdown of the existing order, but […]

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Understanding EU trade policy in the twenty-first century

The EU has negotiated numerous bilateral trade agreements with countries around the world during the last two decades. As we move into 2020, Patrick Leblond and Crina Viju-Miljusevic take stock of the changes that have occurred in EU trade policy in the twenty-first century and highlight some key future research agendas.

Over the last 20 years, the European Union (EU) […]

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Why Europe’s immigration policies are not converging

Are immigration policies in European countries converging? Or do some countries remain more open to immigrants than others? Drawing on a new study, Erica Consterdine and James Hampshire write that while it might be expected that globalisation would have encouraged European states to adopt similar immigration policies, there is little sign this has occurred. There is some evidence that […]

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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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    Why attitudes toward globalisation matter for voting behaviour

Why attitudes toward globalisation matter for voting behaviour

Academics and political commentators frequently cite responses to globalisation as an explanation for some of the recent changes that have occurred in European politics. But how do citizens actually make sense of the concept of globalisation? Drawing on a new study, Matthias Mader, Nils Steiner and Harald Schoen provide evidence that German citizens hold meaningful attitudes toward globalisation, and […]

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    Understanding the two faces of solidarity in the Eurozone and migration crises

Understanding the two faces of solidarity in the Eurozone and migration crises

The principle of ‘solidarity’ was a key feature of debates during the Eurozone crisis and the migration crisis, but the way in which the term was used differed in both cases. Drawing on a new study, Stefan Wallaschek explains that while the concept of solidarity is often assumed to be owned by actors on the left of the political […]

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