The access of interest groups to the European Commission has important implications for the legitimacy of the EU policy process. Yet there is a widely held assumption that groups representing specific interests, such as business associations, are likely to enjoy greater access than those representing ‘diffuse’ interests, such as environmental and consumer organisations. Drawing on new research, Carl Vikberg […]
Many of the LSE blogs regularly feature book reviews of the latest publications emerging across the social sciences. But which books have LSE blog editors been enjoying in 2019? In this list, five LSE blog editors recommend their favourite reads of the year.
Much of my work involves thinking about Brexit, which can be unhealthy. The fact that so much […]
Several countries across Europe have put restrictions on wearing veils in public spaces. Drawing on a new study, Stuti Manchanda and Nilay Saiya write that far from helping to combat extremism, these restrictions are strongly and positively correlated with an increase in terrorist activity. They suggest this may be due to veil restrictions generating resentment among Muslim communities and […]
In 1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler, Tobias Straumann details how the German financial disaster of this momentous year not only devastated the country’s domestic economy but also sent shockwaves through the international financial system and paved the way for the ascent of Adolf Hitler. In this excellent book, Straumann narrates the German story of 1931 with clarity and authority, […]
Within a single generation, Poland has gone from one of the most egalitarian countries in Europe to one of the most unequal
Poland experienced a sharp rise in inequality during its transition from communism to capitalism, and this trend has continued into the 2000s. Pawel Bukowski and Filip Novokmet chart a century of data on Polish inequality to examine the key causes. Their work illustrates the central role of policies and institutions in shaping long-run inequality. This rising inequality and promises […]
Book Review: When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel by Michal Kravel-Tovi
In Israel, Jewish conversions by first and second generation repatriates from the former Soviet Union are often depicted in public discourse as ‘wink-wink’ conversions, whereby converts and the state pretend that converts’ commitment to the Jewish faith and practice is sincere rather than performed solely for the duration of the conversion process. In When the State Winks, Michal Kravel-Tovi unsettles this narrative, […]
If a large number of foreign workers enter a labour market, it might be expected to have a negative impact on the strength of trade unions. Presenting findings from a recent study of workers in Norway, Henning Finseraas, Marianne Røed and Pål Schøne explain that although a rise in immigration following the EU’s 2004 enlargement did have some important […]
The French Yellow Vests recently celebrated their first birthday, yet there remain many uncertainties about how to interpret the movement. Drawing on an online survey of 5,000 participants, Tristan Guerra, Chloé Alexandre and Frédéric Gonthier contend that economic populism is key to understanding the protesters’ grievances.
Since November 2018, France has witnessed an unprecedented social movement. What started as an […]
A widely held view of European Parliament elections is that they are ‘second order’ contests, with voters often casting their ballot on the basis of national rather than European issues. Drawing on a new study, Francesco Zucchini and Stefano Camatarri assess the impact of one domestic factor which has largely been overlooked in previous research: the makeup of a […]
Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles
In Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France, Ignacio Siles studies the evolution of the blog both as a technological platform and a medium of personal expression, focusing particularly on the different conditions that have shaped the creation, adoption and transformation of blogs in the US and France. The book provides powerful insights into the mutually constitutive relationship […]
There has been a spectacular rise in support for far-right parties in Europe over the last two decades, but what has driven this electoral success? Drawing on new research, Vasiliki Georgiadou, Lamprini Rori and Costas Roumanias demonstrate that different types of far-right party have benefitted from different factors: economic insecurity has helped increase support for ‘extremist right’ parties, while […]
Book Review: Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen and David Soskice
In Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century, Torben Iversen and David Soskice add to current debates concerning the relationship between democracy and capitalism by arguing that they mutually support each other and enable resilience through turbulence and crisis. This is a welcome contribution to scholarship exploring the ‘crisis of democratic capitalism’, writes M Kerem Coban, and offers a unique and provocative framework […]
In The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction, Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb bring together Marx’s early writings in order to shape them into a distinct political philosophy. This is a diligently and rigorously researched work, writes Tarique Niazi, that will serve as a must-have primer for both early and advanced students and scholars of Marx.
The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction. Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb. Bloomsbury. […]
Which European countries offer the most support to families? Yekaterina Chzhen, Anna Gromada and Gwyther Rees write that when all factors are considered, the Nordic countries, with their strong public spheres, are more supportive than those which elevate the family as a private institution.
Bringing up children can be seen as the sole responsibility of families or as a role […]
Book Review: The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey
In The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation, Carl Benedikt Frey explores automation and its consequences, taking the reader on a long sweep of UK and US industrial history that demonstrates the distinction between labour-enabling and labour-replacing technologies. As arguably the most comprehensive account of automation to date, this book deserves to be read widely, writes Liam Kennedy.
Why don’t left-wing governments reverse reforms implemented during a bailout? Evidence from Spain and Portugal
Following the Eurozone crisis, Spain and Portugal implemented a package of reforms as a condition for receiving financial assistance. But now that left-wing governments are in power in both countries, have these reforms simply been reversed? Drawing on new research, Catherine Moury, Daniel Cardoso and Angie Gago write that several reforms have indeed been reversed, but this has occurred […]
Recent decades have been associated with declining public trust in democratic institutions across Europe. Drawing on new research of German public attitudes, Ross Campbell illustrates that this picture may be more complex than is generally recognised. Although satisfaction with democracy and trust in democratic institutions declined sharply following German reunification in 1990, public criticism of institutions and the functioning […]
Are societies with high levels of gender equality more likely to be happier? Drawing on new research, Andre P. Audette explains that greater gender equality in a country is associated with an increase in life satisfaction. Importantly, this pattern is not only seen among women, but holds true for men as well.
Over the past several decades, countries around the […]
Book Review: …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year by Michael Hudson
In …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year, Michael Hudson offers a historical account of the role that debt played in ancient societies. In focusing on how such societies dealt with the proliferation of debts that cannot be paid, this book sheds informative light on the significance of debt today, writes Alfredo Hernandez […]
Popular populists: Do anti-establishment voters stick with populist parties after they enter the mainstream?
Self-proclaimed populist challengers to the ‘establishment’ have taken hold in many European countries, but what lies behind the success of these parties? Werner Krause and Aiko Wagner show the reasons for voting for populist parties vary systematically with the degree of establishment of these parties. If citizens distrust national parliaments and believe the political mainstream is not responsive to […]