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    Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress by Thomas J. Bollyky

Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress by Thomas J. Bollyky

In Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, Thomas J. Bollyky combines a ‘germ’s eye view’ of human history with some powerful reflections on the challenges that face us over the coming decades. This is a beautifully written book, recommends Duncan Green, packed with great one-liners and historical anecdotes.
This review was originally published on the blog From Poverty to Power.
Plagues and the Paradox of Progress. Thomas […]

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    Book Review: Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond edited by Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri

Book Review: Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond edited by Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri

In Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond, Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri bring together leading academics and practitioners to explore opportunities and challenges when it comes to innovating and developing rural communities — the ‘smart village’ approach. Drawing on inspiring case studies, the book offers numerous strategies and human-centred recommendations aimed at enabling a brighter future for rural communities around the world, […]

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    Regulating COVID-19: What lessons can be learned from the handling of the 2009 swine flu pandemic by the EU and the WHO?

Regulating COVID-19: What lessons can be learned from the handling of the 2009 swine flu pandemic by the EU and the WHO?

Given the unprecedented response of governments across the world to COVID-19, what lessons can be learned from the last pandemic to hit the world in 2009? Esther Versluis explains that a notable problem with the WHO’s response to the swine flu pandemic was that it downplayed the uncertain nature of information during the outbreak, prompting criticism of its advice. […]

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    Not as simple as it should be? Why the judicial enforcement of posted workers’ rights needs improvement

Not as simple as it should be? Why the judicial enforcement of posted workers’ rights needs improvement

Companies based within the EU occasionally send their employees to work in other EU member states for limited periods of time – a process commonly termed ‘posting’. In principle, these workers are entitled under EU law to certain rights while working abroad, but in practice these rights are not always respected. Drawing on a new study, Magdalena Bernaciak and […]

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    Book Review: The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin

Book Review: The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics and the Future of Work by Richard Baldwin

In The Globotics Upheaval: Globalization, Robotics and the Future of Work, Richard Baldwin provides a new analysis of how automation and globalisation could together shape our societies in the years to come. Drawing on numerous examples to keep readers engaged from cover to cover, this book is a tour de force, writes Wannaphong Durongkaveroj, discussing the past, present and future of globalisation and automation […]

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    Book Review: The Bourdieu Paradigm: The Origins and Evolution of an Intellectual Social Project by Derek Robbins

Book Review: The Bourdieu Paradigm: The Origins and Evolution of an Intellectual Social Project by Derek Robbins

In The Bourdieu Paradigm: The Origins and Evolution of an Intellectual Social Project, Derek Robbins explores the intellectual and social background informing the development of the theoretical perspective, or theory-as-method, of Pierre Bourdieu. Given the increasing application of Bourdieu’s theoretical tools across the social sciences, this book is a timely addition to scholarship, writes Ross Goldstone. 
The Bourdieu Paradigm: The Origins and Evolution of […]

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    Who gets the blame? How policymakers in the EU shift responsibility when things go wrong

Who gets the blame? How policymakers in the EU shift responsibility when things go wrong

EU membership provides ample opportunities for politicians at the national level to shift blame for unpopular decisions to the EU’s institutions, while EU-level actors also have an incentive to blame national politicians when things go wrong. Drawing on a new study, Tim Heinkelmann-Wild explains how these blame-avoidance processes function in practice.

When EU policies are publicly contested, policymakers try […]

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    Trust spillovers: Does increasing public trust in the EU’s institutions undermine support for national institutions?

Trust spillovers: Does increasing public trust in the EU’s institutions undermine support for national institutions?

Several studies have identified a link between the public’s trust in national institutions and their trust in the EU’s institutions. Yet the effect of this link is unclear, with some studies finding that an increase in trust in national institutions boosts trust in the EU’s institutions, and other studies identifying the opposite relationship. Drawing on a new study, Goran […]

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    Interest group access to Commission expert groups varies substantially across policy areas

Interest group access to Commission expert groups varies substantially across policy areas

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 […]

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    10 of the best books of 2019 recommended by LSE blog editors

10 of the best books of 2019 recommended by LSE blog editors

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 […]

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    Why veil restrictions increase the risk of terrorism in Europe

Why veil restrictions increase the risk of terrorism in Europe

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 […]

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    Book Review: 1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler by Tobias Straumann

Book Review: 1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler by Tobias Straumann

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, […]

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    Within a single generation, Poland has gone from one of the most egalitarian countries in Europe to one of the most unequal

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 […]

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    Book Review: When the State Winks: The Performance of Jewish Conversion in Israel by Michal Kravel-Tovi

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, […]

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    Evidence from Norway: Does immigration reduce the strength of trade unions?

Evidence from Norway: Does immigration reduce the strength of trade unions?

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 […]

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    The Yellow Vests: An economic populism that is neither left nor right-wing

The Yellow Vests: An economic populism that is neither left nor right-wing

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 […]

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    How coalition dynamics affect Eurosceptic voting in European Parliament elections

How coalition dynamics affect Eurosceptic voting in European Parliament elections

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 […]

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    Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles

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 […]

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    Is the resurgence of Europe’s far-right a cultural or an economic phenomenon?

Is the resurgence of Europe’s far-right a cultural or an economic phenomenon?

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 […]

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    Book Review: Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen and David Soskice

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 […]

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