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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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    Book Review: The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction by Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb

Book Review: The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction by Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb

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. […]

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How ‘family-friendly’ are European countries?

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 […]

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    Book Review: The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey

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. 
The […]

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    Why don’t left-wing governments reverse reforms implemented during a bailout? Evidence from Spain and Portugal

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 […]

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    Critically democratic: Explaining the collapse and revival of political support in Germany

Critically democratic: Explaining the collapse and revival of political support in Germany

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 […]

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New evidence shows gender equality builds life satisfaction

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 […]

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    Book Review: …and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year by Michael Hudson

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 […]

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    Popular populists: Do anti-establishment voters stick with populist parties after they enter the mainstream?

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 […]

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    Most trade in services happens between cities rather than countries

Most trade in services happens between cities rather than countries

Services, as opposed to goods, may provide the opportunity for trade diversification that the world is seeking. Saul Estrin and Daniel Shapiro write that facilitating trade in services, particularly knowledge-intensive ones, will require developing strong global cities as trade hubs.
Many countries have begun to think about trade diversification. After all, one of the reasons for Brexit was to allow […]

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The impact of job loss on political ideology

Do citizens alter their political ideology when they lose their job? Drawing on data from the Netherlands, Dingeman Wiertz and Toni Rodon find that – if anything – people revise their ideology to the left upon becoming unemployed.

What happens to citizens’ political preferences when they are confronted with economic hardship? This longstanding question has recently attracted renewed attention in […]

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    Book Review: Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology by Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer

Book Review: Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology by Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer

In Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology, Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer argues that speculative fiction offers a rich vein to theorise catastrophe and crisis in ways that are not paralysing or demoralising, drawing on the work of those such as Octavia E. Butler and Kurt Vonnegut. This book admirably succeeds in showing its source material to offer a […]

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    How technological change shapes labour market prospects and political preferences

How technological change shapes labour market prospects and political preferences

New technological advances will have a significant impact on the labour markets of the future. But might these changes also help explain the rise of populist politics? Drawing on new research, Thomas Kurer and Bruno Palier explain that the political disruptions we are currently observing across the world are a likely expression of fears revolving around workplace automation and […]

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