LSE Comment

This section showcases articles from LSE academics, students and alumni which have appeared on EUROPP – European Politics and Policy.

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    Battle of the mandate: Defining the dispute over a new Scottish independence referendum

Battle of the mandate: Defining the dispute over a new Scottish independence referendum

The ongoing dispute over whether a new Scottish independence referendum should take place reflects very different interpretations of Scotland’s sovereignty, writes Anthony Salamone. Questions of whether Westminster or Holyrood can determine if a new referendum is held are distinct from the issue of independence itself, and will most likely continue to be contested at least until after the next Scottish […]

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    There is a good reason for EU banks to hold their own country’s sovereign debt

There is a good reason for EU banks to hold their own country’s sovereign debt

The so called ‘moral suasion’ hypothesis indicates that governments may implicitly force their domestic banks to hold a larger chunk of government bonds when they experience stress. But is this reason to shift responsibilities from national to supranational institutions? Orkun Saka argues that there is in fact a good reason for EU banks to hold their own country’s sovereign […]

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    Austria’s new ÖVP-Green coalition is unlikely to alter the country’s conservative course

Austria’s new ÖVP-Green coalition is unlikely to alter the country’s conservative course

On 7 January, Austria’s new government was sworn in by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. For the first time in history, the country will be co-governed by the centre-left Green Party, who became the junior coalition partner of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP). However, as Maya Janik explains, there is little reason to believe the composition of the […]

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Taking stock of Christine Lagarde’s challenges at the ECB

Lorenzo Codogno and Mara Monti argue that Christine Lagarde’s challenges at the helm of the ECB remain daunting, despite smooth sailing during her first press conference and a notably different communication style. Issues will emerge from different sources, not least the ECB’s problematic relationship with political actors, but she appears well equipped to address these as they arise.

Christine Lagarde’s […]

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    Ursula von der Leyen: “We have to be very clear that Brexit is a matter of trade-offs and choices”

Ursula von der Leyen: “We have to be very clear that Brexit is a matter of trade-offs and choices”

Following her recent lecture at LSE, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, took questions from LSE staff, students and members of the media on the Brexit process and the need for close relations to be maintained between the UK and the EU.

Might it be possible to agree the outline of a deal (with the UK) […]

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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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What to expect from the Croatian presidential election

Croatia will hold a presidential election on 22 December, with a second round of voting set for 5 January if no candidate wins a majority. Tena Prelec previews the contest and assesses what the result might mean for the country’s next parliamentary election, due to be held in 2020.

In spite of 11 candidates gracing the stage of the one […]

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UK general election: The view from across Europe

The Conservative Party’s victory in the UK’s general election was keenly watched elsewhere across Europe. Stuart Brown presents an overview of analysis and reactions from the continent.

“Johnson convinced a majority of voters he could get them out of a maze in which they had been stuck for more than three years”

Le Monde writes that whatever one may think about Boris Johnson’s […]

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    The proposed reform of the European Stability Mechanism must be postponed

The proposed reform of the European Stability Mechanism must be postponed

Eurozone finance ministers reached a preliminary agreement on a reform of the European Stability Mechanism in June, but failed to conclude it last week. The reform is now set to be discussed during the European Council meeting on 12-13 December. Shahin Vallée, Jérémie Cohen-Setton, Paul De Grauwe and Sebastian Dullien write that the proposal should not be endorsed in […]

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    A new expert survey suggests the UK’s general election will be tighter than expected

A new expert survey suggests the UK’s general election will be tighter than expected

There are many ways to estimate the likely outcome of an election, from projections and models based on polls to citizen forecasts. Another approach is to survey experts for their predictions and, writes Joe Greenwood, the Political Studies Association recently did just that in relation to the general election. Moving beyond the current polling figures, the experts anticipate a […]

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UK general election primers: Immigration

Polling data suggests that Brexit is viewed as the most important issue for voters ahead of the UK’s general election on 12 December. Immigration, which has previously been viewed as one of the most important issues, has experienced a relative decline in salience since the last general election in 2017, but its purported effects on the labour market and the […]

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    Macron closed the door on Albania, but Tirana’s youth has opened a window to Europe

Macron closed the door on Albania, but Tirana’s youth has opened a window to Europe

The city of Tirana has been awarded the title of European Youth Capital for 2022. Epidamn Zeqo, Director of Strategic Planning and Implementation of Priorities for the Municipality of Tirana, explains what the award means for the city and for Albania as a whole. He writes that despite disappointment at the EU’s decision to block the start of membership […]

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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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    The misuse of CAP funds in Central and Eastern Europe is a symptom of corruption, not a cause

The misuse of CAP funds in Central and Eastern Europe is a symptom of corruption, not a cause

An investigation published by the New York Times has raised concerns about the misuse of EU Common Agricultural Policy funding in several states in Central and Eastern Europe. Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni and Philip Schnattinger argue that although the report should be welcomed, it provided a misleading impression of the wider issues with land distribution in post-communist Europe. The misuse of […]

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    Serbia’s deal with the Eurasian Economic Union: A triumph of foreign policy over economics

Serbia’s deal with the Eurasian Economic Union: A triumph of foreign policy over economics

Serbia recently signed a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Vuk Vuksanovic writes that although the deal was praised by some politicians for opening up new economic opportunities, the economic impact is likely to be minimal for both Serbia and the EAEU. He argues the real aim of the agreement from Serbia’s perspective was to use […]

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Britain’s Europe and the end of Empire

Britain’s relationship with Europe has a complex history, of which Brexit is merely the latest development. Simon Glendinning explains that the country’s post-War understanding of both itself and of Europe has often been caught up in a (selective) history and memory of British and European discovery, colonialism and Empire. The hope that the UK might find a new post-Empire […]

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The Expo dilemma: What a trivial story tells us about Italy

Obey the law, and risk irreparable harm to a significant public interest, or break the law and safeguard it? Andrea Capussela writes that this dilemma was briefly the subject of debate in Italy. That nobody said that a third alternative existed casts some light on the country’s problems.

For a quarter of a century, Italy has been in decline. The […]

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What Brexit means for the UK’s public infrastructure

The UK has received support from the European Investment Bank for a variety of infrastructure projects. However, as Micaela Mihov explains, the loss of this support following Brexit may have a negative impact on the country’s public infrastructure. She argues that one of the best options to mitigate the impact would be the establishment of a UK infrastructure bank.

Since […]

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    The fiscal stimulus that is not: Why there is no fiscal expansion in sight for the Eurozone

The fiscal stimulus that is not: Why there is no fiscal expansion in sight for the Eurozone

Euroland or Neverland? Lorenzo Codogno argues that constrained monetary policy calls for a greater role for fiscal policy in supporting the Eurozone economy, as former ECB President Mario Draghi recently suggested. Yet of the three potential routes that could be taken in this regard, none seem destined to be implemented. Leaving aside structural issues, which may well prolong current […]

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The danger of personalised power in the EU

The EU has frequently been caricatured as a ‘faceless bureaucracy’, where rules and procedures take precedence over powerful personalities. Yet this depersonalisation of power has recently been challenged by the emergence of some visible, decisive figures. Jonathan White argues that while this may be seen as a welcome improvement by some observers, when power is located in a small, […]

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