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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    Thomas Piketty: “The current economic system is not working when it comes to solving inequality”

Thomas Piketty: “The current economic system is not working when it comes to solving inequality”

Following a recent event at LSE, Thomas Piketty took questions from LSE staff, students and members of the public on inequality and his latest book, Capital and Ideology.

Will we see a dramatic shift in inequality in the UK following Brexit?

I think, if anything, Brexit will exacerbate the trend toward rising inequality. This is because it will tend to exacerbate things […]

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    Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s resignation will accelerate Merkel’s exit

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s resignation will accelerate Merkel’s exit

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s resignation as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has thrown German politics into a period of uncertainty. John Ryan writes that the affair could ultimately hasten the departure of Angela Merkel as German chancellor.

The race to succeed Angela Merkel as German leader has been thrown wide open after Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), the woman long seen […]

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    Britain needs friends in the post-Brexit era. Alienating EU allies would be counter-productive

Britain needs friends in the post-Brexit era. Alienating EU allies would be counter-productive

Amid the posturing about trade, the fact that Britain no longer has a voice in the EU has gone largely unremarked, writes N Piers Ludlow. He warns that alienating European allies by talking tough risks harming the UK’s soft power and long-term interests.
At the heart of Edward Heath’s speech winding up the so-called ‘Great Debate’ in October 1971, when the Commons […]

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    Far-right, populist or bourgeois? How the election of Thuringia’s regional governor shakes up German politics

Far-right, populist or bourgeois? How the election of Thuringia’s regional governor shakes up German politics

The election of liberal politician Thomas Kemmerich as regional governor of the German state of Thuringia has shaken up German politics. Julian Göpffarth writes that the surprise vote shows far-right ideas in Germany not only resonate with the economically left-behind, but also with an educated bourgeoisie.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020 is likely to enter German post war history as a […]

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Brexit and the liberal elephant trap

Given the success of populist politicians across Europe, some pro-Europeans have openly wondered whether they should adopt the same tactics as populist parties to make the case for European integration. Michael Cottakis argues that this would be a mistake. To reverse the trend, pro-Europeans must quit dabbling in populism and instead play to their strengths by promoting dialogue and […]

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    What would it take for Scotland to rejoin the EU as an independent state?

What would it take for Scotland to rejoin the EU as an independent state?

If Scotland voted for independence, it would probably apply to rejoin the EU. Despite its unique history, it would have to follow the normal path to EU accession, says Anthony Salamone. Scots are not keen on the euro and fisheries would be a flashpoint. While the Scottish government would be well-advised not to seek opt-outs of the kind the UK […]

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The implications of Brexit for the UK economy

The United Kingdom has now formally left the European Union, but what does the future hold for the British economy? Following a recent event at LSE, Gerard Lyons, Vicky Pryce and John Van Reenen took questions from LSE staff, students and members of the public on the economic impact of Brexit.

A lot of the focus on the economic impact […]

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    Understanding the key factors that lead countries to reform their pension systems

Understanding the key factors that lead countries to reform their pension systems

Faced with ageing populations and strains on their public finances, many countries across Europe have endeavoured to reform their pension systems, yet these reforms have varied substantially in their content and aims. Leandro N. Carrera and Marina Angelaki present findings from a novel study of eight European countries to highlight the key factors that lead countries to undergo significant […]

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    Lessons from the Nordics: Does party membership still provide a meaningful link between citizens and politics?

Lessons from the Nordics: Does party membership still provide a meaningful link between citizens and politics?

Political parties play a crucial role in enabling the views of citizens to be represented in political decision-making. Yet across Europe, the vast majority of citizens no longer actively participate in political parties, with party membership numbers experiencing a sharp fall in recent decades. Drawing on a new edited volume covering the Nordic countries, Marie Demker, Knut Heidar and […]

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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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