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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    Spain’s elections: What’s at stake and what’s the likely outcome?

Spain’s elections: What’s at stake and what’s the likely outcome?

Spain will hold a general election on 28 April. Sebastian Balfour writes that with the issue of Catalan separatism still shaping the national debate, and a new wild card emerging on the right of the party system in the shape of the populist party Vox, the outcome of the elections could be crucial for the future of Spanish politics.

These are volatile times in Spain as the general […]

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    Financial markets vs Brussels: What is the best anchor for policies?

Financial markets vs Brussels: What is the best anchor for policies?

Lorenzo Codogno argues that the economic and financial crisis that started more than ten years ago was not only devastating for the Italian economy, but also jeopardised a key mechanism for achieving political consensus. Brussels’ role as an external anchor for economic policies that are in the common interest but are socially and politically difficult to accept and implement […]

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    Why Erdoğan’s political machine is losing its grip over Turkey

Why Erdoğan’s political machine is losing its grip over Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan suffered a significant setback in local elections held at the end of March. Sevinç Bermek writes that the elections highlighted the extent to which Erdoğan and his party are beginning to lose their grip over Turkish politics in the aftermath of the country’s financial and economic crisis.

On 31 March, Turkey held local elections. Current […]

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    Quick take: The EU’s irrational position on the Brexit backstop

Quick take: The EU’s irrational position on the Brexit backstop

The EU would apparently prefer the UK to fall into no deal rather than compromising on the Northern Ireland backstop, writes Simon Witney. The stand-off could end if the EU were prepared to accept a second-best alternative.

The European Union’s position in the Brexit negotiations, if one takes it at face value, is self-evidently irrational. It is remarkable that this […]

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    From cautious member to bold leader? The Netherlands in the EU after Brexit

From cautious member to bold leader? The Netherlands in the EU after Brexit

The UK’s decision to leave the EU has caused concern in Europe about further defections. Lisa ten Brinke argues Brexit has had the opposite effect – at least in the Netherlands. Despite having leaned on their British partners for support in the past, the country is now ready to rebalance its approach to the EU in the aftermath of […]

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    EU government negotiations and political ‘signals’ to national parliaments

EU government negotiations and political ‘signals’ to national parliaments

When national governments negotiate EU policies, are they influenced by the actions of their national parliaments back home? Drawing on a new study, Sara Hagemann, Stefanie Bailer and Alexander Herzog demonstrate that they are: when national parliaments have formal powers to oversee and restrict the positions of governments, there are significantly higher numbers of opposing votes and formal policy […]

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    Why non-performing loans are still putting the European Banking Union at risk

Why non-performing loans are still putting the European Banking Union at risk

Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratios in countries like Italy, Portugal and Spain have started to decrease sharply, but as Corrado Macchiarelli, Renato Giacon, Andromachi Georgosouli and Mara Monti write, this has received relatively little media attention in comparison to previous fears over the accumulation of NPLs in the EU. They explain that despite the lack of headlines about NPLs, one […]

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    UK economy since the Brexit vote: slower GDP growth, lower productivity, and a weaker pound

UK economy since the Brexit vote: slower GDP growth, lower productivity, and a weaker pound

Evidence of the UK’s economic performance since the EU Referendum is clear: GDP growth has slowed down, productivity has suffered, the pound has depreciated and purchasing power has gone down, and investments have declined. In this blog, Josh De Lyon and Swati Dhingra argue that the impact of the Brexit vote on the health of the economy can now be evaluated […]

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    Not all the ‘over 65s’ are in favour of Brexit – Britain’s wartime generation are almost as pro-EU as millennials

Not all the ‘over 65s’ are in favour of Brexit – Britain’s wartime generation are almost as pro-EU as millennials

There is a significant difference in opinion on Brexit between different age groups in the UK, with older citizens generally exhibiting more negative attitudes toward the EU than younger citizens. But as Kieran Devine writes, while ‘over 65s’ are typically treated as a single category in opinion polls, there are substantial generational differences within this group, with those who […]

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    Germany will not allow Brexit to compromise EU core principles

Germany will not allow Brexit to compromise EU core principles

The powerful role of German business was brought into the Brexit debate during the referendum campaign by Leave campaigners as they brushed off predictions of hampered trade with the EU in a post-Brexit world. They argued that German carmakers would surely make their interests heard. But as John Ryan argues, this did not happen and Germany will not allow Brexit to […]

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Entrepreneurship 2020: Time for a new settlement?

In the midst of the Eurozone crisis, the European Commission unveiled ‘Entrepreneurship 2020’, a new set of guiding principles designed to re-energise entrepreneurialism across the continent. However, as Joseph Ganderson, Tommaso Giulla and Kayrin Gauci argue, while this action plan had noble intentions, it has struggled to deliver meaningful change in each of its target areas. The time is […]

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Can the wisdom of the crowd predict a second EU referendum?

If the UK were to hold another EU referendum, would the public now vote to Remain? Davide Morisi writes that while opinion polls have a patchy record of success in forecasting recent elections, the so called ‘wisdom of the crowd’ could potentially provide more accurate predictions. When voters were asked which side they thought would win in 2016, a […]

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    Beyond Operation Sophia: What role for the military in migration policy?

Beyond Operation Sophia: What role for the military in migration policy?

As a response to the migration crisis in 2015, the EU established ‘Operation Sophia’, a naval mission intended to disrupt established human smuggling networks in the Mediterranean. The mandate for Operation Sophia is due to expire at the end of this month, yet with divisions among member states, there is no agreement on whether it will be extended. Julia […]

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    Mediterranean ‘tiger cubs’: How local innovation can boost global competitiveness

Mediterranean ‘tiger cubs’: How local innovation can boost global competitiveness

Promoting entrepreneurship is often viewed as a responsibility of national governments, but how can local governance help foster the conditions under which entrepreneurs might thrive? Michael Cottakis highlights the development of local pockets of technological innovation in Portugal and explains what other countries like Greece could potentially learn from the experience as they seek to recover from the financial […]

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    The quiet before the storm? Despite attempts to return to stable politics, Germany is heading for another tumultuous year

The quiet before the storm? Despite attempts to return to stable politics, Germany is heading for another tumultuous year

Germany’s once stable party system has undergone substantial change in the last few years. Julian Göpffarth writes that while 2019 has so far promised to be less chaotic, upcoming EU and state elections are likely to stir up tensions that politicians have worked hard to overcome.

Looking at German media one might be struck by the absence of the upcoming […]

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    A new great game unfolding: Priorities for a new EU strategy on Central Asia

A new great game unfolding: Priorities for a new EU strategy on Central Asia

The EU is expected to approve a new strategy for engaging with countries in Central Asia this year. Ann Sander Nielsen writes that in developing the new strategy, the EU must avoid compromising its founding values under the guise of ‘principled pragmatism’.

During the first part of this year, the European Union will adopt a new strategy for its engagement […]

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    Greece and Argentina show why pension reforms should not be used as a quick fix for a financial crisis

Greece and Argentina show why pension reforms should not be used as a quick fix for a financial crisis

Greece and Argentina both introduced radical pension reforms following the financial crisis. Drawing on recent research, Marina Angelaki and Leandro Carrera argue that while both countries lacked access to international financial markets and had unsustainable pension systems, the reforms have been short-sighted, ultimately undermining the adequacy and sustainability of pensions. A future overhaul of their systems looks unavoidable.

Latin American […]

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How state-owned banks in Turkey support the ruling party

Government ownership of banks can help solve credit market failures and stabilise the supply of credit over the business cycle. However, it can also end up serving political interests and lead to a misallocation of financial resources. Çağatay Bircan and Orkun Saka provide new evidence that state-owned banks systematically engage in tactical redistribution of credit in line with the […]

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    Emergency politics: Why the UK keeps emphasising 29 March as Brexit day

Emergency politics: Why the UK keeps emphasising 29 March as Brexit day

Ever since Theresa May triggered Article 50, 29 March keeps being portrayed as Brexit day. This continues to be the case, even though it is highly likely that an extension will be requested. Jonathan White explains why the focus on this deadline has a number of aims, not least to weaken resistance.

29 March 2019 has dominated British politics for […]

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    Topic-modelling the 2019 European Parliament elections: The long awaited battle over the ‘soul of Europe’?

Topic-modelling the 2019 European Parliament elections: The long awaited battle over the ‘soul of Europe’?

The campaign for the next European Parliament elections in May is now entering full swing. Miriam Sorace presents a detailed analysis of the platforms of the main European Party Groups ahead of the vote and assesses what the political consequences of the election might be for the EU over the next five years.

In his speech at the December […]

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