Law and Justice maintained its position in power at the Polish general election in October, but the party may well face a more challenging political and economic environment during its second term in office. Aleks Szczerbiak explains that to govern effectively, Law and Justice will need to win next May’s crucial presidential election, hope the economy remains buoyant enough […]
If Article 50 enabled Brexit, does this mean that exit clauses make secessions from a political union more likely? Drawing on a new study, Martijn Huysmans and Christophe Crombez demonstrate that exit clauses which incorporate penalties for the seceding state can lead to more efficient exit decisions. They argue that further research into exit clauses might help enable efficient […]
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 […]
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 […]
Are immigration policies in European countries converging? Or do some countries remain more open to immigrants than others? Drawing on a new study, Erica Consterdine and James Hampshire write that while it might be expected that globalisation would have encouraged European states to adopt similar immigration policies, there is little sign this has occurred. There is some evidence that […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
The amount of legislation a political system produces is an important indicator of its performance. Yet as Dimiter Toshkov explains, when it comes to the adoption of new legislation, the last European Parliament and Commission were among the least productive in recent history. He argues that a less political and more pragmatic Commission may be more successful in finding […]
The discovery of thousands of illegally wiretapped recordings generated a major scandal in North Macedonia in 2015. Following the scandal, there were renewed demands to tackle corruption and state capture. Misha Popovikj argues that the experience in the four years since highlights why anti-corruption strategies must be built on a thorough diagnosis of the problem.
Back in 2015, European […]
It is unclear whether the UK’s general election on 12 December will unlock the stalemate over Brexit that characterised the previous parliament. Tim Heinkelmann-Wild and Lisa Kriegmair write that the inability of Theresa May and Boris Johnson to win the backing of MPs for their Brexit strategies illustrates the impact that ‘wedge issues’ can have on party politics. As […]
Book Review: In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy by Katrina Forrester
With In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy, Katrina Forrester explores how John Rawls’s justice theory became the dominant way of thinking about institutions and individuals in the second half of the twentieth century. This important work sheds light on the conceptual roots of modern political thought while at the same time disclosing its limits, writes Rahel […]
Brexit promises not only to have a major impact on British politics, but also on the nature of European integration. Drawing on a new book, Jarle Trondal, Stefan Gänzle and Benjamin Leruth explain why processes of differentiated integration and disintegration could play a greater role in the EU following Brexit.
The United Kingdom is set to become the first member […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
If capitalism has triumphed to become the sole socio-economic system globally, what are the prospects for achieving a fairer world? In his new book Capitalism, Alone: The Future of the System That Rules the World, Branko Milanovic examines the historical shifts that have led to capitalism’s dominance and looks at the varieties of capitalism at work today to propose choices to ensure […]
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.