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.
Banks in the euro area have stabilised since the financial crisis, but as Eleni Louri-Dendrinou and Petros Migiakis write, their profitability has not improved to the degree experienced in other countries such as the Nordics or the United States. With the post-crisis macro-economic environment now deteriorating, they argue it is vital policymakers focus on the creation of a genuine […]
Drawing on a new study, Stuart J. Turnbull-Dugarte demonstrates that sexuality has a significant impact on political behaviour across western Europe, with lesbian, gay and bisexual voters far more likely to back parties on the left.
In a recent study, I carried out what is likely to be the first large cross-national analysis of the voting preferences of lesbian, gay […]
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 […]
In an ‘epistocracy’, only some people would be allowed to vote. Those who advocate this system have cited Brexit and Trump’s election as evidence that the franchise should be restricted to those who have sufficient ‘political knowledge’ to use it. Linsey McGoey explains why, contrary to their claims, John Stuart Mill would not have endorsed this dangerous form of […]
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, […]
In Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World, Krishan Kumar analyses five key historical empires – the Ottoman, the Habsburg, the Russian/Soviet, the British and the French – making the case for how the ideas and ideologies of each shaped their mode of imperial rule and enduring influence. Due to a lack of clarity in the book’s central thesis and its […]
The far-right party Vox is expected to see a sharp increase in support in the Spanish general election on Sunday. Mariana S. Mendes writes that the party has clearly benefited from the heightened attention paid to Catalan independence in recent weeks, but it has also managed to successfully instrumentalise the issue of irregular migration, despite a fall in the […]
A key aim of the EU’s eastern enlargement was to improve standards of governance and the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe. Yet as Dimitar Bechev explains, the last 15 years have produced a mixed record. He argues that while the EU cannot offer any silver bullets, it is still a badly-needed ally in strengthening the rule of […]
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 […]
Green parties were the main winners from the 2019 Swiss federal elections held on 20 October. Clive H. Church explains that in a country known for the stability of its party system, the gains made by the Green Party and the Green Liberals were striking. However, given the unique way in which governments are formed in Switzerland, and with […]
Germany will mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November. Martin J. Bull writes that alongside the sweeping changes that occurred in central and eastern Europe, the end of the Cold War also had a lasting legacy for western European states. While the demise of western Europe’s communist parties after 1989 appeared to […]