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    Explaining the surge of the far-right ahead of Spain’s election

Explaining the surge of the far-right ahead of Spain’s election

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 […]

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Can the European Union tackle corruption and state capture?

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 […]

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    How coalition dynamics affect Eurosceptic voting in European Parliament elections

How coalition dynamics affect Eurosceptic voting in European Parliament elections

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 […]

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    Much greener than expected: Key takeaways from the 2019 Swiss federal elections

Much greener than expected: Key takeaways from the 2019 Swiss federal elections

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 […]

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    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ghosts of West European communism live on

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ghosts of West European communism live on

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 […]

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Podcast review: Putin: Prisoner of Power by Misha Glenny

In a new podcast series, British journalist Misha Glenny provides an examination of the rise and reign of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Peter Finn and Robert Ledger write that although the series is relatively short, it constitutes a weighty journalistic endeavour with insights on the evolution of post-Soviet Russia and Putin’s expansion and consolidation of power.

There is currently a […]

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    What to expect from Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the European Central Bank

What to expect from Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the European Central Bank

Christine Lagarde will officially take over from Mario Draghi as the new President of the European Central Bank today. Sebastian Diessner explains that while Lagarde is widely expected to pursue similar policies to her predecessor, the politics surrounding her presidency may play out very differently.

The Eurozone’s monetary policy has become more contested and politically salient than almost ever before. In […]

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    Not in my sandwich: How GMOs, hormones and values combined to make CETA and TTIP so heavily politicised

Not in my sandwich: How GMOs, hormones and values combined to make CETA and TTIP so heavily politicised

The EU’s free trade agreement with Canada (CETA) and the ultimately unsuccessful negotiations over a trade agreement with the United States (TTIP) proved extremely controversial. But why were these two initiatives, as opposed to those the EU has agreed with other countries, so heavily politicised? Francesco Duina argues the explanation lies in the values and identities which were at […]

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    Civil society needs support to fight corruption and organised crime in the Western Balkans

Civil society needs support to fight corruption and organised crime in the Western Balkans

Civil society organisations and investigative journalists in the Western Balkans are critical to raising awareness about fighting corruption and organised crime, as well as supporting state authorities to develop effective strategies. But as Andi Hoxhaj explains, they lack capacity and resources to address these complex issues, while activists are often harassed and intimidated by the authorities and other powerful […]

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    The Italian right sweeps to victory in Umbria: What now for the second Conte government?

The Italian right sweeps to victory in Umbria: What now for the second Conte government?

Regional elections in Umbria on 27 October produced a clear victory for Matteo Salvini and the Italian right. Daniele Albertazzi and Mattia Zulianello write that with the Five Star Movement and Democratic Party failing to pass their first electoral test since forming a government together in the summer, Italy could soon be heading for a new general election.

The Italian […]

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    Improving tax collection through depoliticisation: The story of a key Troika-led reform in Greece

Improving tax collection through depoliticisation: The story of a key Troika-led reform in Greece

Greece created an independent public revenue authority as a condition for receiving financial assistance during the country’s debt crisis. As Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Argyris G. Passas explain, the reform effectively depoliticised tax collection, which had long been a major problem in Greece. They write that while it is still too early to assess whether the reform will be […]

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    Conflict minerals policy shows the EU can and does learn from the mistakes of others

Conflict minerals policy shows the EU can and does learn from the mistakes of others

The EU’s Conflict Minerals Regulation, which will come into force in 2021, aims to restrict the trade of minerals that are mined via forced labour and used to finance armed conflicts. As Dirk-Jan Koch and Olga Burlyuk explain, the EU attempted to learn from the mistakes of earlier legislation in the United States that had sought to tackle the […]

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Book Review: The Far Right Today by Cas Mudde

In The Far Right Today, Cas Mudde provides readers with a comprehensive overview of contemporary far right politics: a pressing task considering that groups or parties once located on the fringe of mainstream politics have experienced a surge in popularity over recent years across Europe and beyond. The most worrying aspect of this surge, argues the author, is the mainstreaming and normalisation […]

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    Are men really more interested in politics than women – or are we just asking the wrong questions?

Are men really more interested in politics than women – or are we just asking the wrong questions?

A persistent finding in public opinion research is that men, on average, tend to express more interest in politics than women. Drawing on new research on the views of Spanish citizens, Marta Fraile, Raúl Gómez, Mónica Ferrín and Gema García-Albacete explain that one potential reason for this is that the questions contained in surveys might obscure hidden differences in […]

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    Why attitudes toward globalisation matter for voting behaviour

Why attitudes toward globalisation matter for voting behaviour

Academics and political commentators frequently cite responses to globalisation as an explanation for some of the recent changes that have occurred in European politics. But how do citizens actually make sense of the concept of globalisation? Drawing on a new study, Matthias Mader, Nils Steiner and Harald Schoen provide evidence that German citizens hold meaningful attitudes toward globalisation, and […]

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    Will Spain’s latest attempt to extradite Carles Puigdemont succeed?

Will Spain’s latest attempt to extradite Carles Puigdemont succeed?

After two previous attempts, first in Belgium, then in Germany, a fresh European Arrest Warrant has been issued for the arrest of former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. Auke Willems argues that this will not merely be a rerun of prior cases. The Belgian courts will have to answer a number of ‘new’ fundamental questions before granting the request to […]

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    The impact of Brexit on the politics and policies of the European Union

The impact of Brexit on the politics and policies of the European Union

What impact will Brexit have on the decision-making processes and outputs of the European Union? Drawing on a new study, Narisong Huhe, Daniel Naurin and Robert Thomson assess the effect of Brexit on the Council of the EU. Their findings indicate that some member states face particular political challenges, and that Brexit is likely to tilt EU policies towards […]

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    Labour markets and optimum currency areas: Lessons for the euro area from China and the US

Labour markets and optimum currency areas: Lessons for the euro area from China and the US

As a large currency union, the euro area sits between the two extremes of the US – with its high labour mobility and fully fledged federal fiscal union – and China – with its low labour mobility and central fiscal capacity. Corrado Macchiarelli and Fotis Mitropoulos write that while the US is normally regarded as a benchmark for integration […]

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    Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles

Book Review: Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France by Ignacio Siles

In Networked Selves: Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France, Ignacio Siles studies the evolution of the blog both as a technological platform and a medium of personal expression, focusing particularly on the different conditions that have shaped the creation, adoption and transformation of blogs in the US and France. The book provides powerful insights into the mutually constitutive relationship […]

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A new take on ‘whatever it takes’?

Outgoing ECB President Mario Draghi recently expressed support for a closer fiscal union in the Eurozone, including cross-border fiscal transfers. As Iain Begg writes, these statements have reinvigorated the debate between advocates for risk sharing and proponents of risk reduction. Draghi’s predecessor, Jean-Claude Trichet, has defended Draghi and his proposals against criticism from other former central bankers, but resistance […]

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