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    The alleged simplicity of Universal Credit and the lived experience of benefit claimants

The alleged simplicity of Universal Credit and the lived experience of benefit claimants

Kate Summers and David Young challenge the assumed simplicity of Universal Credit by focusing on its single monthly payment design. They draw on two empirical studies of means-tested benefit claimants in order to explain how short-termism is a crucial tool for those managing social security benefits.
At its heart, Universal Credit is very simple

Iain Duncan Smith, Work and Pensions […]

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    Countering violent extremism: a left-realist critique of ‘Prevent’

Countering violent extremism: a left-realist critique of ‘Prevent’

The government’s ‘Prevent’ is a blanket measure that omits a nuanced approach to the social, cultural, economic and political characteristics of those who are radicalised, writes Tahir Abbas. As a result, the policy conflates legitimate political resistance among young British Muslims as indications of violent extremism and so can unintentionally add to structural and cultural Islamophobia – amplifiers of […]

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    Everyday authoritarianism: an anthropology of citizenship and welfare in austerity Britain

Everyday authoritarianism: an anthropology of citizenship and welfare in austerity Britain

Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, Insa Koch explains how British citizens experience democracy and what grassroots understandings of politics and care they bring to their encounters with the state.

Liberal democracy appears in crisis. From law and order policies to austerity measures to the Brexit vote, commentators have rushed to explain the current conjuncture. But while many have argued over […]

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    David Cameron, David Beckham, and the UK’s social mobility problem

David Cameron, David Beckham, and the UK’s social mobility problem

Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin explain how Britain has become less mobile, particularly at the top and bottom of society.

One David was born in a terraced house in East London, his father a kitchen fitter, his mother a hairdresser. The other David grew up in an idyllic village in the English countryside, his father a stockbroker, his mother […]

Method to madness: political science in 2018

Why has British politics been at a seemingly endless deadlock since 2015? Artemis Photiadou brings together the most salient strands of political science research that have attempted to explain electoral preferences, post-Brexit realities, and party politics in 2018.

Britain is undergoing a period of contradiction and impasse. As it attempts to ‘take back control’ of its governance and move away […]

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    Labour must abandon the soft Brexit position and come out for Remain and reform

Labour must abandon the soft Brexit position and come out for Remain and reform

Mary Kaldor explains why Labour should abandon its ambiguous ‘sensible deal’ position in favour remain and reform thhe EU; she argues that such a stance is Labour’s opportunity to trigger a far-reaching deliberative exercise in both Britain and Europe.

 According to Theresa May, the choice is between her deal, no deal or no Brexit. But the Labour leadership still seems […]

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    There is no left-wing case for Brexit: 21st century socialism requires transnational organization

There is no left-wing case for Brexit: 21st century socialism requires transnational organization

The contribution of traditional social democracy to the consolidation of neoliberalism in Europe illustrates the difficulties of developing a nationalist left alternative in the contemporary capitalist state, argues Lea Ypi. Contemporary socialism requires new ways of organising and must be transnational. Using the British case, she explains why neither Remain nor Leave fully capture the demands of the left.

The […]

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    Losing the ‘Europeanisation’ meta-narrative for modernising British democracy

Losing the ‘Europeanisation’ meta-narrative for modernising British democracy

Contrary to claims of Britain’s enduring political and constitutional distinctiveness, in the period from 1997 to 2016 the UK in fact modernised its polity by following several strong ‘Europeanisation’ trends. British democracy came to increasingly resemble other European liberal democracies in some fundamental ways. Yet now this meta-narrative may be lost following Brexit. Patrick Dunleavy explores some implications of […]