Robin Archer

The First World War was a war of choice

A century ago, Britain entered into a war against Germany and its allies in what would become known as the Great War, with millions of young men from all sides killed. At the time discussion on whether to enter the war centred around ‘honour’, and its invocation worked: The erstwhile opponents of intervention – radicals and advanced liberals, labour politicians and trade unionists, feminists and […]

The Australian experience shows how an elected House of Lords may present a democratic dilemma

The experience of Australia provides important lessons in considering the Lords reform in the UK. In the first of a two article series, Robin Archer maintains that an elected upper house may obstruct the House of Commons and cannot be relied upon to act in accordance with conventions that limit its power vis-à-vis the lower chamber.   Proponents of the government’s Lords reform face a cruel […]

The legitimacy of capitalism is again in doubt. Labour could use this opportunity to achieve real social and economic change by drawing on strength from outside of parliament as well as from within.

Robin Archer previews an upcoming conference and public event on Ralph Miliband’s political legacy and how it might be able to inform future trends in the Labour Party – especially as it relates to the interaction between parliamentary and extra-parliamentary politics, and Labour’s ambiguous attitude towards capitalism. Should the Labour party support the activists occupying parts of the City of […]

AV holds the hopes of many progressives and the fears of many Conservatives, but it may actually provide unexpected benefits to either side

The potential consequences for elections in the UK if AV is adopted have been much debated. But what about the effects on the left and right of the political spectrum? Robin Archer examines what the use of AV in Australia over the past century can teach us, and finds that AV can help divided parties to overcome the disadvantages of […]

A disgraceful referendum campaign has obscured the real case for AV

In recent weeks, both sides of the AV debate have launched a number of claims and counter-claims, some harder to support than others. Robin Archer finds that the vehemence of this debate has thrown a smokescreen over the real case for AV – that it will increase the democratic legitimacy of parliament, reduce the number of ‘wasted’ votes, and ensure […]

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    Are David Cameron’s ‘New Conservatives’ in fact Liberals? Or Red Tories? Or are they something else? Is the ‘Big Society’ an ideal or a fig-leaf for cuts?

Are David Cameron’s ‘New Conservatives’ in fact Liberals? Or Red Tories? Or are they something else? Is the ‘Big Society’ an ideal or a fig-leaf for cuts?

Returned to power by their Liberal Democrat partners, the Conservatives have emerged as the overwhelmingly dominant force inside the coalition government – embarking yet again on what promise to be sweeping efforts to remodel Britain’s welfare state, but apparently bereft of any clear economic strategy. Ahead of the LSE Sociology Department’s upcoming conference on the “New Conservatism”, Andrew Gamble, […]

How to lead the Labour party – it’s not only about winning office, but about defining the political spectrum and reshaping British society

With Labour receiving just 29 per cent of the vote in the 2010 general election, Ed Miliband has a mountain to climb as the party’s new leader. Robin Archer argues that a purely centrist approach to his new job would be self-defeating and that he has an unusual opportunity to revive British social democracy.

Debates about where Ed Miliband […]