Book review: The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, by Ian Davidson

Book review: The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, by Ian Davidson

In The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny, Ian Davidson offers a new examination of the diverse factors that converged to spark and propel this crucial historical event. While the breadth of the book is occasionally overwhelming and characterised more by description than explanation, its rich detail highlights the intricacies of the French Revolution, finds Roberto […]

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed?

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed?

Voting for change in a referendum is the riskier option. People who voted for Brexit were more likely to be risk-takers. But when people have more information at their disposal, are they more or less likely to stick with the status quo? Davide Morisi found that when voters were making up their minds about how to vote […]

Eleven ways Trump has violated democratic norms in his first month in power

Eleven ways Trump has violated democratic norms in his first month in power

Donald Trump was inaugurated on 20 January. In the past month, writes Brian Klaas, the President has already begun to erode democratic norms – and if we accept these violations as ‘the new normal’, American democracy is at risk. He sets out eleven ways in which Trump has undermined democratic institutions. Similar PostsFake becomes legit: social media […]

The rich get elected – but it’s not because voters necessarily prefer them

The rich get elected – but it’s not because voters necessarily prefer them

We elect politicians who are far better-off than ourselves – in Europe, those who come from blue-collar backgrounds make up only a tenth of national parliaments. Is this because voters favour the rich? A new study by Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu suggests they are slightly more likely to opt for working-class candidates over business owners. Blue-collar candidates just don’t get onto […]

Britain’s ‘Christian right’: seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination

Britain’s ‘Christian right’: seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination

The ‘Christian right’ in the UK may not be anywhere near as powerful as its US counterpart, but it still tries to exert influence on public policy. This has become increasingly difficult as fewer Britons identify themselves as Christian. Steven Kettell finds that although these campaigners bemoan the effects of secularisation, they have found themselves adopting secular arguments in order […]

Fake becomes legit: social media and the rise of disinformation in democracies

Fake becomes legit: social media and the rise of disinformation in democracies

Fake news is not new – Ulises Mejias identified disinformation tactics during the Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2013. It is not possible, he argues, to make a clear distinction between ‘real’ and ‘fake’ news before and after the Trump era. Journalists themselves have been complicit in creating a new media economy where survival depends on clicks. Deregulation, surveillance techniques […]

Book review | The Populist Radical Right: A Reader, edited by Cas Mudde

Book review | The Populist Radical Right: A Reader, edited by Cas Mudde

With The Populist Radical Right: A Reader, editor Cas Mudde brings together seminal social science scholarship on the radical or extreme right in Western democracies produced between the early 1990s to the present day. With a wealth of information that will be of particular use to scholars and students beginning research in this field, the […]

Posted in: Book reviews, Populism
Female cabinet picks: just one more way in which Trump is exceptional

Female cabinet picks: just one more way in which Trump is exceptional

Donald Trump’s cabinet is exceptional in many ways, not least because the share of women in the executive has fallen since the Obama era – even as recent decades have seen it grow all over the world. What effect does government ideology have on cabinet picks? The literature suggests left-wing governments tend to appoint more women. But […]

International finance has wrested power from democracies. We must reclaim control over the production of money

International finance has wrested power from democracies. We must reclaim control over the production of money

Democracy has failed to protect society from the predatory behaviour of global financial markets, writes Ann Pettifor. Drawing on her new book, she explains why the monetary system has made society vulnerable, and how it needs to be transformed. Similar PostsThe real lesson from the financial crisis is that we need to stop insulating financial […]

Learning from that £1,600 duck house: now Australia tries to get to grips with parliamentary expenses

Learning from that £1,600 duck house: now Australia tries to get to grips with parliamentary expenses

Australia is to get a new authority to oversee parliamentary expenses claims, and it will be modelled on Britain’s IPSA – which was also set up after a major expenses scandal. Anika Gauja and Marian Sawer say the new rules will improve transparency and accountability. But do they go far enough – specifically, in ensuring […]

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