The right to protest is under threat from several different directions

The right to protest is under threat from several different directions

Recent heavy handedness from police and the authorities more generally has seen protest gradually edge onto the wrong side of the law, specifically when it comes to environmental protests, the occupy movement, and recent university campus protests. Lucy Finchett-Maddock attempts to locate a right to protest in the various human rights cases that have created legal precedent, […]

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Throwing the rascals out is tricky, but not impossible

Throwing the rascals out is tricky, but not impossible

It is a commonly understood feature of democratic political systems that under-performing governments tend to be ejected by voters in favour of the most palatable alternative, but is that really the case? Catherine E. de Vries, drawing on new research, argues that voter sophistication and issue salience each play a key role, concluding that incumbent governments can expect […]

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The “No” vote’s soft underbelly could yet see Scotland vote for independence in September

The “No” vote’s soft underbelly could yet see Scotland vote for independence in September

With polling day for the referendum on Scottish independence moving ever closer, John Curtice highlights the ‘soft underbelly’ of the pro-union vote that could swing it for the Yes side: those Scots who want more devolution but aren’t sure if they’re going to get it from a post- unionist camp, with both Labour and Conservative Parties unclear as to whether to […]

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Regions with regionalism: the rescaling of interests

Regions with regionalism: the rescaling of interests

 A number of factors, but most prominently European integration, have seen Governments add a ‘regional’ dimension to their policymaking, including in many cases genuine devolution of powers to the regional level. But has this increased regional focus seen an equivalent rescaling of interest groups, such as trade unions, businesses and environmental organisations? Michael Keating argues that regions are becoming a significant […]

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Individual electoral registration may further marginalise voters from ethnic minorities

Individual electoral registration may further marginalise voters from ethnic minorities

The participation of ethnic minority groups in elections is vital, as these groups face multiple disadvantages often as a result of their new arrival status, and may also be victims of racial prejudice and discrimination. In the UK, however, ethnic minorities are significantly under-registered to vote. Dr Maria Sobolewska and Professor Anthony Heath argue that the main reasons […]

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Economic democracy isn’t just desirable – it is achievable

Economic democracy isn’t just desirable – it is achievable

In a talk given at TEDxEastEnd, the campaigner and activist Peter Tatchell gave a talk on economic democracy. He argued that the democratisation of our economy is not only desirable, it is practically achievable, and suggested a number of steps, including greater democratic participation in economic and financial decision making, that could help us bring it about.  […]

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The class, race and age of activists in Brazilian social movements is becoming more diverse

The class, race and age of activists in Brazilian social movements is becoming more diverse

Social movements have become increasingly important form of participation in democracy, beyond the traditional means of joining political parties and fighting elections. This is evident in Brazil, where large street protests on a number of issues have featured people from a range of backgrounds. In this audio interview, Cheryl Brumley spoke to Marilia Pontes Esposito and Raquel Sousa […]

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Beyond the Youth Citizenship Commission: Young People and Politics

Beyond the Youth Citizenship Commission: Young People and Politics

Gordon Brown established the Youth Citizenship Commission in 2008 to investigate how to increase the involvement of young people in British democracy. Although recommendations were taken forward by the previous government,  youth disengagement remains a problem. In the first of a new series on Democratic Audit, Jonathan Tonge and Andy Mycock introduce a set of proposals […]

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Voting for the winning party makes people happier with democracy, especially if the winning party is highly preferred

Voting for the winning party makes people happier with democracy, especially if the winning party is highly preferred

It is well established that voters are more likely to think highly of their political systems when they produce the outcomes that they wish to see, but what of those voters who, for a number of reasons, do not vote for their favoured party? Shane Singh shows that  these voters are less likely to share in this […]

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Tailored devolution would bring tangible benefits to cities and improve the quality of local governance

Tailored devolution would bring tangible benefits to cities and improve the quality of local governance

Local government boundaries very rarely correlate well with local economies, meaning that some authorities are at the mercy of political forces beyond their control. Discussing a new Centre for Cities report, Zach Wilcox argues that different local authorities can better work together by fostering formal collaborations like combined authorities, as well as through other less formal ways of […]

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