Why defend democracy? Because the job of pursuing justice belongs to everybody

Why defend democracy? Because the job of pursuing justice belongs to everybody

When we think about how to vote, writes Jeffrey Howard (University College London), we have a duty to try to achieve justice for everybody – not just ourselves. Similar PostsAudit 2017: How democratic is the basic constitutional law of the UK?Trump, Brexit and baby Searyl: what is the populist signal really telling us?Who don’t young […]

Can the centre hold? Devolution in England is gathering pace

Can the centre hold? Devolution in England is gathering pace

The new metro-mayors are settling into their jobs. But will they lead to longer-term change in relationships between central and local government? Mark Sandford (House of Commons Library), Sarah Ayres (University of Bristol) and Matthew Flinders (University of Sheffield) argue that, although not radical, England’s devolution deals may contain the seeds of change. Similar PostsWho’s going to hold the new metro […]

Book reviews | Deplorable Me, Devil’s Bargain & Kill All Normies

Book reviews | Deplorable Me, Devil’s Bargain & Kill All Normies

JA Smith reflects on two recent books that help us to take stock of the election of President Donald Trump as part of the wider rise of the ‘alt-right’, questioning furthermore how the left today might contend with the emergence of those at one time termed ‘a basket of deplorables’.  Similar PostsBook review | Handbook on […]

Despite its anti-democratic agenda, Poland’s Law and Justice party still enjoys public support

Despite its anti-democratic agenda, Poland’s Law and Justice party still enjoys public support

The Polish Law and Justice party has governed for nearly two years. Its anti-democratic agenda has led to protests at home and criticism abroad.  Kamil Marcinkiewicz (University of Hamburg) and Mary Stegmaier (University of Missouri) examine trends in party support in Poland and consider whether PiS still has a mandate to pursue its current course. […]

Book review | Handbook on Political Trust, ed. Sonja Zmerli & Tom W G van der Meer

Book review | Handbook on Political Trust, ed. Sonja Zmerli & Tom W G van der Meer

In Handbook on Political Trust, edited by Sonja Zmerli and Tom W G van der Meer, an international body of 41 experts offers an excellent overview of the scholarly literature on political trust, complemented by original empirical research and analysis. Across the chapters, the authors pinpoint gaps in the literature and identify new venues for research, making this handbook […]

How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

How the EU shapes and hones its identity through the language of its treaties

How does the European Union shape and hone its identity? Odelia Oshri and Shaul Shenhav decipher the ways in which the EU’s discourse on values has changed throughout the 60 years of integration. They show that two values dominated the Union’s treaty texts – ‘democracy’ and ‘market economy’. However, since the 1990s, new values have penetrated […]

Just how much do voters trust Scottish parties’ social media posts?

Just how much do voters trust Scottish parties’ social media posts?

Do people believe the ‘facts’ circulated on social media by political parties? Graeme Baxter, Rita Marcella and Agnieszka Walicka showed Scottish voters five posts from different parties and asked them to rate their reliability. The Scottish Greens’ post was viewed as the most trustworthy, with participants identifying a wide gap between their experience of local politicians and the national debate. […]

A tale of two referendums, but similar Remainers: 1975 and 2016

A tale of two referendums, but similar Remainers: 1975 and 2016

The British public has voted on membership of the EU on two occasions. In 1975, based on a turnout of 64 per cent, two-thirds voted to stay in the EEC, cementing Britain’s place for the next four decades. In 2016, on a turnout of 72 per cent, 52 per cent of the public voted to […]

Embattled political elites embrace democratic reform to save themselves

Embattled political elites embrace democratic reform to save themselves

When they fear they are losing people’s trust, Western European governments start to bring in democratic reforms. The same thing happens when governments change frequently. Camille Bedock (Université libre de Bruxelles) looks at the recent upheavals in France and Italy – which contrast with Denmark, where people are generally happy with political institutions – and […]

Book review | Democracy Protests: Origins, Features and Significance, by Dawn Brancati

Book review | Democracy Protests: Origins, Features and Significance, by Dawn Brancati

In Democracy Protests: Origins, Features and Significance, Dawn Brancati examines the conditions under which citizen discontent with governments transforms into democracy protests, placing particular emphasis upon the role played by economic crises. Drawing upon an original dataset based on 180 states between 1989 and 2011, this is a significant contribution to better understanding the factors and dynamics behind […]

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