Book Review | The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey

Book Review | The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation by Carl Benedikt Frey

In The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation, Carl Benedikt Frey explores automation and its consequences, taking the reader on a long sweep of UK and US industrial history that demonstrates the distinction between labour-enabling and labour-replacing technologies. As arguably the most comprehensive account of automation to date, this book deserves to be read widely, writes Liam Kennedy.

Posted in: Book reviews
How private financial donations affect party extremism

How private financial donations affect party extremism

What is the impact of private donors on a party’s policy platform? Using a new database of 45 parties in 9 OECD countries between 1996 and 2013, Andrey Tomashevskiy finds that the effect of donations is significant, and that parties which receive a greater percentage of their income from private donors tend to adopt more extreme positions on socio-cultural issues.

Posted in: political parties
The modern monarchy and prorogation: clearer rules are required

The modern monarchy and prorogation: clearer rules are required

The question of the legality of Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament reaches the Supreme Court this week. In this context, Craig Prescott argues that, if politicians can’t exercise restraint, then clearer rules for when one parliamentary session ends and a new one begins are needed to avoid the politicisation of the modern monarchy.

Can politicians act with impunity? The constitutional principles at stake in the prorogation case

Can politicians act with impunity? The constitutional principles at stake in the prorogation case

In considering whether the recent decision to prorogue Parliament was legal, the English and Scottish courts came to different conclusions because they considered different questions, explains Pippa Catterall, not because Scottish and English public legal approaches differ. She discusses the points of constitutional law that are at stake as the Supreme Court prepares to hear the case.

Brexit shows both the importance of the British Political Tradition and the extent to which it is under threat

Brexit shows both the importance of the British Political Tradition and the extent to which it is under threat

Matt Hall and David Marsh discuss what recent developments in British politics, especially since the election of Boris Johnson, tell us about the British Political Tradition – a view of democracy that emphasises a limited liberal conception of representation, which focuses on the importance of free and fair elections, and a conservative conception of responsibility based on the idea that the ‘executive knows best’.

Theresa May and Boris Johnson: secrecy as statecraft?

Theresa May and Boris Johnson: secrecy as statecraft?

During UK–EU Brexit negotiations, Theresa May pursued a determined path of concealment and non-disclosure. Envisaged as a way to protect herself against political opposition, enhancing her bargaining power vis-à-vis the EU and deliver policy promises, the strategy failed and contributed to the end of her premiership. Ben Worthy and Marlen Heide detail how her case illustrates the powers of increasing transparency expectations and the risks of concealment over longer times or around contentious issues. It provides a useful lesson for her successor.

Cutting the size of a parliament: we should consider process and resources not just numbers

Cutting the size of a parliament: we should consider process and resources not just numbers

When political leaders say we should cut the number of politicians, what are their motives? Alex Marland found that the rationale is largely symbolic, rather than grounded in any considered approach to legislature size, and used as a populist framing for more general cost-cutting. A more coherent approach should include attention to the process of cutting, and to overall resources for backbench politicians.

Posted in: Parliament
Book Review | Rethinking US Election Law: Unskewing the System by Steven Mulroy

Book Review | Rethinking US Election Law: Unskewing the System by Steven Mulroy

In Rethinking US Election Law: Unskewing the System, Steven Mulroy offers comprehensive considerations of arguments in favour of and against proposed reforms of US election law. This is an excellent and engaging read that exposes the structural flaws in the US government system and provides tangible, achievable proposals to address them, writes Erica Frazier. Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash Similar PostsAcademics […]

Posted in: Book reviews
Why do ‘niche parties’ perform so well in European and subnational elections?

Why do ‘niche parties’ perform so well in European and subnational elections?

Single-issue parties, such as the Brexit Party and Greens, tend to do better in local and European elections across Europe. Emmy Lindstam examines why, and finds that voters are willing to vote switch on an issue they think is overlooked by their preferred party, particularly if they think the stakes are low for that election.

It’s time to change election campaign law to stop politicians lying

It’s time to change election campaign law to stop politicians lying

How do you ensure that political campaigns don’t rely on lies and misinformation? James Organ proposes changing election campaign law to prohibit knowingly false political statements by campaigners, and suggests that involving voters, via a citizens’ assembly, could be one way to ensure the quality of political information improves in any referendum.