What can political parties do to involve more women in party politics?

What can political parties do to involve more women in party politics?

In most political parties the majority of members are men, which has implications for achieving equal representation at all levels of politics. Aldo F. Ponce, Susan E. Scarrow and Susan Achury find that this gender gap varies considerably between parties, and that having more women MPs helps to increase women’s participation at the grassroots level.

Posted in: political parties
Book Review | An Epistemic Theory of Democracy by Robert E. Goodin and Kai Spiekermann

Book Review | An Epistemic Theory of Democracy by Robert E. Goodin and Kai Spiekermann

In An Epistemic Theory of Democracy, Robert E. Goodin and Kai Spiekermann offer a systematic argument articulating the epistemic value of democracy, aiming to show that democracies have an important advantage over other forms of government due to their truth-tracking potential. This instrumental argument in favour of democratic institutions is an important contribution to debates surrounding the value of democracy at a time of political turbulence and abundant scepticism about the operation of politics, writes Camilo Ardila.

Posted in: Book reviews
Populist politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are plundering history for persuasive purposes

Populist politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are plundering history for persuasive purposes

From Brexiters citing Ancient Greek legend to Donald Trump rewriting the details of the Normandy landings, Philip Seargeant writes that contemporary politicians are constantly co-opting history for their own ends. Though they pay lip service to the idea of learning from the past, he argues that these populist leaders have little real interest in engaging with the complexities of the challenges their societies face.

Posted in: Populism
Gender diversity among Committee witnesses: the large variations in the Commons and why Holyrood is doing better

Gender diversity among Committee witnesses: the large variations in the Commons and why Holyrood is doing better

Hugh Bochel draws on 2017–19 data to discuss gender diversity among witnesses to select and public bill committees in the Commons, and compare these to figures from the Scottish Parliament.

Posted in: Parliament
Book Review | The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy by Paolo Gerbaudo

Book Review | The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy by Paolo Gerbaudo

Voter turnout is decreasing in mature democracies at an alarming rate since the advent of digital communications, a trend that is significantly affecting the legitimacy of political parties. Does this mean that parties are fated to disappear? In The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy, Paolo Gerbaudo argues that political parties are far from becoming obsolete. Discussing the emergence and implications of a new type of party in the digital era characterised by its strong dependence on interactive online platforms, this book is necessary reading, writes David Jofré.

Posted in: Book reviews
A political economy forecast of Ireland’s 2020 general election: government seat losses less than assumed?

A political economy forecast of Ireland’s 2020 general election: government seat losses less than assumed?

Ireland votes in a general election on Saturday, 8 February. Michael S. Lewis-Beck and Stephen Quinlan explain how a new forecast model suggests that Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael will lose seats, but perhaps fewer than opinion polls currently suggest.

Deliberative democracy could be used to combat fake news – but only if it operates offline

Deliberative democracy could be used to combat fake news – but only if it operates offline

Disinformation, fake news, and online ‘filter bubbles’ all undermine the prospects for shared political reasoning, and increase polarisation. Clara Wikforss argues that the principles of deliberative democracy can offer a means to counter these problems, but inherent flaws in social media mean that this form of participation must be in-person and not just online.

How populist radical right parties have eroded the EU’s human rights agenda in the Mediterranean

How populist radical right parties have eroded the EU’s human rights agenda in the Mediterranean

It is often assumed that populist radical right parties will support disengaging from the European Union by default. Adrià Rivera Escartin writes that although many of these parties do support disengaging from the EU, there is the potential for a different approach to be adopted in future which might be termed ‘informal and illiberal Europeanisation’. Italy’s capacity to shape EU relations with Tunisia and Hungary’s efforts to influence the EU’s relations with Egypt offer two recent examples of how this trend might materialise.

Posted in: EU politics, Populism
Book Review | Are Filter Bubbles Real? by Axel Bruns

Book Review | Are Filter Bubbles Real? by Axel Bruns

As references to echo chambers and filter bubbles become ubiquitous in contemporary discourse, Axel Bruns offers a riposte in Are Filter Bubbles Real?, which questions the existence of these phenomena. While not convinced by all of the author’s arguments, Ignas Kalpokas welcomes the book as a must-read for those looking to critically reflect on some of the assumptions surrounding social media today.

Brexit is happening – are EU citizens’ rights finally a done deal?

Brexit is happening – are EU citizens’ rights finally a done deal?

As the UK formally leaves the European Union this week, and enters the transition period, Alexandra Bulat assesses the flaws in the EU citizens’ Settlement Scheme and argues that it still undermines the fundamental rights of those affected.