Britain is facing a crisis of democracy but the main parties cannot respond

Britain is facing a crisis of democracy but the main parties cannot respond

Who is at fault for Britain’s democratic crisis? While political parties seek to be the solution to this malaise, they are in actual fact the major driver of the problem, argues Adam Lent. Unfortunately, politicians are disincentived to adopt the kind of relationship with voters that would address their dissatisfaction, meaning that the problem is a […]

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The cuts in local government funding have had a significant impact on London’s most deprived communities

The cuts in local government funding have had a significant impact on London’s most deprived communities

How has the significant cuts to local authority funding affected front-line services? There had undoubtedly been enormous strain on services and front-line staff, with councils have argued that the limits to efficiency have been reached. Amanda Fitzgerald presents findings from a new report for the Trust for London into the most deprived communities in London. Similar […]

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Economic performance does not necessarily improve when under-performing governments are ejected by the voters

Economic performance does not necessarily improve when under-performing governments are ejected by the voters

Elections are the “instruments of democracy” so long as voters hold incumbents accountable for their performance in office. Periodic elections in which the process of accountability works well should generate electoral incentives for politicians to pursue good economic policy during their term in office. Dani Marinova uncovers little systematic support for this logic. Unemployment was […]

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An English Constitutional Convention could benefit both main parties in the face of the UKIP threat

An English Constitutional Convention could benefit both main parties in the face of the UKIP threat

Last week Robert Hazell set out some of the options for a possible UK constitutional convention. Here Meg Russell proposes some more specific answers to the questions that he posed: for example on what a constitutional convention should be tasked to do, timescale, and membership. She suggests that a more limited convention than Labour proposes, to […]

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Europe is entering the ‘age of the referendum’, but there is nothing to fear for European democracy if referendums are properly regulated

Europe is entering the ‘age of the referendum’, but there is nothing to fear for European democracy if referendums are properly regulated

Referendums have become increasingly common occurrences in European states in recent decades. Stephen Tierney writes on some of the potential benefits and dangers of using referendums to solve key constitutional questions. He writes that while referendums can undermine democracy if used incorrectly, they generally suffer from problems of practice rather than principle and these problems […]

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UKIP’s rise could spark unplanned but welcome constitutional reform

UKIP’s rise could spark unplanned but welcome constitutional reform

UKIP’s rise has caught the establishment by surprise, with the main parties doing all they can to prevent the further rise of the right-wing populist party. However their success is likely to be limited by the difficulty that new parties have in breaking into a House of Commons distinguished by its continuing use of First […]

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Right-wing citizens in right-wing countries dislike the EU, but right-wing citizens in left-wing countries support European integration

Right-wing citizens in right-wing countries dislike the EU, but right-wing citizens in left-wing countries support European integration

How does the economic context within a country affect support for the European Union? John Garry and James Tilley present results of a study on the way in which the views of right-wing and left-wing citizens are shaped by the economic context within EU states. The findings show that those with right-wing opinions tend to […]

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Values have a larger influence on the party choices of voters in European countries that have polarised party systems

Values have a larger influence on the party choices of voters in European countries that have polarised party systems

Do values influence the choices of voters when they make their decisions on who and what to vote for, and if so to what extent? Analysing data and political parties from 15 different European democracies, Thomas Loughran argues that voters in political systems with more polarised systems are more value driven than those in less polarised systems.  Similar PostsMost […]

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Political attack on journalists’ sources undermines democracy and must be stopped

Political attack on journalists’ sources undermines democracy and must be stopped

The big story in journalism in recent years has been the revelations around phone hacking, and the Leveson inquiry and establishment of a new press regulator which followed. Tim Crook argues that this is far less significant that a recent story that has emerged which showed the police using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) […]

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