Local political actors need the discretion to make sense of and adapt national policies to the local setting

Local political actors need the discretion to make sense of and adapt national policies to the local setting

Successive governments have made the devolution of power to the local or sub-national level a policy priority, with the current Government pushing ahead to create a “northern powerhouse” which will enjoy control over all manner of policy areas. Discussing a recent article in the Politics and Policy journal, Michael Barrett, Eivor Osborn, and Charlotte Sausman […]

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Local politicians take the party affiliation of directly elected mayors into account when forming coalitions

Local politicians take the party affiliation of directly elected mayors into account when forming coalitions

The UK now has a number of Directly Elected Local Authority Mayors, as well as the elected Mayor of London. But the extra layer of governance (and accountability) has implications for coalition formation at the local level. Drawing on research carried out in Germany, Martin Gross and Marc Debus argue that local politicians take the party […]

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Book Review: War and Democratic Constraint: How the Public Influences Foreign Policy

Book Review: War and Democratic Constraint: How the Public Influences Foreign Policy

The book presents an original and engaging argument for the necessity for further analysis into choices democracies make prior to engaging in conflict, and the impact of the media and the public on decision makers, writes Gemma Bird. War and Democratic Constraint: How the Public Influences Foreign Policy. Matthew A. Baum and Philip B. K. Potter. […]

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The good neighbour nation: the democracy of everyday life

The good neighbour nation: the democracy of everyday life

Neighbours can make us miserable, disturb our sleep, provide company and care, rescue us in emergencies, and betray us to political authorities. Dr Joe Mazor, explores neighbourly relations in everyday life following the Brian Barry Memorial Lecture with Professor Nancy Rosenblum. Similar Posts

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Don’t expect the Lord Sewel story to prompt constitutional change

Don’t expect the Lord Sewel story to prompt constitutional change

The Labour Peer Lord Sewel was caught on video in highly compromising circumstances by the Sun. But will the inevitable scandal lead to reform of the UK’s bloated and inefficient House of Lords? Alun Wyburn-Powell uses history as a guide, and argues that it would be naive to expect this to trigger much-needed change when […]

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Recent trends in Italy showcase the ‘presidentialised’ future of democratic politics in Europe

Recent trends in Italy showcase the ‘presidentialised’ future of democratic politics in Europe

Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair were both accused of taking British politics into a ‘presidential’ direction, with highly visible and ‘strong’ leaders seen as the defining political force. But this trend is not unique to the UK, with Italy also moving in this direction under first Silvio Berlusconi, and secondly the incumbent Prime Minister Matteo […]

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David Cameron is invoking a convention that does not exist in justifying his appointment of a tranche of new Lords

David Cameron is invoking a convention that does not exist in justifying his appointment of a tranche of new Lords

Yesterday Prime Minister David Cameron, seemingly undeterred by the already negative media coverage about the Lord Sewel affair, gave strong indications that he intends to make yet more appointments to the Lords. In doing so, he appeared to invoke a convention that does not exist: that of bringing Lords membership into line with Commons seats. […]

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Direct democracy is ill-fitted to engaging the politically disengaged, but popular with more active citizens

Direct democracy is ill-fitted to engaging the politically disengaged, but popular with more active citizens

The UK has seen a spate of referendums since 1997, with the public being consulted on the creation of new mayoralties, parliaments, assemblies, voting systems, and soon our membership of the European Union. But does direct democracy have the potential to engage those who are currently disinterested in politics? Arndt Leninger argues that while it […]

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The words ‘plebiscite’ and ‘referendum’ should not be used interchangeably, as each has a different and distinct meaning

The words ‘plebiscite’ and ‘referendum’ should not be used interchangeably, as each has a different and distinct meaning

In 2017, the UK is scheduled to hold a referendum on our membership of the European Union, with David Cameron set to campaign for retention of our status as a EU member state. The vote has been described as a referendum and a plebiscite, but Richard Rose cautions against using the terms interchangeably as they […]

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Compulsory voting is not the answer, but fixing an archaic system is

Compulsory voting is not the answer, but fixing an archaic system is

What lies behind voter disengagement? While some blame a crumbling political and electoral infrastructure, others lay the fault at the feet of voters themselves, and posit compulsory voting as the answer. The idea has an enduring appeal for many people, who look enviously at high turnouts in Australia, but is it suitable in the British […]

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