Author Archive: Democratic Audit UK

rss feed YouTube

Author's Website →

Citizens (mistakenly) perceive female-led political parties as more moderate

Citizens (mistakenly) perceive female-led political parties as more moderate

Does women’s leadership affect citizens’ perceptions of political parties? Diana Z. O’Brien shows that female-led parties are perceived as more moderate than male-led organisations, even though election manifestos authored by these parties are actually slightly more extreme than those by male-led parties.

Book Review | The Far Right Today by Cas Mudde

Book Review | The Far Right Today by Cas Mudde

In The Far Right Today, Cas Mudde provides readers with a comprehensive overview of contemporary far right politics: a pressing task considering that groups or parties once located on the fringe of mainstream politics have experienced a surge in popularity over recent years across Europe and beyond. The most worrying aspect of this surge, argues the author, is the mainstreaming and normalisation of the far right. This is an excellent, accessible and timely book that effectively challenges conventional thinking on the topic, writes Katherine Williams.

Northern Ireland and the Withdrawal Agreement

Northern Ireland and the Withdrawal Agreement

Boris Johnson’s proposed withdrawal agreement with the EU, which Parliament votes on today, establishes different customs arrangements for Northern Ireland than for Great Britain, to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. Sean Swan explains how having differential arrangements for Northern Ireland and Great Britain is not novel, and is a reflection of long-existing realities in Northern Ireland’s governance. For them to have democratic legitimacy, though, the Northern Ireland Assembly needs to be reconvened.

Is the resurgence of Europe’s far-right a cultural or an economic phenomenon?

Is the resurgence of Europe’s far-right a cultural or an economic phenomenon?

There has been a spectacular rise in support for far-right parties in Europe over the last two decades, but what has driven this electoral success? Drawing on new research, Vasiliki Georgiadou, Lamprini Rori and Costas Roumanias demonstrate that different types of far-right party have benefitted from different factors: economic insecurity has helped increase support for ‘extremist right’ parties, while cultural factors have been associated with the growth of the ‘populist radical right’.

Requiring voter ID in British elections suggests the government is adopting US ‘voter suppression’ tactics

Requiring voter ID in British elections suggests the government is adopting US ‘voter suppression’ tactics

This week’s Queen’s Speech revived proposals to introduce photographic ID requirements for voting in British elections. The Democratic Audit team assess the available evidence on the likely consequence of such a measure, and consider whether the legislation tackles the right priorities for improving our elections on which there is consensus, or suggests moves to enhance Tory election chances via excluding voters presumed unfavourable to them.

Book Review | This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

Book Review | This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

In This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality, Peter Pomerantsev takes readers on a gripping journey through the disinformation age, drawing on his own family history as well as encounters with numerous figures positioned on both sides of the information spectrum: those working to manipulate our perceptions and those engaged in the struggle for a more facts-based public sphere. Ignas Kalpokas highly commends and recommends this elegantly written and compelling book that reveals the dizzying whirlwind in which reality is caught today.

Have we all underestimated the severity of socioeconomic differences in electoral participation?

Have we all underestimated the severity of socioeconomic differences in electoral participation?

Opinion polls routinely overestimate voter turnout, since participants misreport their own voting record, and because politically engaged voters are also more likely to respond to surveys. Using unique linked survey and register-based data from Finland that allows them to measure the effects of these biases, Hannu Lahtinen, Pekka Martikainen, Mikko Mattila, Hanna Wass, and Lauri Rapeli demonstrate that these two factors also lead to an underestimation of socioeconomic differences in turnout. The results imply that social inequality in political participation is a greater social challenge than previously thought.

Whatever happened to the Westminster Model? The ‘Italianisation’ of British politics

Whatever happened to the Westminster Model? The ‘Italianisation’ of British politics

The UK was once viewed by political scientists as embodying a distinct majoritarian form of politics – the ‘Westminster Model’ – that stood in contrast to the ‘consensus’ democracies found elsewhere in Europe. Several of the countries in the latter group, such as Italy, were often assumed to be inherently prone to instability in comparison to the UK. Yet as Martin J. Bull explains, politics in Westminster now has some striking similarities with the Italian approach that once invited scorn from British observers.

When select committees speak, do newspapers listen?

When select committees speak, do newspapers listen?

It is frequently claimed that the House of Commons’ select committees have grown in prominence since key reforms were implemented in 2010. Brian J. Gaines, Mark Goodwin, Stephen Holden Bates and Gisela Sin test this claim specifically in relation to press coverage. They find a pattern of increased newspaper attention after the reforms, but caution that these results show no consistent sustained increase, and also vary considerably depending on committee.

Book Review | Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen and David Soskice

Book Review | Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century by Torben Iversen and David Soskice

In Democracy and Prosperity: Reinventing Capitalism through a Turbulent Century,Torben Iversen and David Soskice add to current debates concerning the relationship between democracy and capitalism by arguing that they mutually support each other and enable resilience through turbulence and crisis. This is a welcome contribution to scholarship exploring the ‘crisis of democratic capitalism’, writes M Kerem Coban, and offers a unique and provocative framework that will be much discussed in the years to come.