Author Archive: Democratic Audit UK

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Far right politics in Germany: from fascism to populism?

Far right politics in Germany: from fascism to populism?

The rise of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) was one of the major stories of the 2017 German elections. As Tomáš Nociar and Jan Philipp Thomeczek write, there has been a tendency among some commentators to draw parallels between the AfD and extremist or fascist parties from Germany’s past. They argue that this is both unhelpful and inaccurate, and that the AfD has far more in common with other ‘populist’ parties who have had success in recent European elections.

Book Review | The Borders of ‘Europe’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering edited by Nicholas De Genova

Book Review | The Borders of ‘Europe’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering edited by Nicholas De Genova

The collection The Borders of ‘Europe’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering, edited by Nicholas De Genova, offers a compelling in-depth analysis of immigration to Europe through contributions that repeatedly go to the heart of contemporary policy conundrums. Suggesting ways in which scholar-activists can make a potential difference, this book offers a thorough education in the implications of Europe’s evolving, unwieldy border apparatus upon the lives of migrants and Europeans, recommends Paul Clewett. 

American democracy sold to the highest bidder

American democracy sold to the highest bidder

If the quality of democracy is to be measured by the extent to which it constrains the economically dominant, then American democracy is failing, writes George Tyler. Recent research has shown how campaign financing is skewing policy influence towards top earners. This is in contrast to many northern European countries, which can offer practical models for the US to follow.   

From City Hall to Downing Street: what would Boris as Mayor tell us about Boris as PM?

From City Hall to Downing Street: what would Boris as Mayor tell us about Boris as PM?

As speculation mounts again about Theresa May’s longevity at Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s star has risen once again. But what would PM Boris be like? Ben Worthy and Mark Bennister read the runes from his time as London’s Mayor.

Capitalism will not give us the will to fight capitalism – what we need is a new International

Capitalism will not give us the will to fight capitalism – what we need is a new International

With the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and with socialist parties around Europe fighting only for national attention, is there hope for an international left? Lea Ypi (LSE) writes that, more than ever, the world has to be made by those sceptical of capitalism. She makes the case for rebuilding international solidarity.

Increasing ethnic minority representation: why both political parties and electoral districts matter

Increasing ethnic minority representation: why both political parties and electoral districts matter

National parliaments in Western democracies remain far whiter than the increasingly diverse populations they represent. Benjamin Farrer (Knox College) and Josh Zingher (Old Dominion University) find that the explanation for this lies in the interaction of local demographics and political parties, and that as a result centre-left parties in the US, UK and Australia have been more successful at getting ethnic minority candidates elected.  

The Lords are unlikely to derail or overly delay the passage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill

The Lords are unlikely to derail or overly delay the passage of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill

Richard Reid explains why the House of Lords is unlikely to derail or overly delay the passage of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill that is about to be introduced into the Chamber. He contends that while the mood of the House regarding Brexit is difficult to tell, it seems that there is little appetite for a direct collision with the government in the form of blocking or wrecking the bill. However, we are likely to see some successful amendments regarding the acquis, devolution and Parliamentary sovereignty that will win support from across the party groupings.

Book Review | Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

Book Review | Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

With the overnight international bestseller Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Michael Wolff utilises his ‘semipermanent seat’ on a West Wing sofa to offer an insider account of the Trump administration. While critical of Wolff’s writing style, methods and failure to separate clear falsehoods from certainties, Jonny Hall concedes that the book remains a gripping read that is at its most revealing when discussing the warring factions shaping Trump’s Presidency. 

Sinn Féin MP’s resignation demonstrates the dangers of social media for politicians

Sinn Féin MP’s resignation demonstrates the dangers of social media for politicians

On 15 January, Barry McElduff, Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone, resigned after a video he posted on Twitter offended victims and families of the 1976 IRA Kingsmill massacre. Paul Reilly (University of Sheffield) examines what this incident means for politicians who make use of social media in Northern Ireland.  

The Despot’s Apprentice: How to rig an election

The Despot’s Apprentice: How to rig an election

In his new book, The Despot’s Apprentice: Donald Trump’s Attack on Democracy Brian Klaas (LSE) sets out how Donald Trump deploys the methods of authoritarian rulers – in attacking the press, undermining the rule of law and filling government posts with family members and cronies – to corrode the norms of democracy.  In this extract, from the chapter “How to rig an election”, he examines how voter suppression, a preferred tactic of autocrats across the globe, continues to be a threat to US democracy.