Author Archive: Democratic Audit UK

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Everyone loves select committees these days. But have they really changed?

Everyone loves select committees these days. But have they really changed?

The Wright reforms have been widely credited with reinvigorating select committees. Stephen Bates, Mark Goodwin (University of Birmingham) and Steve McKay (University of Lincoln) take issue with this assumption. They found the reforms have made little or no difference to MP turnover and attendance, which are driven by the parliamentary cycle. When MPs are jostling […]

Does protest really work in cosy democracies?

Does protest really work in cosy democracies?

Does protest work? And is it more effective when it takes places in countries ruled by repressive regimes, or those with democratically elected governments? Steve Crawshaw (Amnesty International) argues that if we think nothing will change, as people often do in democracies, that lack of belief becomes self-fulfilling. Similar PostsBook review | Democracy Protests: Origins, Features […]

Was Democracy for Realists too pessimistic and US-centric? A call for contributions

Was Democracy for Realists too pessimistic and US-centric? A call for contributions

When Democracy for Realists was published in 2016, it challenged decades of work by political scientists – arguing that voters make largely unconscious and un-thought through choices based on social and group identities. Hanna Wass, Antje Schwennicke, Pedro Magalhães and Mark Franklin plan to respond with an edited volume that will take a less US-centric […]

Book  review | The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World, by Michael Ignatieff

Book review | The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World, by Michael Ignatieff

In The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World, Michael Ignatieff aims to take ethics out of the seminar room by examining the role of ‘ordinary virtues’ such as trust, forgiveness and reconciliation in local contexts and settings. While the book travels the globe to underscore both the fragility and strength of community-based networks of solidarity as part of Ignatieff’s […]

Turning the tide on inequality

Turning the tide on inequality

Inequality is the root cause of many of society’s ills, argues Danny Dorling. A depressing link is emerging between where a country ranks on the league table of economic inequality and its economic, social, and political difficulties. He points to Donald Trump’s election and the Brexit referendum as examples of political fallout in two of […]

Words and deeds: electoral success for Greens in the US leads to less environmental sabotage

Words and deeds: electoral success for Greens in the US leads to less environmental sabotage

Does extremism necessarily beget violence? Benjamin Farrer (Knox College) and Graig R. Klein (New Jersey City University) compare the electoral success of the US Green Party with rates of environmental sabotage. They found that when Greens won seats at local and state level, sabotage declined. Voters also appeared to punish candidates for violence carried out […]

‘Desperately seeking an elderly gentleman with a large majority … to persuade Parliament to allow MPs to job-share’

‘Desperately seeking an elderly gentleman with a large majority … to persuade Parliament to allow MPs to job-share’

Or a woman MP for that matter, write Rosie Campbell and Sarah Childs (Birkbeck). But they must be adored by their parliamentary and local constituency party so that both will be happy for them to stand as half of one of the first MP job-shares at the next General Election. We think it might take […]

The plumage and the bird: we need to reappraise what is ‘essential’ and what is ‘superfluous’ in political life

The plumage and the bird: we need to reappraise what is ‘essential’ and what is ‘superfluous’ in political life

Political theories have often included frameworks that minimise the importance of some aspects of human flourishing and prioritise others. In his new book, Rodney Barker takes issue with these distinctions, arguing for the fundamental importance of cultural choices and display in understanding human conduct. Similar Posts

Book review | Asylum after Empire: Colonial Legacies in the Politics of Asylum Seeking, by Lucy Mayblin

Book review | Asylum after Empire: Colonial Legacies in the Politics of Asylum Seeking, by Lucy Mayblin

In Asylum After Empire: Colonial Legacies in the Politics of Asylum Seeking, Lucy Mayblin considers the contemporary hostility of the British state towards asylum seekers in the context of colonial histories. While raising some questions about the limitations imposed by the book’s analytic framework, this is nonetheless a compelling study that will be an invaluable addition to activist-scholarship […]

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