Leader evaluations and electoral participation: the personalisation of voter turnout?

Leader evaluations and electoral participation: the personalisation of voter turnout?

We know that voters identify less with political parties than they used to, and that politics has become more personalised. What effect has this had on turnout? Frederico Ferreira da Silva, Diego Garzia and Andrea de Angelis test the effect of voters’ identification with political leaders on turnout in 13 West European countries and find that the personal identification with a leader increases turnout, and that this pattern has increased over time and also depends on voters’ patterns of media consumption.

Book Review | The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction by Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb

Book Review | The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction by Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb

In The First Marx: A Philosophical Introduction, Douglas Burnham and Peter Lamb bring together Marx’s early writings in order to shape them into a distinct political philosophy. This is a diligently and rigorously researched work, writes Tarique Niazi, that will serve as a must-have primer for both early and advanced students and scholars of Marx.

Posted in: Book reviews
Threat of prorogation: what can the Commons do?

Threat of prorogation: what can the Commons do?

The Prime Minister has requested and received consent for the current parliament to be prorogued, and plans to introduce a new Queen’s Speech before the Brexit deadline of 31 October. David Howarth assesses the options available for those wishing to oppose this and enable the Commons to prevent a no deal Brexit.

Youth political engagement in the EU: The age of a democracy accounts for variations in levels of youth participation

Youth political engagement in the EU: The age of a democracy accounts for variations in levels of youth participation

While socio-demographic characteristics (at individual level) matter for levels of political participation, country-level characteristics have an effect as well. Magdelina Kitanova shows that the democratic maturity of a country influences patterns of political participation among young people in the EU. Youth political engagement varies significantly, and young individuals living in established democracies are more likely to be politically active.

Governing as a permanent form of campaigning: why the civil service is in mortal danger

Governing as a permanent form of campaigning: why the civil service is in mortal danger

Patrick Diamond writes that the process of governing is being transformed into a highly politicised form of campaigning, with polling and short-term politics being more important to Ministers than long-term policy. This puts the capacity of the state to steer a sensible course through the perilous post-Brexit landscape in serious doubt.

Book Review | Measuring Poverty Around the World by Anthony B. Atkinson, edited by John Micklewright and Andrea Brandolini

Book Review | Measuring Poverty Around the World by Anthony B. Atkinson, edited by John Micklewright and Andrea Brandolini

The meticulous and passionate editorial work of John Micklewright and Andrea Brandolini has enabled the publication of Measuring Poverty Around the World, a posthumous opus from Anthony B. Atkinson, a leading and inspirational authority in the field of poverty and inequality. This book demonstrates the strength of Atkinson’s legacy for future generations of poverty scholars and underscores how the centrality of poverty to the political debate makes its measurement both a vital and delicate task, writes Roberto Iacono.

Posted in: Book reviews
Why it’s bad for democracy when we ignore the voices we would rather not hear

Why it’s bad for democracy when we ignore the voices we would rather not hear

Democracy requires that citizens be empowered to speak their minds across a wide range of issues. But in order to ensure democratic equality, do we have to include and listen even to those hateful, racist, or misogynistic voices that would seek to undermine democracy? Mary F. (Molly) Scudder argues that it is only with reference to the concept of ‘uptake’ that we can effectively deal with anti-democratic speech and arguments. She argues that if we first consider and critically engage with what others have to say, we are then justified in rejecting their input and even shutting them down. Focusing on the importance of uptake in democratic deliberation, she argues,can sound the alarm – alerting people to threats to democracy – while also helping to ensure that the voices of the marginalised and oppressed are not dismissed or ignored.

Who is the Leader of the Opposition?

Who is the Leader of the Opposition?

David Howarth explains the legislation and parliamentary rules that determine who is recognised as the official Leader of the Opposition in Parliament. The political implications of these procedures are significant, given current discussions about who would form a government if the current one were to lose a vote of no confidence.

England’s local elections 2019: Part 2 – Rainbow and other coalitions

England’s local elections 2019: Part 2 – Rainbow and other coalitions

In the second of two articles reporting the outcomes of May’s local elections, Chris Game looks in detail at how a high number of multi-party ‘Rainbow’ coalitions have been agreed, and highlights how, behind certain patterns of participation, there are numerous varieties of governing pacts – which, perhaps, Westminster politicians could learn from.

Do populist-leaning citizens support direct democracy?

Do populist-leaning citizens support direct democracy?

Populist parties across Europe often support direct democracy, for example through frequent referendums. Do their voters support these initiatives too and why? Tina Freyburg, Robert Huber and Steffen Mohrenberg distinguish between citizens who support direct democracy as a way of giving power to ‘the people’ and those, known as stealth democrats, who do so out of a scepticism that politicians can be effective. They find that both sets of attitudes independently are associated with support for direct democracy, and argue that the distinction is crucial to furthering the debate about populism in Europe.