Achieving accountable government

Book review | The Cabinet Office 1916-2016, by Anthony Seldon

Book review | The Cabinet Office 1916-2016, by Anthony Seldon

The Cabinet Office: 1916-2016, written by Anthony Seldon with Jonathan Meakin, offers a detailed history of the Cabinet Office from its creation during World War I up to the present as well as the 11 Cabinet Secretaries that have served as part of this constant, if somewhat hidden, presence in the otherwise changing political landscape of the UK. […]

Never mind NICs: gender budgeting reveals the Spring Budget’s true impact on poorer women

Never mind NICs: gender budgeting reveals the Spring Budget’s true impact on poorer women

Last week’s Spring Budget failed to reverse a series of cuts that effectively take away money from poorer women and give it to better-off men. The Treasury has a duty to pay due regard to the impact of its policies on women, but it is not doing so. Mary-Ann Stephenson and her colleagues at the […]

Audit 2017: How effectively is the representation of minorities achieved in UK public and political life?

Audit 2017: How effectively is the representation of minorities achieved in UK public and political life?

As part of our 2017 Audit of UK democracy, Sonali Campion and Ros Taylor examine the extent to which the representation of minorities in the UK operates to foster or to damage democratic public life. Where previous historical inequalities and discrimination against ethnic minorities are being rectified, is the pace of recent change fast enough? Are there areas where […]

Why do the French hate their politicians so much?

Why do the French hate their politicians so much?

The French distrust their politicians and democratic institutions – more so than other Western Europeans. Why? Emiliano Grossman and Nicolas Sauger, authors of Pourquoi détestons-nous nos politiques?, argue that the French presidential system raises unreasonable hopes and expectations that quickly lead to disillusionment among voters. Similar PostsEmmanuel Macron and En Marche! – left, right or […]

Politicians haven’t been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren’t

Politicians haven’t been honest with the public about immigration. They still aren’t

The populist surge that helped propel Brexit isn’t going to help the UK take control of its borders, writes Tim Bale. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives have been honest with voters about immigration policy, and that shows little signs of changing after a hard Brexit. The gap between rhetoric and reality has given politicians the opportunity to […]

Eleven ways Trump has violated democratic norms in his first month in power

Eleven ways Trump has violated democratic norms in his first month in power

Donald Trump was inaugurated on 20 January. In the past month, writes Brian Klaas, the President has already begun to erode democratic norms – and if we accept these violations as ‘the new normal’, American democracy is at risk. He sets out eleven ways in which Trump has undermined democratic institutions. Similar PostsFake becomes legit: social media […]

The rich get elected – but it’s not because voters necessarily prefer them

The rich get elected – but it’s not because voters necessarily prefer them

We elect politicians who are far better-off than ourselves – in Europe, those who come from blue-collar backgrounds make up only a tenth of national parliaments. Is this because voters favour the rich? A new study by Nicholas Carnes and Noam Lupu suggests they are slightly more likely to opt for working-class candidates over business owners. Blue-collar candidates just don’t get onto […]

Female cabinet picks: just one more way in which Trump is exceptional

Female cabinet picks: just one more way in which Trump is exceptional

Donald Trump’s cabinet is exceptional in many ways, not least because the share of women in the executive has fallen since the Obama era – even as recent decades have seen it grow all over the world. What effect does government ideology have on cabinet picks? The literature suggests left-wing governments tend to appoint more women. But […]

International finance has wrested power from democracies. We must reclaim control over the production of money

International finance has wrested power from democracies. We must reclaim control over the production of money

Democracy has failed to protect society from the predatory behaviour of global financial markets, writes Ann Pettifor. Drawing on her new book, she explains why the monetary system has made society vulnerable, and how it needs to be transformed. Similar PostsThe real lesson from the financial crisis is that we need to stop insulating financial […]

Learning from that £1,600 duck house: now Australia tries to get to grips with parliamentary expenses

Learning from that £1,600 duck house: now Australia tries to get to grips with parliamentary expenses

Australia is to get a new authority to oversee parliamentary expenses claims, and it will be modelled on Britain’s IPSA – which was also set up after a major expenses scandal. Anika Gauja and Marian Sawer say the new rules will improve transparency and accountability. But do they go far enough – specifically, in ensuring […]

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