Achieving accountable government

The absent demos: radical ideas for transforming the way MEPs are elected

The absent demos: radical ideas for transforming the way MEPs are elected

Brexit has pushed European law-makers to seriously talk about rebuilding the EU. Miriam Sorace argues that calls for democratising the EU political system have to be addressed immediately, and that priority should be given to reforms of the European elections. She advocates a uniform Open-List Proportional Representation System with small constituencies and the possibility for national parties to […]

Audit 2017: How democratic is the devolved government of London?

Audit 2017: How democratic is the devolved government of London?

Devolved government in London – focusing on the executive Mayor and Greater London Assembly – started as a radical innovation in 2000. Its generally successful development has sparked a slow, ‘organic’ spread of executive Mayors to other English cities and conurbations.  As part of the 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, Andrew Blick and Patrick Dunleavy explore how democratically and […]

The DUP’s extremist links make it unfit to join a Conservative alliance

The DUP’s extremist links make it unfit to join a Conservative alliance

Theresa May’s plans to broker a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party not only endanger the 1998 Belfast Agreement, writes James Hughes. They are likely to sour relations with the Republic of Ireland – just as sensitive negotiations over the border begin – and conveniently overlook the DUP’s links to violent extremism. Similar PostsAfter the 2 March […]

‘Stuck in their ways’: how we blame the poor for their failure to embrace globalisation

‘Stuck in their ways’: how we blame the poor for their failure to embrace globalisation

We find it easier to talk about class in purely economic terms. Lisa McKenzie argues that in fact our perceptions of class are tightly bound up in stigmatising value judgments. The same impulse that condemned the ‘undeserving poor’ to workhouses is apparent in condemnation of the poor for their attachment to the local in the […]

Marriage from hell: what can Australia’s coalition tell us about the Tory-DUP government?

Marriage from hell: what can Australia’s coalition tell us about the Tory-DUP government?

For the first time in British history, the Conservatives will be forced to rely on the hardline, illiberal Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to push through legislation. It is also the first time in the modern era that the British government will be forced to rely on a party with a strong sense of regional identity […]

How groupthink in Theresa May’s No 10 led to another round of political chaos

How groupthink in Theresa May’s No 10 led to another round of political chaos

The UK’s political turmoil continues with a disastrous Conservative election campaign. But what led to the multiple miscalculations involved? Patrick Dunleavy argues that it forms part of a wider pattern of mis-governing from the centre of Whitehall – and it has characterised Theresa May’s leadership style from the outset. Similar PostsNo one won this General Election – and […]

No one won this General Election – and Labour’s internal wrangles are far from over

No one won this General Election – and Labour’s internal wrangles are far from over

No party emerges with much credit from the general election, writes Robin Pettitt. Theresa May is diminished and she may not survive for long, even with the support of the DUP. Jeremy Corbyn captured 29 more seats but still lost the election, and his personal standing with voters remains poor and his problems with the […]

Lend us your ears: fixing the crisis of legitimacy in politics

Lend us your ears: fixing the crisis of legitimacy in politics

A crisis in legitimacy afflicts British and American politics. Voters complain their voices go unheard. Democratic Audit editor Ros Taylor asks Harvard democracy professor Jane Mansbridge how politicians about why, in a society where new channels of communication are opening up, politicians are increasingly distanced from the electorate. How does it help to explain Donald Trump’s success […]

Audit 2017: How democratic is local government in Scotland?

Audit 2017: How democratic is local government in Scotland?

Local authorities play key roles in the devolved government of Scotland, as the only other source of elected legitimacy and as checks and balances on the domestic concentration of power in Scotland’s central institutions. As part of the 2017 Audit of UK Democracy, James Mitchell and the Democratic Audit team explore how democratically local councils have […]

Evidence-based policy-making: ultimately a myth, but one we should believe in

Evidence-based policy-making: ultimately a myth, but one we should believe in

In the era of Trump, is evidence-based policy-making dead? John Boswell argues that while EBPM is ultimately a myth, it is a useful one which plays an important role in democratic deliberation. It underpins and enables democratic contestation in a way that no other instrument has been able to do. Similar PostsEssay | William Davies […]

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