Extending human and civic rights

The Brazilian experience: democracy, at its fullest, saves lives

The Brazilian experience: democracy, at its fullest, saves lives

Brazil is a deeply unequal democracy which enjoyed an economic boom in the 2000s – and is now suffering from a recession and the threat of austerity cuts. Michael Touchton, Natasha Borges Sugiyama and Brian Wampler analysed the factors that led to falls in infant mortality. They found that while competitive local elections were important, they alone […]

Book review | The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain, by Sayeeda Warsi

Book review | The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain, by Sayeeda Warsi

In The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain, Sayeeda Warsi offers a book that is part memoir and part political commentary. Drawing on her Yorkshire childhood as the daughter of Pakistani immigrants and her role as the first female Muslim cabinet member, she reflects on the rise of Islamophobia, government responses to terrorism and questions […]

‘Mum-of-two, 40’: but women rise to the top in Northern Irish politics

‘Mum-of-two, 40’: but women rise to the top in Northern Irish politics

Women now lead three of the five main parties in Northern Ireland and make up 30% of the Assembly. Danielle Roberts looks at the sea-change in women’s participation in Northern Irish politics since the Good Friday Agreement, which has happened in spite of the lack of Unionist female politicians. While a number of BME and LGBT […]

Book review | The Despot’s Accomplice: How The West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy, by Brian Klaas

Book review | The Despot’s Accomplice: How The West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy, by Brian Klaas

In The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy, Brian Klaas provides a frontline account of the contemporary history of democracy, the current state of democracy promotion and the fundamental flaws in the West’s approach. This dynamic book offers convincing insight into the impact of current policy and proposals for […]

No need for basic income: five policies to tackle the loss of jobs to technology

No need for basic income: five policies to tackle the loss of jobs to technology

Not all the jobs lost to new technology are likely to be replaced. A universal basic income has been touted as a solution to the problem of under-employment – but, argues Henning Meyer, it would lead to even greater inequality. He suggests five alternative policies that could help tackle the problem of technological unemployment. Similar […]

Book review | Hate Speech  and Democratic Citizenship, by Eric Heinze

Book review | Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship, by Eric Heinze

In Hate Speech and Democratic Citizenship, Eric Heinze argues for the unrestricted right to freedom of speech in contemporary democratic states, positioning it as one of the ‘legitimising expressive conditions’ of democratic citizenship. While some readers may take issue with Heinze’s particular conceptualisation of democracy and his account of the potential risks of hate speech, this […]

Throughout history, only violent and catastrophic events have significantly cut inequality

Throughout history, only violent and catastrophic events have significantly cut inequality

Are mass violence and catastrophes the only forces that can seriously decrease economic inequality? To judge by thousands of years of history, the answer is yes, argues Walter Scheidel in this extract from his new book, The Great Leveller: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the 21st Century. Over thousands […]

Not without prejudice: LGBT politicians talk about how Parliament has changed

Not without prejudice: LGBT politicians talk about how Parliament has changed

This month the Constitution Unit at UCL hosted a panel discussion on LGBT candidates in UK elections, exploring the UK parliament’s evolution to include more openly LGBT politicians than any other state legislature. The panel, chaired by Dr Jennifer Hudson, consisted of Professor Andrew Reynolds and four of the UK’s most prominent LGBT politicians: Angela Eagle, […]

What the ECJ’s ruling on headscarves means (and why it may be tough to enforce)

What the ECJ’s ruling on headscarves means (and why it may be tough to enforce)

The European Court of Justice’s ruling this week does not ban employees from wearing headscarves at work, contrary to some media coverage. Rather, it allows bosses to ban them – along with other symbols of religious belief – if the job is customer-facing and the workplace has a neutrality policy. Steve Peers predicts that such bans may […]

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 […]

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