Extending human and civic rights

Pick of 2016: the best of Democratic Audit

Pick of 2016: the best of Democratic Audit

2016 was an extraordinary year. With Donald Trump’s presidency less than three weeks away, Article 50 due to be invoked in March, local and mayoral elections in the UK and ground-shifting votes in Europe, 2017 promises more seismic change. Here’s a selection of some of Democratic Audit’s most thought-provoking pieces from 2016. Similar Posts

When Americans believe in redistribution and the right to a job, they’re more likely to vote Democrat

When Americans believe in redistribution and the right to a job, they’re more likely to vote Democrat

The concept of democracy often means different things to different people. But are there elements on which people can agree or disagree? Judd R. Thornton and Kris Dunn examine the relationship between US citizens’ beliefs about democracy and how they vote. They find that while most people believe that free elections and protecting civil rights are […]

Schools and healthcare in some post-Soviet hybrid democracies have improved. How?

Schools and healthcare in some post-Soviet hybrid democracies have improved. How?

After the end of the Cold War some ex-communist countries embraced full democracy, some became hybrid regimes while others backslid to authoritarianism. Andrea Cassani, Francesca Luppi, and Gabriele Natalizia examined the quality of education and healthcare in these states. They found that while the more democratic a country the better its public services, some hybrid regimes have also […]

‘Citizen of the world’? Think again: British citizenship after Brexit

‘Citizen of the world’? Think again: British citizenship after Brexit

National identity is fundamental to citizenship, Theresa May told Conservatives in October, and self-styled ‘citizens of the world’ are deluding themselves. Matthew Grant traces how British citizenship has been endlessly redefined for political purposes since the second world war – first becoming associated with whiteness, and now with the non-European. The scope of what constitutes ‘belonging’ is shrinking. […]

Book review: Hunger Pains – Life Inside Foodbank Britain

Book review: Hunger Pains – Life Inside Foodbank Britain

In Hunger Pains: Life Inside Foodbank Britain, Kayleigh Garthwaite draws upon eighteen months spent volunteering as a foodbank worker in Stockton-on-Tees to take readers through the workings of a foodbank and to reflect on the experiences of those who use them, including discussion of shame and stigma. This is a revealing, impassioned and self-reflective book on […]

‘If something isn’t done we’ve hit democracy’s high water mark. That’s billions of people and their life chances’ – Brian Klaas

‘If something isn’t done we’ve hit democracy’s high water mark. That’s billions of people and their life chances’ – Brian Klaas

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the world is becoming less democratic. In The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy, the LSE’s Brian Klaas argues the West is helping to prop up dictators and hybrid regimes. He talks to Democratic Audit editor Ros […]

Evidence from Latin America: Governments increase human capital investment in response to social violence

Evidence from Latin America: Governments increase human capital investment in response to social violence

Mauricio Rivera and Bárbara Zárate-Tenorio argue that democratic governments have incentives to advance human capital since the youth population is overrepresented in acts of social violence. Drawing on data from eighteen Latin American countries, they show that governments increase spending on education in response to increasing levels of social violence. They also find that political […]

Book Review: Sex, Needs and Queer Culture: From Liberation to the Post-Gay by David Alderson

Book Review: Sex, Needs and Queer Culture: From Liberation to the Post-Gay by David Alderson

If corporate backing for Pride events is one example of queer subcultures becoming increasingly commercialised, does this threaten the capacity to resist or might capitalism be progressive for queer subjects? In Sex, Needs and Queer Culture: From Liberation to the Post-Gay, David Alderson draws upon the work of Herbert Marcuse and Raymond Williams to examine processes […]

A ‘one-language’ EU policy would foster elitism and hit disproportionately the least advantaged

A ‘one-language’ EU policy would foster elitism and hit disproportionately the least advantaged

In an increasingly anglo-centric world, is multilingualism still needed in the European Union? The answer is a resounding yes, according to a study by Michele Gazzola. Analysing Eurostat data, he finds that making English the only official language of the EU would exclude approximately four out of five EU citizens from having a deep understanding […]

Looking beyond household income: How do we decide who is poor?

Looking beyond household income: How do we decide who is poor?

Recently, there was some criticism of the government’s attempt to introduce a new child poverty measure in the UK. Here, Rod Hick looks at comparing multidimensional and poverty-based measures of income and argues that the distinctiveness of multidimensional analysis depends on whether we are interested in identifying vulnerable individuals or vulnerable groups and whether we […]

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