Informing and engaging citizens

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, […]

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 […]

Book Review | Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences by Geoffrey Craig

Book Review | Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences by Geoffrey Craig

In Performing Politics: Media Interviews, Debates and Press Conferences, Geoffrey Craig examines media interactions between politicians and journalists as power struggles that have come to be seen as crucial in indicating the potential success and competence of political leaders. While the book understands politics through largely conventional terms that bypass the emergence of newer political […]

The Law Commission’s dangerous proposals would turn whistleblowers and journalists into ‘spies’

The Law Commission’s dangerous proposals would turn whistleblowers and journalists into ‘spies’

Suppose a journalist received information about the secret services from a whistleblower, but decided not to publish it – perhaps even because they thought it might damage national security? Under the Law Commission’s proposals to replace the Official Secrets Acts with a single Espionage Act, both the journalist and whistleblower could be jailed. And if they […]

Now they’re on a roll: how to get the missing millions onto the electoral register

Now they’re on a roll: how to get the missing millions onto the electoral register

Individual electoral registration has not been kind to students. Previously, they were automatically enrolled by their universities; now they are not, and many have fallen off the electoral roll as a result. But an amendment passed in the Lords last night would let them register at the same time as they enrolled at university. Toby […]

Losing Momentum? The power struggles that are hobbling the Corbyn movement

Losing Momentum? The power struggles that are hobbling the Corbyn movement

The Momentum movement faces two crucial problems, says Robin Pettitt. It explicitly allies itself with the Corbynite wing of the party. Yet it has also become a battleground for three groups: Bennites, a wave of new members, and the so-called ‘Trots’ or ‘entryists’. Meanwhile, the movement has been torn between a traditional branch-based structure and a […]

Book review | Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra

Book review | Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra

How can we explain the apparent rise in hatred in societies around the world? In Age of Anger: A History of the Present, Pankaj Mishra offers a take on our current predicament by tracing increased disaffection, disappointment and disillusionment back through to the eighteenth century. Packed with references drawn from various disciplines and eras, this is […]

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 […]

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed?

Risk-takers and referendums: what happens when voters are better-informed?

Voting for change in a referendum is the riskier option. People who voted for Brexit were more likely to be risk-takers. But when people have more information at their disposal, are they more or less likely to stick with the status quo? Davide Morisi found that when voters were making up their minds about how to vote […]

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