Informing and engaging citizens

Submarine May can’t slip back under the waves. Keeping Brexit negotiations secret is impossible

Submarine May can’t slip back under the waves. Keeping Brexit negotiations secret is impossible

The story of Brexit has been that of a would-be secretive government forced to become more open about its intentions, writes Ben Worthy. Pressure from select committees, the media and freedom of information requests – compounded by a stream of leaks – means we now know what kind of Brexit we will have. But he […]

The post-fact world: six steps you can take to fight back

The post-fact world: six steps you can take to fight back

How did we come to be living in a ‘post-fact’ world? Who or what is responsible for the breakdown in trust in fact-generating institutions? Crucially, what can we do about it? In this edited extract from a lecture delivered at several US universities, Mary Poovey, author of A History of the Modern Fact and of […]

Universal basic income and a tax on robots – the rise of French socialist candidate Benoît Hamon

Universal basic income and a tax on robots – the rise of French socialist candidate Benoît Hamon

A surge of enthusiasm for the left-wing French Socialist Party candidate Benoît Hamon could see him nominated as presidential candidate. Hamon wants a universal basic income and shorter working hours – policies that distinguish him from the other socialist candidates. Susan Milner says his main achievement may be to preserve the Parti Socialiste as a distinct force […]

The ‘academy revolution’ is ousting governors. We need to hold these schools accountable

The ‘academy revolution’ is ousting governors. We need to hold these schools accountable

As more and more schools are removed from local authority control and become academies, the role of governors has diminished – and with it a school’s accountability to local people, argues Andy Allen. Contrary to the aim of the ‘school revolution’, multi-academy trusts are not autonomous at all, but answerable to  a few unelected trustees. He […]

Book review | Transparency and the Open Society, by Roger Taylor and Tim Kelsey

Book review | Transparency and the Open Society, by Roger Taylor and Tim Kelsey

In Transparency and the Open Society: Practical Lessons for Effective Policy, Roger Taylor and Tim Kelsey offers a systematic framework for establishing greater transparency across government, and civil society more broadly. While the book does raise a number of further questions about the capacity to engender a more transparent society, Andrew Reid recommends it to those […]

What to read in the age of Trump

What to read in the age of Trump

We need to think about democracy – now more than ever. As Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States, Democratic Audit asked Brian Klaas, Russell Dalton, Cas Mudde and Meg Russell what texts they are turning to in order to understand and learn from the Trump phenomenon. This post is a work in progress […]

Multiculturalism is unpopular with the majority – even though it makes for happier societies

Multiculturalism is unpopular with the majority – even though it makes for happier societies

How do people feel about multicultural policies? Ethnic majorities tend to resent them, and feel less safe in societies with a number of affirmative and rights-based policies, write Pamela Irving Jackson and Peter Doerschler. As a result, governments have come under pressure to ensure policies that tackle inequality benefit everyone. Yet both ethnic majorities and minorities declare […]

If your parents didn’t vote, chances are you won’t either – unless you move up the social ladder

If your parents didn’t vote, chances are you won’t either – unless you move up the social ladder

 You are less likely to vote if your parents didn’t go to the polls. But new research by Hannu Lahtinen, Heikki Hiilamo and Hanna Wass suggest this effect is at least partly overcome if you move up the social ladder yourself. The more social mobility a society can achieve, the smaller the gaps in turnout between […]

So-called ‘populist’ parties have many different grievances. Lumping them together won’t help defeat them

So-called ‘populist’ parties have many different grievances. Lumping them together won’t help defeat them

Populism is the buzzword of the moment. But, Takis Pappas explains, there are three kinds of parties aggregated under the populist label: anti-democrats, nativists and ‘pure’ populists. Lumping them together is both misleading and politically perilous because they do not spring from the same source or the same set of grievances. Instead of lamenting a generic, ill-defined populism, we need […]

Brexit, Corbyn, Article 50: in 2017, we need to take back our parliamentary democracy

Brexit, Corbyn, Article 50: in 2017, we need to take back our parliamentary democracy

Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn’s election and Article 50: 2016 saw three profound shocks to the integrity of Britain’s parliamentary system, writes Robert Saunders. Together, they amount to a quiet revolution – potentially the most significant recasting of how Britain is governed since the coming of universal suffrage. Understanding how this has happened, why it matters and what […]

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