Book Review | The Extreme Gone Mainstream: Commercialisation and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany by Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Book Review | The Extreme Gone Mainstream: Commercialisation and Far Right Youth Culture in Germany by Cynthia Miller-Idriss

In The Extreme Gone Mainstream: Commercialisation and Far Right Youth Culture, Cynthia Miller-Idriss explores how far-right ideology has infiltrated contemporary mainstream German culture through commercial products that are coded with extremist messages. Using a digital archive containing thousands of historical and contemporary images as well as data from interviews with young people, Miller-Idriss reminds us that while the commercialisation of the far right is not a new phenomenon, it is gaining currency. Katherine Williams recommends this book to readers interested in sociology, history and far-right extremism in its many guises.

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The UK’s democracy is in danger of backsliding – but current policy proposals are not the right fix

The UK’s democracy is in danger of backsliding – but current policy proposals are not the right fix

Jessica Garland from the Electoral Reform Society responds to our recent publication, The UK’s Changing Democracy, and highlights crucial areas for immediate reform, particularly in the areas of political finance and online advertising.

Schrodinger’s devolution and the potential for ongoing political instability after Brexit

Schrodinger’s devolution and the potential for ongoing political instability after Brexit

Territorial governance in the UK has taken the form of ‘Schrodinger’s devolution’, where the devolved nations both have and have not experienced fundamental constitutional change. But Brexit highlights the need for exact decisions where ambiguity has so far existed, explain Mark Sandford and Cathy Gormley-Heenan.

Why do we care what our politicians get paid?

Why do we care what our politicians get paid?

Since payments for MPs were introduced in the early in the 20th century, the rhetoric used to justify them has changed markedly. Initially, writes Nicholas Dickinson, any remuneration was almost always construed in terms of broadening democratic representation. Related to a landmark 1971 report, however, MPs increasingly began to be depicted as political professionals. This change in framing allowed salaries to increase, but at the cost of lasting public ambivalence.

The realignment of European voters and parties over cultural values is transforming political competition

The realignment of European voters and parties over cultural values is transforming political competition

Over the past 40 years, both citizen and party elite opinions on economic and cultural issues have shifted, with increasing cultural cleavages gaining particular significance. Russell J Dalton demonstrates how these changes are transforming current European party competition and electoral dynamics.

Posted in: EU politics
Book Review | Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan

Book Review | Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan

In Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy, Siva Vaidhyanathan explores the paradoxically disconnective and antisocial character of social media, with a particular focus on Facebook.  Commendably accessible, this book will benefit anyone looking to understand the social-mediatised world in which we are deeply immersed, writes Ignas Kalpokas.

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How transparent and free from corruption is UK government?

How transparent and free from corruption is UK government?

For citizens to get involved in governing themselves and participating in politics, they must be able to find out easily what government agencies and other public bodies are doing. Citizens, NGOs and firms also need to be sure that laws and regulations are being applied impartially and without corruption.In an article from our book, The UK’s Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit, Ben Worthy and the Democratic Audit team consider how well the UK government performs on transparency and openness, and how effectively anti-corruption policies operate in government and business.

The UK is heading towards a constitutional crisis over Brexit

The UK is heading towards a constitutional crisis over Brexit

As the clock runs down on Article 50, a political crisis is looking increasingly likely. However, Iain Begg argues that this could become a more damaging constitutional crisis if Parliament is unable to settle how Brexit proceeds.

Losing the ‘Europeanisation’ meta-narrative for modernising British democracy

Losing the ‘Europeanisation’ meta-narrative for modernising British democracy

Contrary to claims of Britain’s enduring political and constitutional distinctiveness, in the period from 1997 to 2016 the UK in fact modernised its polity by following several strong ‘Europeanisation’ trends. British democracy came to increasingly resemble other European liberal democracies in some fundamental ways. Yet now this meta-narrative may be lost following Brexit. Patrick Dunleavy explores some implications of the UK’s possible lapse back into rudderless idiosyncrasy.

Book Review | Making a 21st Century Constitution: Playing Fair in Modern Democracies by Frank Vibert

Book Review | Making a 21st Century Constitution: Playing Fair in Modern Democracies by Frank Vibert

In Making a 21st Century Constitution: Playing Fair in Modern Democracies, Frank Vibert explores the current state of constitutions, outlining why they have become outdated and suggesting ways in which they can be reworked to better meet the needs of democracies today. While readers may not agree with all of the book’s arguments, it provides interesting insight into how constitutions can overcome their democratic weaknesses and is a welcome addition to this increasing body of scholarship, finds Elyse Wakelin.

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