Review of the year: Democracy in 2018

We have reached the end of the year without a UK general election or referendum, but 2018 has been one of the most eventful, crisis-riven years in UK democracy (since the last one). Meanwhile, globally democracy seems under threat even in established liberal democracies. Below is a selection of our articles from throughout the year that have sought to make sense of what’s happening in the UK and across the globe.

Photo by Steven VanDesande Jr on Unsplash

This year, we also published our in-depth audit of the strengths and weaknesses of UK democracy. The UK’s Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit can be downloaded for free from LSE Press, or you can read articles from the book here.

Democracy in the UK

Online abuse is driving women out of public life. It’s time to act

A citizens’ convention for UK democracy is more necessary with every passing day

Voter ID at British polling stations – learning the right lessons from Northern Ireland

Reforming the Gender Recognition Act

England’s local elections 2018: the unusual case of Sheffield City Region’s mayoral contest

Tommy Robinson and the UK’s post-EDL far right: how extremists are mobilising in response to online restrictions and developing a new ‘victimisation’ narrative

Do you get a say? How and why geography divides the British over their political influence

Patriotism, pessimism and politicians: understanding the vote to Leave

Why Boris Johnson is wrong about the Irish border (again)


In comparative league tables of liberal democracies the UK’s democracy is judged to be First Division, but not Premier League

Auditing the UK’s democracy in 2018: Core UK governance institutions show sharply declining efficacy

Democracy worldwide

The Despot’s Apprentice: How to rig an election

Breaching the social contract: why the success of Golden Dawn in Greece points to a crisis of democratic representation

Collateral damage or a direct hit? Democratic ideals in the age of Trump

Understanding the ‘rise’ of the radical left in Europe: it’s not just the economy, stupid

The electoral decline of social democratic parties and the rise of the radical right in Europe during the refugee crisis

Democracy in small states: why everything we think we know about democratisation is (mostly) wrong

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







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