Author Archive: Democratic Audit UK

rss feed YouTube

Author's Website →

Why resilience to online disinformation varies between countries

Why resilience to online disinformation varies between countries

There are widespread concerns about so-called ‘fake news’ and its impact on citizens and democracy. The current crisis caused by the corona pandemic demonstrates how quickly disinformation can spread. Edda Humprecht argues that differing media environments, including levels of political polarisation and economic incentives to produce fake news, create varying levels of susceptibility to disinformation, with the US uniquely vulnerable. Any policy responses to increase resilience to online disinformation need to take these structural differences into account.

Assessing England’s metro-mayors: a mixed picture

Assessing England’s metro-mayors: a mixed picture

Directly elected mayors for Combined Authorities have been introduced in a piecemeal fashion across England since 2017. Jane Roberts analyses how they have operated, and finds that there is considerable variation in their effectiveness, depending on local circumstances and individual leadership, but to understand these differences, better evaluation of their performance is needed.

Book Review | Other People’s Politics: Populism to Corbynism by J.A. Smith

Book Review | Other People’s Politics: Populism to Corbynism by J.A. Smith

In Other People’s Politics: Populism to Corbynism, J.A. Smith seeks to critically analyse and historicise our contemporary political moment, tracing the conditions that made movements like Corbynism possible, while also diagnosing their shortcomings and mapping out potential strategies for a new Left Populism. This is a welcome critical intervention into debates on populism and should be read by scholars across the social sciences and humanities, recommends Paul Ewart.

How Covid-19 is altering our conception of citizenship

How Covid-19 is altering our conception of citizenship

The Covid-19 pandemic is a public health emergency, but it also has the potential to impact on many other elements of European societies beyond health services. Jelena Dzankic and Lorenzo Piccoli write on the effect the outbreak is having on the uses and meanings of citizenship.

It was right to delay England’s local elections, but we must consider the wider impact of Covid-19 on electoral administration

It was right to delay England’s local elections, but we must consider the wider impact of Covid-19 on electoral administration

Local and mayoral elections across England have been delayed from May 2020 to May 2021. Postponing them was necessary, writes Alistair Clark, but we must also look at the longer-term impact of Covid-19 on administering elections in the UK and globally to maintain democratic accountability under difficult circumstances.

Book Review | The New Populism: Democracy Stares into the Abyss by Marco Revelli

Book Review | The New Populism: Democracy Stares into the Abyss by Marco Revelli

In The New Populism: Democracy Stares into the Abyss, Marco Revelli explores the definitions, historical development and electoral geography of populism across much of Europe and the United States, focusing particularly on the relationship between populist politics and neoliberalism. While the book provides a wealth of detail on the ideology and history of populism and is particularly strong in examining Italy and its various populist vehicles, its reiteration of familiar themes in the literature risks the book falling behind the cutting edge of populism studies, writes Ben Margulies.

General election 2019: a postcode lottery

General election 2019: a postcode lottery

The 2019 general election produced a strong Conservative majority in the House of Commons, with the first-past-the-post electoral system delivering the party 56% of parliamentary seats on the basis of 43.6% of all votes. Beyond this national figure, Ian Simpson explains, the nations and regions of the UK returned some even more disproportional results, meaning millions of voters across the UK are left unrepresented in Parliament.

Reforming Whitehall: bluff, bluster, brilliance and brains

Reforming Whitehall: bluff, bluster, brilliance and brains

Geoff Mulgan assesses Dominic Cummings’ proposals for reforming government and argues that, while bringing new people and ideas into Number 10 can be welcome, there are several pitfalls, not least in failing to learn from past attempts at reform.

How internet voting could help to make more votes count

How internet voting could help to make more votes count

Trials for online voting have been introduced in a handful of countries, and the evidence for whether it can improve access to voting and turnout is still sparse. However, looking at the case of Geneva canton, Micha Germann argues that there is a potential further benefit: online voting platforms can be designed to help voters avoid inadvertent ballot errors, and so reduce ‘lost votes’.

Book Review | No. 10: The Geography of Power at Downing Street by Jack Brown

Book Review | No. 10: The Geography of Power at Downing Street by Jack Brown

Few front doors are as instantly recognisable as that of 10 Downing Street, but can its interior tell us anything worthwhile about politics? In No. 10: The Geography of Power at Downing Street, Jack Brown argues that not only have individual UK Prime Ministers shaped the building during their tenure, but the capacity and shape of No. 10 have also influenced the role of the PM and the machinery around it. Packed with anecdotes and descriptions, this is a novel analysis, writes Artemis Photiadou, that successfully makes the case for incorporating No. 10 into future studies of British politics.