Is democracy going digital? Why the Twitter debate on Catalonia’s independence matters

Is democracy going digital? Why the Twitter debate on Catalonia’s independence matters

Looking at the case of the Catalonia independence debate, Joan Balcells and Albert Padró-Solanet find that the popular perception of social media as creating polarised echo-chambers of extreme political opinions is far from the full picture. They find evidence that Twitter can foster engaged, substantive conversations across partisan lines. This picture demonstrates how social media has the capacity to genuinely improve democratic discussions, and open up arenas of public debate.

Is it too late to stop a no deal Brexit?

Is it too late to stop a no deal Brexit?

It has been suggested Boris Johnson could bypass Parliament’s opposition to a no deal Brexit by timing a general election so Parliament was not sitting over the 31 October deadline. David Howarth explains what procedures could be used to avoid this, if politicians are determined to stop no deal.

Book Review | Stretching the Constitution: The Brexit Shock in Historic Perspective by Andrew Blick

Book Review | Stretching the Constitution: The Brexit Shock in Historic Perspective by Andrew Blick

In Stretching the Constitution: The Brexit Shock in Historic Perspective, Andrew Blicksituates Brexit within the wider context of UK constitutional reform debates over the course of the past century. Blick’s unconventional approach to this topic is insightful, providing instructive historical context to contemporary discussions of Brexit that will be of particular value for scholars of constitutional affairs, writes Gary Wilson.

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Five things we have learnt about England’s voter ID trials in May’s local elections

Five things we have learnt about England’s voter ID trials in May’s local elections

The Cabinet Office and Electoral Commission have published their evaluations of the voter ID trials that were held during this May’s local elections. Michela Palese assesses what we have learnt from them, and what concerns remain.

The rights of non-UK EU citizens are still not a ‘done deal’

The rights of non-UK EU citizens are still not a ‘done deal’

In his first appearance in the House of Commons as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said that non-UK EU citizens would be ‘guaranteed’ the right to stay after Brexit, restating an earlier promise. However, the government has proposed no new primary legislation to achieve this. Alexandra Bulat explains how the existing settled status scheme still falls short of enshrining automatic rights, and how a ‘no deal’ Brexit would mean further uncertainties and inequalities in EU citizens’ rights.

Giving Europe political substance

Giving Europe political substance

Following the 2019 European Parliament elections, Mary Kaldor argues that developing substantive democracy in Europe to tame neoliberal globalisation must be the Leitmotif for the coming European term.

Evidence from Germany: what citizens want from democracy

Evidence from Germany: what citizens want from democracy

Although democracy is viewed positively across Europe, surprisingly little is known about the type of democratic processes citizens support. Drawing on new research in Germany, Saskia Goldberg, Dominik Wyss and André Bächtiger illustrate that disenchanted citizens want stronger involvement in political decision-making, irrespective of the concrete participation format.

What makes a Prime Minister great?

What makes a Prime Minister great?

On the day one occupant of Number 10 Downing Street leaves office, and another enters, Ben Worthy assesses how the British public rate previous Prime Ministers, and how the tricky mantle of ‘great’ tends to depend on fickle collective memories, partisan politics – and war.

Do early elections provide a financial advantage for parties in power?

Do early elections provide a financial advantage for parties in power?

If parties in power have the discretion to call an election when they wish, rather than being restricted to fixed electoral terms, do they have an advantage in terms of raising campaign funds? Looking at the case of Denmark, Lasse Aaskoven finds that they do, which could have implications for the UK, and its rules about electoral terms.

Book Review | Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem by Francis Green and David Kynaston

Book Review | Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem by Francis Green and David Kynaston

In Engines of Privilege: Britain’s Private School Problem, Francis Green and David Kynaston critically explore the issues surrounding private schooling in Britain and the possible avenues through which these can be solved through government policy. This is a highly valuable contribution to debates surrounding education and inequality in the UK, writes Ross Goldstone, providing evidence-based and thoughtful consideration of how the private school problem may be solved for the betterment of society.

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