Public intellectuals and experts cannot tell citizens what to do

28 Jan

How should academics approach their roles as experts and public intellectuals in light of decreasing trust in experts and growing need for their expertise, asks Peter J. Verovšek? They need to ensure that the strategic competition for media power does not destroy the quality of public debate that is necessary to maintain a functioning representative democracy, he … Continued

EU Settlement Scheme: the cliff-edge approach puts many vulnerable applicants at risk

27 Jan

On 20 January 2020 Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered his first defeat in Parliament. An amendment to the European Union (EU) Withdrawal Agreement Bill, moved by Liberal Democrat peer Jonny Oates with cross-party support, passed by 270 votes to 229. Lord Oates’ amendment wouldn’t break the EU Settlement Scheme, but it would fix it, argues Kuba Jabłonowski … Continued

Not necessarily more protectionist – Brexit may make EU trade policy more progressive

22 Jan

The conventional wisdom amongst many commentators has been that Brexit will render EU trade policy more protectionist, as the Union would lose one of its more liberal Member States. Ferdi De Ville and Gabriel Siles-Brügge argue that this is not necessarily the case. Instead, they highlight how the EU could render its trade policies more … Continued

Brexit is finally going ahead. Is it the wrong answer to the right question?

21 Jan

Brexit, it seems, is finally going ahead – although it would be fair to say that we don‘t know quite what it is yet, in the sense that it is still not clear exactly what our trading relationship will be with the EU. It is even less clear whether Brexit is the right medicine for … Continued

Getting Brexit done? We are still a long way off the certainty that business craves

20 Jan

There has been a lot of discussion recently about “getting Brexit done”, which the government at least seeks to use to give the impression that this also includes the trade deal with the EU, and the ability to move on to trade deals with the rest of the world. There are however several reasons why … Continued

Is electoral reconciliation in sight?

15 Jan

Labour and Tory voters are “disgusted” by one another, according to latest ‘Hostility Barometer’, writes Sarah Harrison (LSE). The latest survey from the Electoral Psychology Observatory at the LSE and Opinium shows 47 per cent of those intending to vote Conservative feel some “disgust” towards Labour voters, while over two-thirds (68 per cent) of those intending to vote … Continued

Brexit – a problem or an opportunity for the European Federation?

14 Jan

Through Brexit, Britain wanted to regain absolute sovereignty. Sovereignty means the ability to achieve a country’s goals, such as increasing prosperity, most effectively. However, the effect of Brexit might be precisely the opposite, meaning that Britain has far less impact on the world stage than before, argues Tony Czarnecki. The UK’s wish to control migration … Continued

“Global Britain” in a cold climate: Michael Cox and Tim Oliver on Brexit in 2020

13 Jan

LSE Brexit asked some of our academics to predict what kind of Brexit we can expect in 2020. Michael Cox and Tim Oliver compare the UK to a ship being tossed around on a stormy and cold ocean looking for a harbour that probably does not exist and a destination it might never arrive at. 2020 … Continued

‘Get Brexit done’: Johnson’s election win won’t allow the EU to move on from Brexit

8 Jan

Boris Johnson’s victory in the United Kingdom General Election has been welcomed in the European Union for the ‘clarity’ it is said to bring to the question of Brexit. However, the only certainty at this point is that, from early this year, the UK will no longer be represented in EU institutions. As Ferdi De Ville and Gabriel … Continued

More fragmentation and division? What 2020 will be like for Higher Education

6 Jan

What will the year 2020 be like for Higher Education in the UK? Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon (LSE) predict more fragmentation and division. The higher education sector had been expecting 2020 to be a sad, if not bad, year. When the transition period ends, the UK’s 136 universities will lose their automatic access to … Continued

LSE Thinks: What kind of Brexit can we expect in 2020?

2 Jan

LSE Brexit asked some of our academics to predict what kind of Brexit we can expect in 2020. Simon Glendinning On being asked to “make a brief prediction about the course of Brexit in 2020”, I was reminded of a remark by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein: “If we think of the world’s future, we always … Continued

Hollowing out the state: the return of corporatism to European politics

19 Dec

One of the results of the recent illiberal turn in European politics has been growing state capture that leads to the breakdown of the supervisory institutions of democracy. In this blog, Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (LSE) argues that some of Europe’s authoritarian populists have succeeded, or are planning to, take control of both public and private media, … Continued

Austerity is to blame for the result of the general election, but so is nationalism

18 Dec

Labour’s electoral defeat falls in between the Leave and Remain ideological poles, writes Raluca Bejan (St. Thomas University). She explains that while austerity is partially to blame for the result of the recent general election, so is the nationalist, anti-immigrant rhetoric that pervades British society.  The results of last week’s general election in the United … Continued

Ok, Boomer. Is Brexit stealing the future of millennials and zoomers?

17 Dec

Demographics are shifting against ‘Leave’ in any future referendum. British millennials and the following Generation Z (‘zoomers’) were born as Europeans, writes Jeff Frank (Royal Holloway). Is Brexit stealing their future?  Insofar as Brexit is about the colour of our passports and other aspects of national identity, the younger generations see little gain in reverting from … Continued

How Brexit can give Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland more policymaking power

16 Dec

As the result of last week’s election begins to sink in, one thing on the minds of politicians in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is the fate of devolved authority after Brexit. In this blog, Anthony M. Bertelli, asks how can Brexit give them more policymaking power? Prime Minister Boris Johnson endorsed devolved authority during a September … Continued

Long read | What is going on with economic expertise?

12 Dec

What is going on with economic expertise? Why is it that it is constantly depicted as simply based on opinion rather than facts, ask Marina Della Giusta, Sylvia Jaworska, Danica Vukadinović-Greetham and Anna De Liddo? In this blog, they present their research which uses network and language analysis to explore the audience and the style of … Continued

F**K Business: Brexit and the deep freeze between business and politics in populist nationalism

10 Dec

Business has been f**ked! F**k government! The relationship between business and politics is broken – can it be fixed? This contribution, by Daniel Kinderman (University of Delaware), part book review and part blog post, reflects on the tense and sometimes openly conflictual relationship between business and politics in populist nationalism. Iain Anderson’s book F**K Business: … Continued

What are the economic forces polarising the UK?

9 Dec

Economic performance varies widely between different places in the UK, writes Henry G. Overman (LSE). There is a broad North-South pattern, but also substantial variation within those areas. In some measures, the performance gap has widened since the financial crisis. Austerity too reduced redistribution and so it is partly responsible for the recent widening of spatial … Continued

It’s ridiculous! The disarray of our fiscal system leaves voters short-changed

6 Dec

Our fiscal policies are in disarray, and this will leave voters short-changed. Jagjit S. Chadha (NIESR) explains that fiscal policy planning has just taken a huge retrograde step with the delay in a budget, spending plan and official economic forecast. Furthermore, he argues that whatever government we end up with is unlikely to reach its … Continued

Immigration is no longer the most pressing concern among the electorate

3 Dec

Immigration is no longer the most pressing concern among the electorate going into this election that it was prior to the Brexit referendum, writes Jonathan Wadsworth (LSE). More than three years on, concerns about Europe have eclipsed anything else, including the NHS, defence, the environment and unemployment as well as immigration. However, immigration remains a highly … Continued

Three years on: the UK is paying a high economic price for its decision to leave the EU

2 Dec

How has the Leave vote affected the UK economy, ask Swati Dhingra and Thomas Sampson (LSE) in this second of two blogs based on the CEP Election Analysis briefing on Brexit. It summarizes CEP research on how the referendum outcome has affected the UK economy since 2016. The first blog, which reviews work on the potential long-run … Continued

Is each “illiberal” democracy illiberal in its own way?

28 Nov

Most of the world’s population lives in electoral democracies today. Yet in many respects, the successful spread of formal democracy has turned into a crisis of democracy. Trust in the political institutions of representative democracy – political parties, elections, parliaments – is in free fall in many of the established democracies, while many of the … Continued

Long read | Unsettled status? Vulnerable EU citizens may lose their UK residence overnight

27 Nov

Before the end of June 2021, EU nationals living in the UK need to apply for Settled Status (EUSS) in order to continue living and working here. Amelia Gentleman called the application process via the app the ‘’gateway between belonging and exclusion’’.  In this blog, Catherine Barnard, Fiona Costello and Sarah Fraser Butlin (University of Cambridge) claim that the importance … Continued

Economic consequences of Brexit are overwhelmingly negative

26 Nov

The economic consequences of Brexit are overwhelmingly negative, estimate Swati Dhingra and Thomas Sampson (LSE). The more the UK distances itself from the EU’s economic institutions and policies, the greater will be the increase in trade barriers and the higher will be the costs of Brexit, they claim. This is the first of two blogs based … Continued

Brexit may free Britain from the spectre of Empire

25 Nov

Britain’s relationship with Europe has a complex history, of which Brexit is merely the latest development. Simon Glendinning explains that the country’s post-War understanding of both itself and of Europe has often been caught up in a (selective) history and memory of British and European discovery, colonialism and Empire. The hope that the UK might … Continued

Few populist radical right parties want to leave the EU anymore

20 Nov

The EU is a major concern for the European far right, which considers it a threat to national sovereignty – a remote bureaucracy in which “nationalist” forces have no voice. However, today, few relevant populist radical right parties still want to leave the EU, writes Cas Mudde (University of Georgia) in his latest book, The Far Right Today. This is partly due […]

What hope is there for societies undergoing democratic downgrades?

19 Nov

Since the 2008 financial crisis, European democracies have lurched decisively in a damaging direction. Democratic citizens have found themselves with less and less of a say in how their societies are being run, all while more and more severe measures have been enacted in their name, writes Benjamin Abrams (UCL SSEES). There have been a number of different labels applied […]

Long read | Brexiteers might have succeeded, but Brexit will fail

15 Nov

After the conclusion of negotiations between the twenty-seven EU Member States and Boris Johnson’s government on the UK’s EU withdrawal agreement, Brexiteers seem to finally be on the verge of achieving their goal, writes Thierry Chopin (ESPOL/Bruges). But will Brexit succeed? Probably not, or else in its current form it will cause many losers, including those who voted to leave the EU […]

Europe is undergoing a democratic recession

13 Nov

All forms of democracy require renewal and adaptability; envisioning renewal requires an understanding of the complexity of the problem. Europe is undergoing a democratic recession which is at the heart of over a decade of multiple complex crises, Brexit being the latest in a string of setbacks, writes Rosa Balfour (German Marshall Fund). By ‘democratic recession’ I mean to capture both […]

Money can’t buy love for Europe but success certainly can

12 Nov

What can the EU do in practice to build its own electoral support? To what extent can Euroscepticism be influenced by EU policies? Analysis of votes in the Brexit referendum suggests that money does not influence voters’ support for Europe, write Riccardo Crescenzi (LSE), Marco Di Cataldo (LSE/Ca’ Foscari University of Venice), and Mara Giua (Roma Tre University). It is the […]