Three Years in Hell: Fintan O’Toole on the disastrous Corbyn Effect

3 Apr

Labour ought to have won the 2019 General Election. Tories had been in power for almost a decade and austerity had been hitting the country hard. Instead, Jeremy Corbyn’s party suffered a crushing defeat. In this edited extract from his new book, Three Years in Hell, Fintan O’Toole predicted Labour’s catastrophic losses and attributed this … Continued

Covid-19 hurts the vulnerable most. So does Brexit

30 Mar

It is already clear that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will dwarf that of Brexit. Yet both disproportionately affect the vulnerable. Eve Hepburn (PolicyScribe) explains why. When the Scottish government published my report on the Social and Equality Impacts of Brexit at the end of January 2020, Covid-19 appeared to be a far-off problem … Continued

How LSE Brexit 2020 will change during the Covid-19 pandemic

27 Mar

Brexit has not gone away, but the world’s attention is on the Covid-19 pandemic. Kevin Featherstone, Tony Travers, Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz and Ros Taylor (LSE) explain how our coverage will change. The LSE’s Brexit 2020 blog, in common with other aspects of life, will have to adapt to both the short and long-term impact of the … Continued

Metamorphoses: European democracy is yet to find a fruitful form

20 Mar

European democracy is undergoing a metamorphosis, but its new shape is still highly uncertain. It is yet to find a fruitful form, says Niccolò Milanese (European Alternatives). If it can be argued that democracy is itself as a regime is always changing and being reinvented, democracy in the European Union has been undergoing a distinctive process of change … Continued

‘Our own government has done absolutely nothing for us’: Brexit and the British in Spain

16 Mar

Not all the British in Spain are retirees, and many are confused and angry by the limited information about Brexit available from both the British and Spanish governments. Many now question where they belong, writes Karen O’Reilly (Loughborough University). Many British people living in Spain have been left confused, fearful and in the dark about … Continued

Democracy is only real when indeterminate. Can youth restore it?

12 Mar

Brexit advocates call for the democratic liberation of Europe. But, democracy is only real when truly indeterminate, argues Kalypso Nicolaïdis (University of Oxford). Can Brexit energise the youth, which comprise the first truly global generation, to act and reinvigorate democracy, she asks? In his journey escaping Thebes, blind and defeated, Oedipus’ tragic figure is guided by … Continued

‘I don’t want to get kicked out’: Brexit and the British in France

11 Mar

Almost four years after the referendum, many Britons living in France are still in the dark about what Brexit means for their future lives in France, writes Michaela Benson (Goldsmiths University of London). France hosts the second largest number of UK nationals in the EU27, and is home to approximately 150,000 Britons. Yet almost four years … Continued

Brexit is a policy fiasco. Were voters deceived during the referendum?

9 Mar

Is Brexit a policy deception? Were voters deceived during the Brexit referendum? Darrin Baines, Sharron Brewer, and Adrian Kay examine how political, process and programme failures combined to create a fiasco that misled many voters into believing that Leave was an actual, and easily deliverable, policy option. This blog summarizes the analysis originally outlined in … Continued

Can there be anything new under the sun ever again?

2 Mar

Post-war internationalism is in retreat. Are we doomed to repeat the terrible mistakes of the past? Philip Allott (University of Cambridge) says the need for courageous new ideas has never been so urgent. The crisis prompted by Britain’s withdrawal may well prove terminal to the European Union. In any case, the unprecedented effort to build … Continued

Defending liberalism is not enough

2 Mar

‘Democracy crisis’, ‘illiberalism’, ‘authoritarian regression’, ‘executive takeover’. The dark political mood in Europe has generated its own language in recent years. In the corridors of power, there is often a strong agreement on what needs to be defended: liberalism, the rule of law, judicial independence, free media, and individual rights. In other words, across the … Continued

The proposed immigration system will inflict untold damage

27 Feb

“The UK’s Points-Based Immigration System” Policy Statement, published last week, presents a drastic change to immigration in the UK. Monique Hawkins, on behalf of the3million, representing EU citizens and their family members who have already made their home in the UK, offers their point of view. The government’s proposal is ambitious. It’s difficult to ignore that some … Continued

Care work is undervalued and underfunded. But this has nothing to do with immigration

24 Feb

Because care work requires no formal qualifications, the immigration proposals will make it virtually impossible to recruit care workers from abroad. The sector is underfunded and undervalued, says Heather Rolfe (Demos), and struggles to attract British staff. After more than three years of speculation, the immigration proposals are finally out. The government calls it ‘a … Continued

Living up to the Women, Peace and Security agenda? Gender must be a core element of Brexit negotiations

19 Feb

Of course, most policies have some kind of gender dimension; well apart from Brexit or security or defence”. This is the sentiment that accompanies many of the public discussions of Brexit as a political process or as a juncture for European and British politics. Moreover, where the gender is discussed in relation to Brexit it … Continued

Having cake and eating it: how a hyperbolic metaphor framed Brexit

13 Feb

Since Boris Johnson first invoked the idea that Britain could ‘have its cake and eat it’ by staying in the Single Market while ending freedom of movement, the phrase has become shorthand for Brexiters’ optimism. Andreas Musolff (University of East Anglia) explains how a metaphorical proverb shot through with hyperbolic assertion proved so powerful. “[…] this … Continued

There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit

12 Feb

There is no ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Ireland in the wake of Brexit. The success of Sinn Fein in the recent Irish general election was built on a deep-seated public dissatisfaction with the quality of social provision in health, housing, childcare and other ‘quality of life’ issues at a time of a booming economy. The party’s traditional … Continued

Both Leavers and Remainers can be nostalgic, but for different things

11 Feb

Nostalgia is one of the reasons often cited for the Leave vote. But what kind? Lindsay Richards (University of Oxford) identifies two underlying dimensions of nostalgia – ‘traditional’ and ‘egalitarian’. People with high levels of egalitarian nostalgia were just as likely to vote Remain as those who weren’t nostalgic at all.  Two parallel narratives have … Continued

After Brexit comes the battle for the soul of British democracy

4 Feb

Opponents of Brexit cannot afford to lick their wounds for long. The UK now enters a contest for the soul of its democracy. It must now be reconstituted. Such a renewal might one day presage the UK’s return to Europe, writes Michael Cottakis (89 Initiative). Earlier this month, European Parliament Brexit Coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, visited the … Continued

WW2 has become a rallying point for Leavers. It need not have been so

31 Jan

The world wars, particularly WW2, became leitmotifs for Leave campaigners. It need not have been so, writes Richard Grayson (Goldsmiths, University of London). Today, on the day we leave the EU, I am Schrödinger’s European. As a citizen of the United Kingdom AND the Republic of Ireland, I am both leaving and not leaving the … Continued

January 31 is not Brexit – uncertainty will continue

31 Jan

Britain leaves the EU. That is not in doubt. But the terms of the future relationship remain to be decided. With Labour and Liberal Democrats unable to form any coherent opposition can business emerge as the opposition to a hard, amputational Brexit, asks Denis MacShane? The UK leaves the EU Treaty today. However, January 31 … Continued

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

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

How Brexit will affect disabled people’s lives and rights

13 Jan

Disabled people will be affected by Brexit in a number of ways, writes Charles Whitmore (Cardiff University). First, there will be no obligation for Britain to match EU rights law, nor a right of appeal to the European Court of Justice. They will also lose EU funds and the European Health Insurance Card, which makes … Continued

Scotland is positive about EU citizens, but it needs to do much more to help them integrate

8 Jan

The Scottish government has tried to help EU citizens apply for settled status and has been much more positive about their presence than many politicians in Westminster, writes Piotr Teodorowski (Robert Gordon University). But it has not made enough concrete efforts to integrate them into Scottish society. On 12 November the Scottish Parliament supported a … 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

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

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

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