Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

What makes the Dutch Dutch? A constitutional perspective.

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Ever since the rise of the Christian Democrats (CDA) in the beginning of the 2000’s, the issue of ‘Normen en Waarden’ has been a topic in the elections. Jan Peter Balkenende was the first to frame the problems in Dutch society as the result of individualistic attitudes propagated by the preceding cabinets. As with a lot of […]

Issue discovery and Brexit: How will we know what all the points of impact might be?

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Speaking at another Brexit-themed talk in Antwerp this week, I found myself once again noting the matter of issue discovery. Despite being over 8 months after the referendum, which itself was confirmed as happening in May 2015, and with years of debate beforehand, we still find ourselves in a position where new elements keep on being discovered. […]

Whatever happened to the Dutch Left?

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Third post in our series on the Dutch general elections. Questions on the vital statistics of ‘The Left’ are rising everywhere in the Western World. At least in the Netherlands, it is too early to organise a wake. We may be well known for our liberal and permissive attitude to society (which is not the […]

Can the populist far-right win the elections in the Netherlands?

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Second post on our series on the Dutch general elections. On Wednesday 15 March, Dutch voters will head to the polls to elect a new parliament and prime minister. And for once, the rest of Europe is very interested, as the question looms whether the leader of the far-right populist Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert […]

Dutch coalition politics and the 2017 general elections

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The year 2017 is widely seen as hugely important for European politics, with general elections in key European Union member states Germany and the Netherlands – and perhaps even in Italy – and presidential elections in France. Following the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote and the election of President Donald Trump in the United States, populist […]

France 2017: Polling paradoxes

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The French take delight in pointing out that they are World Champions in producing political opinion polls (only to shake their heads in disbelief and despair about their own addiction). While the claim to this honorary title may not be corroborated by empirical data, it confirms the impression of saturation that a politically interested individual […]

Take-aways on federation and sovereignty

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Ask not whether the European Union is a federation or not, ask what Europe can teach us about the very concept of federation! In a nutshell, this is one of my major take-homes from a particularly enriching seminar held in Nantes on 17 February at the Chair of European Philosophy of Alliance Europa. Olivier Beaud, […]

Semester grades for Theresa May

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To whom it may concern This is to certify that Ms Theresa May successfully passed the admission exam of the ‘Higher Management and Governance’ executive education programme, generally known as ‘HMG’, in July 2013. At the end of her first semester, during which her performance was evaluated through continuous assessment, she has now submitted her […]

What about the abyss?

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I’ve been looking back at my posts from last summer, when things Brexit-y were in much more obvious flux. this was triggered by last week’s post on the looming Article 50 notification, which reminded me that I’d sketched out some options. Briefly re-stated, these suggested that the UK would aim for either close or distant relations with […]

Introducing Alliance Europa

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Bonjour! And warm greetings from the University of Nantes, where the office of “Alliance Europa” is hosted. Alliance Europa is a new and – as we hope: innovative – regional consortium in European Studies. Initiated and supported by the authorities of the Pays-de-la-Loire, it brings together the researchers of 19 laboratories or centres based in […]

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