Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

Frank Field, MP, gets it wrong on Question Time

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On BBC Question Time last week, Frank Field, MP, got it wrong by repeating that old myth that the EU accounts hadn’t been signed-off. I wrote him an open letter – to which I am still awaiting a reply: Dear Mr Field On BBC Question Time last night (2 June) you told the audience: ‘I […]

Exactly like the EU, Just a Little Bit Cheesier? Discursive Links between the EU and the Eurovision Song Contest

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The Eurovision Song Contest can be a useful and fun allegorical tool for explaining the dynamics of the EU, writes Anna Wambach. She argues that, although comparisons between the two can create strong cognitive associations over time, if taken too seriously such links can lead to misunderstandings about how the EU works in practice. It […]

Destroying the village to save it

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As we’ve moved into the last stretch of the referendum, we’ve seen the emergence of a new dynamic: the referendum-as-general-election. In setting out more clearly what a post-Brexit future would look like, the key figures in the Leave campaign – Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Chris Grayling and Priti Patel – have also been sketching what a […]

Complacency is a killer

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One of the most interesting aspects of the EU referendum campaign so far has been the extent to which things haven’t changed. Six weeks into the official period, we still have polling that gives no clear advantage to either side, nor even an indication that attitudes have changed at all: the don’t knows still make […]

Fact, ideology and logic in the EU referendum campaign

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The EU debate is a minefield, with half-truths and whole-lies coming from both camps. The reason for this, as I understand it, is twofold. Firstly, it is impossible to know what will happen in the event that the UK leaves the EU, or indeed what will happen in five, ten or fifty years’ time if […]

Five Things You Need to Know About Brexit

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Ahead of the University of Edinburgh’s free online course Towards Brexit? The UK’s EU Referendum and one month before the referendum, here are five things you need to know about the Brexit debate: 1. We’ve been here before In 1975, the UK held its first-ever nationwide referendum on whether to stay in the European Economic Community (the […]

Towards Brexit? The UK’s EU Referendum

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The UK’s referendum on EU membership is now firmly on the horizon. Referendum Day – 23 June – could well be remembered as a landmark in the UK’s relations with the rest of the world, as well as for its own constitutional settlement. Campaigning has been in full swing for a number of weeks, with […]

This June’s EU Referendum is Unlikely to be the UK’s Last

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The approaching referendum on the UK’s EU membership is set to be historic, whatever its outcome. It will either be only the second time in European history that the people of a Member State has specifically endorsed continued membership (the first also being the UK with the 1975 Common Market Referendum), or the first time […]

Charge of the Light Brigade

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After what feels like a lifetime, we move into the final weeks of this EU referendum campaign. A quick peek at the calendar only gives us five weeks until the vote and all the talk of long campaigns and attention deficits feels pushed to one side, as we flip into rushes for the line, tales […]

Political Myths and How to Study Them

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Political myths are a particular kind of narrative used to shape the legitimacy of a political system, writes Jeremy F. G. Moulton. He argues that, despite the difference between the academic and common usages of ‘myth’, political myth theory can generate important insights for political authority, and that it may prove useful in understanding questions […]

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