Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Democracy & Citizenship

How the EU Mitigates a Fundamental Democratic Deficit of European Nation-States

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In this piece, Samuel D. Schmid, Andrea C. Blättler, and Joachim Blatter summarise the key findings from their winning article of the JCMS 2017 Best Article Prize: ‘Democratic Deficits in Europe: The Overlooked Exclusiveness of Nation‐States and the Positive Role of the European Union’ (Vol 55, Issue 3), available here. The European Union, many believe, has a democratic deficit. […]

So, just how f*cked are we?

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It’s turning into a bit of a tradition. I go to a UACES conference, talk with a range of European Studies colleagues, then write a long post, usually with a sweary title. This year it’s Bath, and whereas London in 2016 I was angry (twice) and in Krakow in 2017 I was despairing, this time I’m going to be […]

Michel Barnier’s big BUT

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Last week, the pound briefly jumped 1% against the US dollar when the EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier said, “We are prepared to offer Britain a partnership such as there never has been with any other third country”. His comments boosted hopes that a Brexit deal can be struck after all – maybe even along […]

Russia, the EU and the Return of History

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Publication resulting from the UACES 2018 Graduate Research Conference Russia and the European Union (EU) emerged as twin products of the end of history, writes Daniel Matthews-Ferrero. Arguing that the return of history is exemplified in both domestic politics (through the decomposition of liberal democracy, best expressed through the rise of populism) and in international relations (increasing […]

UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 | KU Leuven

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UACES Graduate Forum Conference 2018 KU Leuven, belgium On 12-13 July 2018, forty postgraduate and early career researchers across a range of disciplines gathered at KU Leuven to present and receive feedback on their work on contemporary Europe and the European Union. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘An Actor on Multiple Stages: the […]

Giving up on Article 50?

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So today sees the publication of the first tranche of ‘no-deal’ preparedness notices from the British government. I’m writing ahead of this, so maybe this’ll be out of date within a few hours, but let’s see what we can piece together so far. The basic issue for the government is that it’s now caught on the horns […]

Brexit is built on sand

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Last May in Parliament, Prime Minister, Theresa May, summed up her promises for Brexit in just 15-seconds: no hard border on the island of Ireland, and as frictionless trade as possible with the rest of the EU. Of course, we already have that now. And of course, this cannot be delivered after Brexit. The Brexit […]

Don’t panic, says Theresa May

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Our Prime Minister, Theresa May, has urged the public not to be “worried” by her government’s plans to stockpile food and medicine to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. She is taking us all for fools. Gary Lineker got it right when he responded: “A wealthy nation putting itself in a position where it has to stockpile […]

We still haven’t won the arguments we lost

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It is a poor reflection of the pro-Remain campaign that even two years after the referendum, much of Britain is still basking in shocking ignorance about how the EU functions, the reason it exists, and how it is a democracy run by its members for the benefit of its members. We are leaving the EU […]

New article on Vico and Democracy

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  New article forthcoming (in 2018) in History of Humanities and posted to SSRN: Democracy and the Vernacular Imagination in Vico’s Plebian Philology Abstract: This essay examines Giambattista Vico’s philology as a contribution to democratic legitimacy. I outline three steps in Vico’s account of the historical and political development of philological knowledge. First, his merger of […]

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