Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Society & Culture

Following the German trend? Austria votes on Sunday.

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Elections in Austria? Again? Most non-Austrian react with bewilderment when they take note of the forthcoming Austrian elections on 15 October: elections, now? Have they not just voted? Indeed. On 4 December 2016 Austria had to re-run its presidential elections, with the quasi-Green candidate Alexander van der Bellen winning by a really small margin of […]

The Czechs are going to vote. And strengthen the populists further.

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In ten days (October 19-20) Czech voters will go to the polling stations. After four years, they will decide once more about the future of Czechia – as the republic in the middle of the Europe is (unsuccessfully) trying to rebrand its name. And once more, these elections are portrayed as “important” or “path-breaking”, not […]

Nation-building. Participant observation, June 2015.

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A text I published elsewhere over two years ago. Read it again against the backdrop of this week’s news, found it still valid.   It is not every day that a researcher has the opportunity to be the eye-witness of a nation in the making. Sunday evening 7 June 2015, at the intersection between Avinguda […]

Taking an Alternative Approach to Doing EU Studies: Using Foucault’s Thinking to Better Understand the EU and Migration

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Publication resulting from the UACES 2017 PhD and ECR Conference The journey of connecting your research interests and questions as a PhD student with an effective means of exploring them can sometimes be challenging, writes Rachael Dickson Hillyard. Reflecting on her research critically analysing EU narratives on good governance and rights-based policies, she argues that it […]

Brexit, Scotland, and the Kingdom: a constitutional drama in four acts

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The European Union (EU) referendum result has led to the unfolding of a domestic constitutional drama in the United Kingdom, which on its current trajectory could lead to its break-up. This is the first of two blog posts which maps the initial trajectory by considering the roles of the key institutional actors in the drama so far. […]

Catalonia: Headlong into the unknown.

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Come October, something with high political voltage will happen in Catalonia and, therefore, in Spain. The main question is that nobody knows exactly what will be. The Catalan Government is strongly committed to holding a referendum on Catalan independence, while the Spanish central government is just as strongly committed to preventing anyone from taking part […]

Brexit and the German Elections: a Tale of Two Countries

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1. In early August, FT columnist Simon Kuper dedicated his weekly piece to the three ‘enduring flaws’ of British politics as revealed by Brexit. His (rather devastating) diagnosis – ‘substance-free, hot air’ rhetoric instead of political debate, ‘the ruling class’s insularity’, and ‘delusions of grandeur’ – was accompanied by a delicious illustration by Harry Haysom. […]

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