Ideas on Europe

Informed analysis, comment and debate

Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

Brexit: A valid comment on BBC Question Time

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On BBC Question Time, a member of the audience in Winchester made a particularly pertinent point: The 52%-48% referendum result wouldn’t even be sufficient to change the constitution of your local golf club. (Article continues after 30-second video) And it’s true. In most democratic clubs and institutions, a result of 52% to 48% wouldn’t be enough […]

Ruling out no-deal

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The other day I tried to set out in a Twitter thread why ruling out a no-deal was difficult. The nub of the argument was that while the UK constitutional settlement allows Parliament to rule on whatever it likes, that would not and could not change the EU rules that apply. Thus, while a law could be […]

The EU referendum was flawed

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The EU referendum of 2016 was flawed and undemocratic. Here’s a summary of some of the reasons why: If the UK was run on the same democratic principles as the EU, then the UK could not leave the European Union without the unanimous consent of all its four members: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. […]

Conciliation and trust in the post-Meaningful Vote period

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Change sneaks up on you. Certainly I was surprised that my reading of Theresa May’s statement following her heavy defeat on the Meaningful Vote on Tuesday was out-of-step with many others. While they spoke and wrote about how her reaching across the aisle was going to lead to splits in the Tories because many would […]

Mobility in Doctoral Education

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Corina Balaban & Susan Wright Mobility in Doctoral Education was the topic we tackled in the most recent special issue of LATISS, the International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. ‘Mobility’ is now a buzzword of research policy, referring to a whole range of experiences, from moving between countries to switching between disciplines […]

Illegal political funding across Europe. Part II

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Russian support for right wing eurosceptic parties across Europe, whether it is UKIP in the United Kingdom, the FN in France, or the AfD in Germany, may one day be seen by historians as a arm of Putin’s foreign policy which aimed to break up the European Union. Likewise Russian interference in the US Presidential […]

Process and outcome in Brexit

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Another week, another surprising turn of events in the world of Brexit. The pace of life these days is so high that things that might have occupied political life for weeks by themselves have been compressed into days, or even hours. A leadership confidence motion flashes by, new constitutional principles are created from nowhere, alliances […]

A story about a curry and no-deal planning

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Like the rest of you, I spent much of Christmas trying hard not to think too hard about Brexit, and for the most part I succeeded. Right up until about 0100 on 1 January, when I lay awake in bed like some modern-day Scrooge, thinking about Brexits to come. Experience told me that then wasn’t […]

The choice is the deal, no deal or no Brexit

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It’s been confirmed by both the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, that the choice now is either ‘the deal’, ‘no deal ‘or ‘no Brexit’. ‘The deal’ negotiated between the EU and Theresa May is the best Brexit deal available, according to both sides. In any event, the […]

2019 in Political Science (1) – A Personal Account

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My path into political science as a profession was never planned. It started rather accidentally, quite exactly 10 years ago, without me knowing that I would end up where I am today. This year, in 2019, I will try to regularly blog about this profession, my own research, and the research of others – even […]

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