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Category Archives: The EU

Swings and roundabouts on the EU: Can the Tories ever get anywhere?

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It’s time for the final blog post of the calendar year for me, as I prepare for the Christmas break. My mind naturally turns towards thinking back over the past 12 months and I find myself looking at a situation much like that a year ago. Last Christmas, the talk was of Cameron’s much-trailed speech, which […]

A culture of euroscepticism?

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I’ve had a small flurry of late-autumn events of late, including a talk at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin (podcasted here) and a workshop here at Surrey on Croatia’s membership of the EU, organised by CRonEM. In these events, we have talked as much about current events across the Union as we have about […]

How do eurosceptics position themselves: winning the argument or fighting the system?

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The past week has been something of a trip to the past for me. For many years, watching eurosceptics and anti-EU groups was characterised by endless cries that they were fighting ‘the system’, outcasts who had seen the truth and railed against almost impossible odds. That idea of righteousness that underpins such a worldview is one that I […]

The dangers of obfuscation on ‘Europe’

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Yesterday saw the UK’s Supreme Court hand down its ruling on R v. Secretary of State for Justice and McGeoch v. Lord President of the Council. These cases related to two prisoners on life sentences for murder challenging the denial of their right to vote.  Unlike the Hirst case of 2005, which first established that the UK’s blanket ban on prisoner voting […]

Bloom in Bongo-Bongo Land: how did he get to be there?

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By sheer coincidence, I was in a position to talk to some UKIP activists yesterday, as the Godfrey Bloom ‘bongo-bongo’ story developed.  I mention this, because a consistent issue for the party (and others) is the charge of media bias (or here, for (lots) more). ‘Let’s get it straight from the horse’s mouth’, was my thinking […]

Avoiding concept stretching in ‘euroscepticism’

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The idea of concept stretching is not a new one, and certainly predates Satori’s seminal piece on the topic from 1970, at least in practical terms. However, it’s an idea that has continued relevance for all researchers, especially those in the social sciences. it was something I was reminded of this week, during some workshop […]

The Structural Limits to Euroscepticism

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After the many months of a fast evolving debate on the European Union here in the UK, recent weeks have seen some of the steam being let out. Partly this is due to the fading profile of the eurozone crisis in news agendas, and partly because everyone is waiting for the next peg on which […]

Cameron’s Petard

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After an eventful few weeks in the life of David Cameron’s EU policy, some of the heat has gone out of matters, albeit only in the sense that the heat shifted to the question of gay marriages. Interesting then, how much more willing Cameron has been to engage backbenchers on the latter issue than the […]

Righteousness and risk in building a European policy

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Another week, another car-crash of public policy. After last night’s vote on the amendment to the Queen’s speech – with more than half of all Tory backbenchers voting in favour of the motion – it is hard to see how today’s ballot for private member’s bills won’t result in the draft bill on a referendum […]

It’s Europe day, so let’s talk Europe

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As you are all doubtless aware, today is Europe day, the 63rd anniversary of Robert Schuman’s declaration on the creation of a coal and steel community that was to become the precursor to the current European Union. Everyone knows that, right? That I even pose the question suggests that the answer is not in the […]

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