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The closing space for pro-EU arguments

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A couple of pieces this week have brought me to consider how difficult the non-sceptic side of the EU debate has become in theUK. My rather awkward choice of ‘non-sceptic’ is used advisedly, following Jon Worth’s line about the pointlessness of being ‘pro-European’. As I have discussed before, there is no one euroscepticism, but rather […]

The third age of European integration?

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Returning from UACES, and eager not to get lost in the big pile of emails that awaits me, I spent some time thinking about how to integrate all of the things that I’d been hearing over the past few days. While my focus had been mainly on euroscepticism, I also listened to sessions on the […]

Winter Games Start Early in Russia

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A chill wind is blowing through Russia’s relations with the USA (again), with references aplenty to Cold War thinking. Listen to most mainstream media coverage (and Twitter) and you would think that President Obama’s decision today to cancel his one to one with President Putin was all about Russia’s decision to offer Snowden asylum. That […]

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 […]

Can UKIP keep it up?

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The summertime is a cruel one for politicians: everyone is focused on their holidays, rather than social justice or market liberalisation. The main political institutions are on a break and the media starts to develop an interest in esoterica. Even the politicians themselves feel that a pause is in order. However, for some that is […]

As ye sow, so shall ye reap

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It is sometimes instructive to look back on one’s work, to see how any predictions worked out. This time last year, I was writing about the announcement of the Review of Competences and wondering about where it would lead. The first batch of reports has now been released and it’s fair to say that much […]

Daydreaming of a referendum on Europe

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It’s not often that I nap in the afternoon, but I managed it last Friday. Partly it was the muggy weather, but mainly it was listening to the second reading of the European Union (Referendum) Bill in the Commons. While I wait for you to recover from your shock, I’ll just explain a bit why. […]

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 […]

A rock on the beach? unpacking euroscepticism

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This week, we held our third annual workshop of the UACES Collaborative Research Network on Euroscepticism in Brussels. As with its forerunners, the event brought together a wide range of academics and practitioners and there was much enlightening discussion. I’ll come back to some of the other themes in coming posts, but today I want […]

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