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Category Archives: Politics & Public Policy

BoJo for PM? The Johnsonian vision for the EU

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It’s August, and the temptation to simply lay down tools and ignore the world around us is strong. However, it would also be a mistake, since the world continues to turn and since some people are working hard on their campaigns for the general election next spring. Last week, I wrote about UKIP and their […]

Building the base: UKIP’s push to the General Election

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As I’ve discussed before on this blog (here and here), the real focus of UKIP’s work of late has not been last May’s European elections, but next year’s general election: without a breakthrough in the latter, the prospects for moving into a new phase of power/influence looks very limited. And so it that the party has been […]

The new British policy on the European Union: scapegoats and crossed fingers

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The European election fallout continues to amaze. In Brussels, Strasbourg and national capitals, the consequences of historic and contemporary decisions are working their way through the system. Jean-Claude Juncker’s election to Commission President might have been a shoe-in, but he still had 250 votes against him and the maths suggested that not all his grand coalition supported him. As […]

Debating the EU: How can we do it?

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I was talking to a friend yesterday evening, who felt that a referendum on EU membership was a good thing. He agreed with my point that what the UK (and the Union more generally) needed was a full public debate, but saw a referendum as a way to kick-start that into life. Fortunately, the rest […]

A new European Union, or just more of the same?

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Cynicism comes easily: to watch the events of this week unroll has been to see every cliche of European integration at play. Backroom deals, grandstanding eurosceptics, scapegoating and general ignorance – sadly, an all too common sight in and around the EU. Rather than wallow in this, I would rather try to step back and […]

The momentum issue in euroscepticism

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Only a short post this week, as I’m attending the first European conference on Learning & Teaching in Politics, IR and European Studies at the University of Maastricht (yes, there again). Obviously this week potentially represents an important moment for the EU, with its possible resolution of the Spitzenkandidat issue at Ypres. Certainly, to listen to some of the British press, the […]

Respecting voters’ ‘mistakes’: The EU and euroscepticism

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I’m just back from Montreal, where I was invited by the EU Centre of Excellence at the Université de Montréal and McGill University to participate in a roundtable on the European elections. My plan was simple: to go and talk about how well eurosceptic parties of different stripes had done, but how they were likely to be […]

Reporting Europe: euromyths and euro-reality?

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Tonight I’m speaking on a roundtable in Edinburgh on ‘Reporting Europe‘, where we’ll be considering how the media covers the EU and the influence of euromyths in the debate. I wrote about this last year, but it’s a good time to revisit the issue, given the quality (or perhaps ‘quality’) of the media coverage of the European […]

Do facts matter when discussing the EU?

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For the past couple of days, I’ve been competing in the inaugural EU Twitter Fight Club, where tweeps from different parts of the (notional) European public sphere have been trying to show off their tweeting ability (very broadly defined).  To call it a pleasure would be a stretch, but it’s certainly been informative for me, both […]

Will 2015 see the end of UKIP?

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It’s almost Easter, so it is also time for the Political Studies Association annual conference, held this year in Manchester. I had the great pleasure of sitting on a roundtable on UKIP with Rick Whitaker, Phil Lynch and Matt Goodwin, where we discussed the party’s support, strategy and organisation: much debate ensued. We’re producing a series of blog posts […]

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