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April 23, 2024

The niche of think tanks in closed advisory systems

How do think tanks establish a unique position in a saturated policy advisory landscape? Bert Fraussen and Valerie Pattyn show that Belgian think tanks set themselves apart from other actors by prioritising long-term, evidence-based policy advice. Aligned with the nation’s administrative tradition, they also adopt consensual strategies
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April 22, 2024

🔮 Exploring populist supporters’ complex relationship with journalism

Supporters of populist parties endorse rhetoric that antagonises the press, yet they are also avid consumers of news. Clara Juarez Miro explores populist supporters' paradoxical relationship with journalism. Her research shows how central are emotion and social identities to populist supporters’ worldviews – and this shapes their perspectives on journalism
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April 19, 2024

🌊 Media control is key to Orbán’s anti-gender discourse success

Since 2010, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been slowly dismantling the country's independent media until there is only voice left: his own. Diana Maria Prisecaru argues that thirteen years of carefully crafted messages has gifted Orbán the grassroots movement he always wanted
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April 17, 2024

Left and right's climate support affected differently by cost increase

As climate policy costs rise, right-leaning voters experience cognitive dissonance. As a result, Sofia Henriks writes, they lower their worries about climate impact when there is an increase in private costs. But what about the left-leaning voters?
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April 16, 2024

Opposition triumph in Turkey’s local elections: democratic recovery or autocratic hiccup?

In the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections, Turkish opposition parties suffered catastrophic defeat. Several factors contributed to their surprise victory in the recent local elections. Pelin Ayan Musil and Sultan Tepe argue that shifting from alliance to party-centred competition gave opposition parties a striking advantage – and laid bare the vulnerabilities of President Erdoğan’s political strategies
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April 15, 2024

Oligarchic defects of democracy in Colombia

Colombians are growing increasingly frustrated at their government's failure to produce progressive advances. This failure signals a peculiar democratic deficit: oligarchic modes of rule. Jan Boesten, Lerber Dimas, Daniel Llanos Ramírez and William Mesa argue that oligarchy offers new insights into Latin America's democratic delinquents
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April 11, 2024

Why do some conspiracy theories stay popular on social media?

Not all conspiracy theories that spread on social media remain popular over time. Courtney Blackington and Frances Cayton argue that conspiracy theories which map onto salient cleavages are more likely to persist and spread online. They find that elites who endorse conspiracy theories do not always attract engagement unless an event occurs that makes those conspiracy theories salient
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April 10, 2024

🔮 The emotional core of left- and right-wing populism

Is populism ‘emotional’ and mainstream politics ‘rational’? Donatella Bonansinga argues that the divide between rationality and emotionality is rooted in cultural misperceptions, and all politics can be ‘emotional’. Populism is peculiarly emotional, because it taps in to very specific affective states, with key differences between left and right
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April 9, 2024

Young democracy clashed with authoritarian legacies in Indonesia – and it lost

In Indonesia's most recent presidential elections, voters elected an authoritarian strongman. Iqra Anugrah explains that the recent illiberal direction of Indonesian democracy has its roots in the authoritarian legacy of a political figure from the last century: the charismatic, Machiavellian and hugely influential Ali Moertopo
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April 8, 2024

🌊 How illiberalism threatens the urban freedoms of women and marginalised groups

In recent decades, real progress has been made to inclusivity in urban policies and in access to urban spaces. Cătălina Frâncu warns these gains are now under threat. Here, she explores the impact of illiberalism on the exclusion of women and marginalised groups from urban public spaces
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