Jean Blondel, comparative political scientist, founder of the University of Essex Department of Government and ECPR, died peacefully on Christmas Day 2022. Tracing his career, Ian Budge says he was a Napoleonic figure who reshaped European political science structurally and intellectually; and had a striking influence on the discipline throughout the world
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has reduced media coverage of the political violence and turmoil elsewhere in the world caused by climate change, as well as causing a retreat on climate change policy targets by richer democracies. Ian Budge highlights what needs to be done and how
The climate catastrophe has been forgotten, Ian Budge argues, as NATO extends itself up to the Russian border. Stopping Russia destroying its natural environment should be the real imperative for the West. Recognising this would soften both sides’ aggressive reactions and ease the way to an equable settlement over Ukraine.
COP26 revealed the difficulty of agreeing pledges on climate change. But that is nothing to the problem that now arises of acting on those pledges. Ian Budge argues that the real problem of climate change is one of collective action. Here, he proposes ways to rise to that challenge
Ian has pioneered the use of quantitative methods in studying party democracy across countries.
He is perhaps best known as convenor of the Manifesto Research Group (now MARPOR at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin) which pioneered the content analysis of party manifestos across 45 post-war democracies.
This has given rise to the widely used Left-Right scale used to trace party policy shifts over time and comparatively.
Publications from this research include Ian Budge et al., Ideology, Strategy and Party Change (1987, 2008), Ian Budge et al., ‘Ideology, party factionalism and policy change: An integrated dynamic theory’ (British Journal of Political Science 40, 2010, 781-804), and Ian Budge (with various authors), Mapping Policy Preferences (2001, 2006, 2013: winner of the American Political Science Association Award, 2003).
A citation written by an international jury for his European Achievement Award (2013) noted his ‘outstanding contribution to European political science…through international research projects…scholarly production and institutional service’.