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June 7, 2021

The ‘levelling up’ agenda of Boris Johnson's government – and why there might be trouble ahead

Jack Newman
Levelling up has become the centrepiece of the UK government’s vision for a post-Brexit and post-Covid Britain. It promises greater equality without anybody losing out, and it appeals to all parts of the political spectrum. But these big promises create major challenges that could be the government’s undoing, argues Jack Newman
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December 15, 2020

The Constitutional Court struck down the Austrian government’s discriminatory welfare policies against migrants and refugees. But that won't prevent social exclusion

Irene Landini
The Austrian government's openly discriminatory policies against migrants have been invalidated by the Constitutional Court and challenged by the European Commission. But, argues Irene Landini, that has not ended ‘welfare chauvinism’ and social exclusion, either in Austria or elsewhere in Europe
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June 7, 2022

♟️ The rise of ‘information autocracies’: Kazakhstan and its constitutional referendum

Bakhytzhan Kurmanov
To understand today’s autocratic regimes, we should look at how they exploit social media, argues Bakhyzhan Kurmanov. In Kazakhstan, a referendum in the name of ‘open government’ is effectively a sham. What's more, it is a cover for autocratic practices of silencing dissent
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March 22, 2023

💊 How lobbying regulation can make democracy work better

Alberto Bitonti
Lobbying regulation is an area where political scientists can help strengthen democracy. We usually analyse the effects of existing regulations, and see why, where, and how they are implemented. But Alberto Bitonti argues we can do much more, helping regulators fix loopholes and understand what they really should aim for
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November 30, 2022

Tokayev consolidates power in Kazakhstan elections

Bakhytzhan Kurmanov
In Kazakhstan’s recent presidential elections, incumbent President Tokayev won an overwhelming majority, further consolidating his rule. Tokayev preaches democratisation. Yet, as Bakhytzhan Kurmanov argues, the elections were hardly democratic, and the reforms he proposes may mask an intent to strengthen his own position rather than empower Kazakh citizens
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November 28, 2023

⛓️ The chilling dismissal of Hungarian academic Zoltán Ádám

Gábor Halmai
Hungarian universities are facing increasing interference from government. The recent dismissal of Zoltán Ádám from Corvinus University in Budapest thus signals a worrying erosion of academic autonomy. For Gábor Halmai, Balázs Majtényi, and Andrew Richard Ryder, Ádám's dismissal reflects a pattern. They argue that a broader political agenda is threatening academic freedom, and raising questions about Hungary’s democratic integrity
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November 28, 2023

The far right is endangering Romania’s role as a strategic partner in Eastern Europe

Ivo Kesler
Ivo Kesler argues that Romania’s emerging role as a strategic asset in Eastern Europe will be compromised if the far-right party AUR wins the next parliamentary elections. Romania's role as Moldova’s most important supporter and promoter could come to an end
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November 27, 2023

🔮 Populism and democratic backsliding: learning from Hungary and Tunisia

Barbara Pisciotta
Barbara Pisciotta and Daniela Verena Huber explore how populism fuels societal divisions and provides fertile ground for democratic backsliding. This allows populist leaders to increase their own power at the expense of the opposition
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November 23, 2023

🦋 Is it post-democracy; or maybe authoritarian neo/liberalism?

Dimitra Mareta
'Democracy is in crisis'. We have heard this claim since the 1930s, and new terms regularly surface to describe democracy’s transformations through crisis. Of these terms, argues Dimitra Mareta, post-democracy and authoritarian neo/liberalism are the most challenging. While they describe either a strong or weak state, neither term captures the implications for the people living under such regimes
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November 22, 2023

🎭 Selfie activism: from cruel categories to presentist identities

Taina Meriluoto
To strive towards democratic transformations, we have much to learn from marginalised activists. They espouse ‘presentist identities’ to fight the dismissive categories through which other people see them. Presentist identities do not assume a past or a future. Instead, they make us simultaneously perceivable and free, writes Taina Meriluoto
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The Loop

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Advancing Political Science
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