Archive | February, 2012

Military Intervention in Syria: The Only Option?

This week has been one of the deadliest in the uprising across Syria since protests began against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. The incessant shelling of civilian areas has provided the latest chapter in the increasingly protracted and bloody saga of the Arab spring. Attempts by the disparate anti-government forces to bring to an […]

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Boris Johnson, Papua New Guinea and Hegemony

In 2006, prior to his status as Mayor of London, Boris Johnson was revelling in the slow disintegration of New Labour. With ethnocentrism now added to his infamous crassness, he declared that, ‘For 10 years we in the Tory Party have become used to Papua New Guinea-style orgies of cannibalism and chief-killing, and so it […]

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Aristotle and Natural Law

  A new book by Dr Tony Burns, from our School of Politics and International Relations, offers an important new examination of Aristotle’s political thought and its relationship to the natural law tradition. The book, Aristotle and Natural Law, challenges recent alternative interpretations of Aristotle, and argues that his ethics is most usefully seen as a particular type […]

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Can We Justify Hereditary Peers? No, Not Really.

Following the removal of all but 92 hereditary peers in 1999, Lords reform has stalled and divided over the next way to proceed. With reform expected to feature in the upcoming Queen’s speech, even optimists acknowledge the weight of obstacles ready to prevent the passage of a largely or wholly elected second chamber. What we […]

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We Need to Talk About… Integrated Britain

Writing in the Guardian Comment Is Free, Dr Matt Goodwin discusses the government’s latest strategy on integration, following the publication of a key document on Tuesday.

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Confessions of a Diary Secretary

Confessions of a Diary Secretary – a comedy that exploited the then-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott’s affair with a civil servant – was broadcast on ITV in February 2007. While this period now seems a world away, as I argue in this post on my personal blog, Confessions raises questions about the media’s representation of […]

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Time to be Bloody, Bold and Resolute

Major General (Retired) Tim Cross CBE is an Honorary Special Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham The European economic crisis just gets worse. It is agonising watching this greatest of slow-motion train wrecks take shape in front of us as the key participants duck the fundamental issues and instead […]

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Just How Effective is John Bercow?

  By the time John Bercow was elected to the Speakership in June 2009, the expenses scandal had rocked public trust in MPs and Parliament. There was a palpable appetite for change. The previous Speaker, Michael Martin, had resigned on a wave of bad press regarding his involvement in the scandal. His resignation caused one […]

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Making Sense of Chief Whips

On Friday, the Government Chief Whip, Patrick McLoughlin, spoke to students on our second year British Political Parties module.  The next visiting speaker on that module is a former Chief Whip, Jacqui Smith.  That’s two Chief Whips in a couple of weeks.  So what’s the collective noun for Chief Whips? Believing in the wisdom of […]

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Then and Now: Debt and the Nation-State

The long-established sovereignty of the developed nation-states of the West has been under strain now for several decades, beset by the forces of globalisation, for good or ill. For some of the nation-states of western Europe, the sovereign debt predicament has brought this long term trend to crisis point. In January, Germany proposed that a […]

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