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Are Political Finance Regulations Helping to Combat Party Corruption in Europe and Latin America?

  As has been repeatedly stated, money is the main fuel of politics. Without it political parties cannot function, elections cannot take place, and democracy – at least as we know it – cannot exist. It is for this reason, but not the only one, that most political systems in the world guarantee (at least […]

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Global Restructuring Comes to Portugal: The “Good Pupil” and the Eurozone Crisis

  Recently, I presented at a workshop at Roskilde University (Denmark) titled ‘Structural Adjustment Comes to Europe’ (14-15 November). One of the primary aims of the workshop was to discuss whether the concept of ‘structural adjustment’ was a suitable analytical lens to understand the changes occurring to Europe’s political economy, especially in relation to the […]

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Czechs and balances: The Bank of England and the Nazi seizure of Czech gold

The publication last week of the Bank of England’s internal ‘war history’ offers a fascinating insight into the workings and ‘mind set’ of one of the key institutions affecting government policy-making between 1939 and 1945. At 1175 pages, the History, can hardly be read in a single sitting, so it is not surprising that attention has […]

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The rise of euroscepticism in Croatia

Despite the current challenging economic times and the alleged enlargement fatigue, on Monday, July 1st 2013 Croatia became the 28th EU member state. Further Western Balkans countries, such as Montenegro, the Former Republic of Macedonia and Serbia, are waiting to join, while Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo hope to gain official status as candidate […]

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Though currently indifferent, young Germans may begin to reject the EU if economic conditions worsen

Until the start of the Eurozone crisis, sociological research on integration in the European Union depended very much on the idea of “permissive consensus” by the people, meaning a tacit acceptance of EU policy. In this context and in Germany in particular, the political and economic elites who pushed for the deepening and enlargement of […]

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In countries where citizens tend to distrust the state euroscepticism is rooted in state-scepticism

It increasingly seems as if the prolonged economic crisis is slowly but surely generating an identity crisis in Europe. Unsurprisingly, increasing invocations of what is necessary are once again followed by a decrease in solidarity, a tendency which is even stronger in a transnational context, such as Europe. Of course, crises do not only have […]

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In political fiction the EU is either non-existent or portrayed as corrupt and dystopian

How we imagine politics is sometimes as important as how it really is – if the latter can ever be determined, that is. Indeed according to Benedict Anderson in his Imagined Communities, one of the most basic political concepts, the nation state, had to be first imagined before it could exist in reality. It is […]

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EU membership: UKIP and the Conservatives are competing over an issue most voters don’t think is critical

European integration has long been a divisive issue in British politics, leading to differences within and between parties. Voters’ views on this tend to vary by party support but, in recent years at least, this subject has been some way down the list of issues that voters view as most salient. How do voters view […]

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The Absentee, the Public Orator and the Pragmatist: the roles of Eurosceptic MEPs in the European Parliament

Euroscepticism has become an integral part of the political landscape in Europe, both at the national and supranational levels. It has attracted significant attention as European elections have provided Eurosceptic parties with an opportunity to get parliamentary representation. But if there is a rich literature on the Eurosceptic stances of these parties, there remains relatively […]

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The eurozone crisis and the rise of soft Euroscepticism in Greece

An important consequence of the eurozone crisis has been a rise in Euroscepticism across Europe, weakening the legitimacy of the integration process and undermining the political representation of the citizens in the member states. Just how extensive has the increase in euroscepticism been and what are its implications for the future of European integration? In […]

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