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The very first students arrived at LSE 120 years ago this year, on 10 October 1895. We are celebrating the people, places and sometimes quirky events that make up the story of LSE, from 1895 to 2015. Look out for events, blog posts, publications, video and audio telling you more than you ever thought you could possibly want to know about what has made LSE one of the world’s most influential seats of learning.

London School of Economics

Getting multilevel governance wrong can be a matter of life and death during a pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic is a global crisis, but it has had a highly varied impact on different regions across Europe. Marta Angelici, Paolo Berta, Joan Costa-Font and Gilberto Turati argue that while centralised decision-making can help solve collective action problems like border closures, the management of the response to a health emergency is often more effective when it is implemented at the local level. They highlight that decentralised health care governance helps explain why...

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Madrid’s regional election: How we got here, what happened, and why it matters

On 4 May, the Popular Party, led by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, doubled their share of seats in a snap regional election in Madrid. Stuart J. Turnbull-Dugarte and José Rama react to the result, which also prompted the resignation of Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos. Despite Madrid’s persistently high infection and death rates, just over 3.5 million Madrileños opted to head to the polls on 4 May in one of the most polarising electoral contests in Spain’s richest and most influential region...

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There is a growing skill bias in the labour market institutions and welfare states of advanced democracies

The adoption of information and communications technology has given rise to a skill bias: those with higher-level skills have had their employment prospects enhanced, while those with lower-level skills have been more likely to find their jobs replaced by machines. Drawing on evidence from Germany, Sebastian Diessner, Niccolo Durazzi and David Hope illustrate that this skill bias has had a far wider societal impact than is commonly recognised, with many of the core institutions that...

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Should central banks be worried about rising inflation?

Inflation has risen in the Eurozone in recent months, but there is little consensus on whether Europe is heading for a persistent rise in inflation as countries emerge from the pandemic. Markus Demary and Michael Hüther write that central banks may nevertheless face a dilemma over whether to take action if inflation rises further. When inflation is going to rise, economists first look at the underlying factors and whether these lead to a transitory increase in inflation or a persistent...

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Book Review: Corporate Citizen: New Perspectives on the Globalized Rule of Law edited by Oonagh E. Fitzgerald

In Corporate Citizen: New Perspectives on the Globalized Rule of Law, editor Oonagh E. Fitzgerald brings together contributors to explore how the notion of corporate global citizenship has enabled corporations to evade responsibilities and liabilities and block or weaken measures that might increase corporate accountability. This volume serves a valuable purpose in demonstrating the far-reaching and multi-faceted problems surrounding the governance of transnational corporations,...

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Credit ratings fell sharply during the Eurozone crisis – why have they held firm through the pandemic?

The credit ratings of European countries have remained relatively stable during the Covid-19 pandemic, despite a sizeable increase in public debt. Judith Arnal, Pedro Cuevas, Isabela Delgado, Javier Muñoz and Lucia Paternina of the Spanish Treasury assess why this time appears to have been different from previous crises. Credit rating agencies play a crucial role in reducing asymmetric information in financial markets, with the ratings provided being used for a wide variety of...

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How the European Union’s structural funds helped promote a key aspect of democratisation

Can EU funding increase local state capacity? Paweł Charasz and Jan P. Vogler present results from a randomised survey of more than 2,400 municipal administrations in Poland. They find that local governments that have strongly benefited from EU funding exhibit more efficient internal administrative decision-making. When the Soviet Empire disintegrated, a challenge of monumental proportions awaited European politicians and societies. The former communist countries of Central and Eastern...

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Vaccine diplomacy and enlargement fatigue: Why the EU must rethink its approach to the Western Balkans

The EU’s stalled enlargement process and the Covid-19 pandemic are reshaping the politics of the Western Balkans, write Paul Schmidt and Vedran Dzihic. Faced with these new realities, Europe’s political leaders must make a fresh and genuine commitment to the European future of the region. The Covid-19 pandemic has deepened vulnerabilities in Western Balkan countries and exposed the weakness of state institutions in the region, especially in the health sector and with regards to social...

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After a decade of crises, Europe is witnessing the rise of insurgent Europeanism

The upcoming Conference for the Future of Europe offers a unique opportunity for EU citizens to express their views on the direction of travel for the Union, particularly through the intermediary of civil society. A recently published LSE IDEAS report, ‘The Rise of Insurgent Europeanism’, discusses new visions of Europe emerging in civil society and what they mean for democracy and the European Union. In the report, Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz, Luke Cooper and Niccolò Milanese argue that the...

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Opposition to austerity outweighs support for the euro in Italy

Could a new financial crisis, brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, lead to Italy’s exit from the eurozone? Lucio Baccaro, Björn Bremer and Erik Neimanns present evidence from a new survey experiment on Italian attitudes toward a European bailout and exit from the euro. They find that a majority of voters would opt to stay in the euro if a bailout did not involve conditionality, but that there would be a majority for leaving if a bailout were contingent on austerity policies. Covid-19...

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