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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

Divided by a common purpose: Why do activists in Central and Eastern Europe rarely collaborate with those in the West?

Major protests have occurred in several countries in Central and Eastern Europe in the last few years. Yet as Julia Rone explains, there has been a remarkable lack of coordination between activists in the region and their counterparts in Western Europe. In 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Bulgarian and Polish citizens took to the streets to protest. In Bulgaria, demonstrations began in early July against state capture and the role of oligarchs in Bulgarian...

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The new Draghi government and the fate of populism in Italy

In 2018, Italy appeared set to embark on a new era of populist government led by the Five Star Movement and the League. Yet less than three years since the 2018 election, the country now finds itself with a technocratic Prime Minister in the shape of Mario Draghi. Marino De Luca writes on what this turn of events tells us about the fate of populism in Italian politics. In the past week, Italy has seen the establishment of a new technocrat-led government. This follows on the heels of a...

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Moral panics about free speech: How should European universities respond?

If there are any institutions that should be above culture wars, they are universities, writes Anne Corbett. They live or die by their commitment to ethical standards in research, and their mission to ensure that students in the course of their studies learn to think critically about challenging ideas. Yet despite their achievements during the pandemic, universities are currently under attack by governments in many parts of Europe for allegedly embracing ideologies and restricting free...

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The UK could be in line for years of Swiss-style negotiations with the EU

Prior to the Brexit referendum, it was common to cite Switzerland as a model for the UK to follow after leaving the European Union. Clive H. Church writes that while Brexiteers’ enthusiasm for this approach largely evaporated following the referendum, the UK has ultimately ended up on a path that has many potential similarities with the Swiss-EU relationship. At the time of the Brexit referendum in 2016, there was much talk of the UK following the Swiss model. This was suggested as one...

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Draghi may be a banker, but there is a significant political realignment taking place behind his government’s technocratic façade

Much of the response to Mario Draghi’s appointment as Prime Minister of Italy has focused on the technocratic nature of his government. Martin J. Bull argues that while Draghi may be a technocrat, his programme is already generating a significant realignment within Italian politics. The new Italian government, led by Mario Draghi, former President of the European Central Bank and Governor of the Bank of Italy, received resounding votes of confidence in both the Chamber of Deputies and...

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Incorporating complexity into policy learning: The case of Covid-19 in Europe

Across the three waves of the Covid-19 pandemic that hit European countries in the space of twelve months, outcome indicators for Covid-19 cases and deaths diverged, as did policy responses. Linda Hantrais and Susanne MacGregor examine evidence about what societies and their institutions could have learnt from each other and from their own experiences during successive waves of the pandemic. They ask whether policy learning seemed to be more effective in some societies than in others,...

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Book Review: The Coloniality of Asylum: Mobility, Autonomy and Solidarity in the Wake of Europe’s Refugee Crisis by Fiorenza Picozza

In The Coloniality of Asylum: Mobility, Autonomy and Solidarity in the Wake of Europe’s Refugee Crisis, Fiorenza Picozza offers a new ethnographic study of autonomous border struggles in Hamburg, Germany, looking at how ‘the coloniality of asylum’ not only permeates the European border regime, but can also shape the various solidarity initiatives that seek to contest and trangress it. With the aim of contributing to ‘an anticolonial political imagination that can sustain daily...

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A European Super League would violate EU competition law – as would UEFA’s proposed reforms of the Champions League

The last year has seen mounting speculation that some of Europe’s top football clubs are preparing to establish their own European Super League. Tsjalle van der Burg argues that given a European Super League would violate European competition law, the European Commission should step in and forbid it. This would empower European football’s governing body, UEFA, to reform football for the benefit of supporters. Since 1998, major European football clubs have threatened several times to...

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‘They don’t know what it’s like for us’: Why citizens with lower levels of education feel political discontent

Previous research suggests that citizens with lower levels of education are more likely to express dissatisfaction with politics. Drawing on new research in the Netherlands, Kjell Noordzij, Willem de Koster and Jeroen van der Waal explain why the distance these citizens feel from politicians fosters their discontent. Citizens with lower and higher levels of education essentially exist within different “life-worlds”. They hold different political stances and preferences, for instance on...

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Rich against poor: Uncovering the economic dimension of conflict in the EU

The EU’s Early Warning System allows national parliaments to object to proposed legislation. Formally, the objections should be about breaches of subsidiarity – the EU overreaching beyond its competencies. Yet in a new study, Martijn Huysmans and Philippe van Gruisen provide evidence of a substantive, economic dimension of conflict in the system. A well-known case regarding the EU’s Early Warning System is the yellow card that was issued against the posted workers directive. Such a...

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