Sunday , February 23 2020
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Tag Archives: LSE Comment

Thomas Piketty: “The current economic system is not working when it comes to solving inequality”

Following a recent event at LSE, Thomas Piketty took questions from LSE staff, students and members of the public on inequality and his latest book, Capital and Ideology. Will we see a dramatic shift in inequality in the UK following Brexit? I think, if anything, Brexit will exacerbate the trend toward rising inequality. This is because it will tend to exacerbate things like tax competition and social competition. I think there will be an attempt by the current British government at least to...

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Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s resignation will accelerate Merkel’s exit

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s resignation as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has thrown German politics into a period of uncertainty. John Ryan writes that the affair could ultimately hasten the departure of Angela Merkel as German chancellor. The race to succeed Angela Merkel as German leader has been thrown wide open after Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), the woman long seen as her anointed heir, said she would not run for chancellor in next year’s election. AKK is also...

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Britain needs friends in the post-Brexit era. Alienating EU allies would be counter-productive

Amid the posturing about trade, the fact that Britain no longer has a voice in the EU has gone largely unremarked, writes N Piers Ludlow. He warns that alienating European allies by talking tough risks harming the UK’s soft power and long-term interests. At the heart of Edward Heath’s speech winding up the so-called ‘Great Debate’ in October 1971, when the Commons was asked to take the decision in principle whether or not Britain should join the European Economic Community (EEC), was an...

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Far-right, populist or bourgeois? How the election of Thuringia’s regional governor shakes up German politics

The election of liberal politician Thomas Kemmerich as regional governor of the German state of Thuringia has shaken up German politics. Julian Göpffarth writes that the surprise vote shows far-right ideas in Germany not only resonate with the economically left-behind, but also with an educated bourgeoisie. Wednesday, 5 February 2020 is likely to enter German post war history as a political earthquake. Against all expectations, the incumbent left-wing regional governor Bodo Ramelow, who has...

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Brexit and the liberal elephant trap

Given the success of populist politicians across Europe, some pro-Europeans have openly wondered whether they should adopt the same tactics as populist parties to make the case for European integration. Michael Cottakis argues that this would be a mistake. To reverse the trend, pro-Europeans must quit dabbling in populism and instead play to their strengths by promoting dialogue and substantive policy reform. This week, pro-European politicians will feel a deep sense of Brexit regret. On...

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What would it take for Scotland to rejoin the EU as an independent state?

If Scotland voted for independence, it would probably apply to rejoin the EU. Despite its unique history, it would have to follow the normal path to EU accession, says Anthony Salamone. Scots are not keen on the euro and fisheries would be a flashpoint. While the Scottish government would be well-advised not to seek opt-outs of the kind the UK had, Scotland would have the potential to become a successful EU member state. Independence is perennially high on the Scottish political agenda – and...

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The implications of Brexit for the UK economy

The United Kingdom has now formally left the European Union, but what does the future hold for the British economy? Following a recent event at LSE, Gerard Lyons, Vicky Pryce and John Van Reenen took questions from LSE staff, students and members of the public on the economic impact of Brexit. A lot of the focus on the economic impact of Brexit has been on London, but the votes for Brexit mostly came from outside of the capital. What will Brexit provide for the people who live in these...

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Understanding the key factors that lead countries to reform their pension systems

Faced with ageing populations and strains on their public finances, many countries across Europe have endeavoured to reform their pension systems, yet these reforms have varied substantially in their content and aims. Leandro N. Carrera and Marina Angelaki present findings from a novel study of eight European countries to highlight the key factors that lead countries to undergo significant pension reforms. Governments in Europe and around the world must increasingly focus on pension policy,...

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Lessons from the Nordics: Does party membership still provide a meaningful link between citizens and politics?

Political parties play a crucial role in enabling the views of citizens to be represented in political decision-making. Yet across Europe, the vast majority of citizens no longer actively participate in political parties, with party membership numbers experiencing a sharp fall in recent decades. Drawing on a new edited volume covering the Nordic countries, Marie Demker, Knut Heidar and Karina Kosiara-Pedersen explain how parties might continue to link citizens with politics, despite the fall...

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Battle of the mandate: Defining the dispute over a new Scottish independence referendum

The ongoing dispute over whether a new Scottish independence referendum should take place reflects very different interpretations of Scotland’s sovereignty, writes Anthony Salamone. Questions of whether Westminster or Holyrood can determine if a new referendum is held are distinct from the issue of independence itself, and will most likely continue to be contested at least until after the next Scottish parliamentary elections. Independence is the predominant issue of Scottish politics, with a...

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