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Democratic Audit monitors democracy and freedom in Britain through a major blog, a series of democracy assessments, reports, commissions and evidence to Parliament
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    Micro-targeting, or data-driven fieldwork, was pioneered by Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and has now spread to Australia. Stephen Mills explains how activists in different parties and pressure groups used it to target voters in the 2016 elections. Volunteers’ enthusiasm for this form of campaigning marks a turning point in Australian politics. Data-driven fieldwork is rapidly emerging […]

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    Democracy is in decline – or so a growing consensus suggests. Paul Schuler sets out the evidence for claims that people are turning to autocratic alternatives, and asks whether they necessarily show a loss of faith in democracy. He proposes some alternative measures that could establish whether people are genuinely willing to trade freedom for a […]

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    In this exclusive extract from Brian Klaas’ new book, The Despot’s Accomplice, he argues that – however distasteful it may be to the principle of justice – offering despots a way out can prevent further bloodshed. This is because they frequently know they have nothing to lose by fighting to the death. Furthermore, research shows […]

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    ‘It is a question of tolerating intolerance’: Asma Jilani Jahangir and Professor Amartya Sen discuss the impact of religious intolerance on democracy in a lecture at the LSE. Jahangir is a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and […]

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    This month the Constitution Unit at UCL hosted a panel discussion on LGBT candidates in UK elections, exploring the UK parliament’s evolution to include more openly LGBT politicians than any other state legislature. The panel, chaired by Dr Jennifer Hudson, consisted of Professor Andrew Reynolds and four of the UK’s most prominent LGBT politicians: Angela Eagle, […]

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    Until recently, television was the single most popular source of news. Now online sources have overtaken it as younger generations turn to apps and social media. Research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism shows only the BBC has a bigger reach than Facebook. Rasmus Klein Neilsen explains how trust in journalists and journalism, particularly […]

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    Populism is not just a symptom of older people’s nostalgia for traditional values, writes Henrik P Bang. It is a rejection of a global neoliberal creed that pits individuals against each other. The hard-won social capital and notions of fairness that older generations prize have been replaced by a race for success in which human relationships exist […]

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    The British public has voted on membership of the EU on two occasions. In 1975, based on a turnout of 64 per cent, two-thirds voted to stay in the EEC, cementing Britain’s place for the next four decades. In 2016, on a turnout of 72 per cent, 52 per cent of the public voted to […]

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    Most elections are now monitored by international election observers, whose presence is intended to deter vote-rigging and who report on whether the vote was ‘free and fair’. But after the Kenyan Constitutional Court nullified the recent elections there despite observers having approved them, the value of these missions has been questioned. Sophie Donszelmann (LSE), Cristoforo […]

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    With the rise of far-right parties in Europe during the 2000s, some centre-right parties spotted an opportunity to win back votes by pivoting towards immigration. James F Downes (Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Matthew Loveless (European University Institute) find that they were more successful if they were out of government at the time. Incumbent centre-right parties, […]

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    Does the European Parliament adequately represent the views of European citizens? Drawing on a recent study, Miriam Sorace (LSE) illustrates that while the Parliament is often criticised for being too distant from its voters, it is far more representative of the views of voters than commonly thought. Nevertheless, a lack of information about European election campaigns, as […]

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    Democratic politics in the UK is currently rife with conflict because this multi-national state encourages it, writes Helen Thompson (University of Cambridge). Maintaining political stability has historically required prudence and pragmatic restraint. Minority governments and more frequent elections have occurred when the UK’s economic and political relationships with the rest of the world are disputed, and […]

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    In Developing England’s North: The Political Economy of the Northern Powerhouse, editors Craig Berry and Arianna Giovannini bring together contributors to explore different facets of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ as announced in a Manchester speech by then UK Chancellor, George Osborne. This is a valuable collection that shows the incoherence and ineffectiveness of the NP, and the urgent need to develop […]

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    With the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, and with socialist parties around Europe fighting only for national attention, is there hope for an international left? Lea Ypi (LSE) writes that, more than ever, the world has to be made by those sceptical of capitalism. She makes the case for rebuilding international solidarity.

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    In February 2018, The Times newspaper revealed that Oxfam employees had been accused of sexual exploitation in Haiti. This event sparked a series of other reports about misconduct within major charities, which in turn raised serious questions about accountability in the NGO sector. Domenico Carolei looks at whether the systems of accountability that apply to British NGOs and charities working in poor countries are adequate and comprehensive. And he considers the voices still missing: those of the victims. 

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    This month the Constitution Unit at UCL hosted a panel discussion on LGBT candidates in UK elections, exploring the UK parliament’s evolution to include more openly LGBT politicians than any other state legislature. The panel, chaired by Dr Jennifer Hudson, consisted of Professor Andrew Reynolds and four of the UK’s most prominent LGBT politicians: Angela Eagle, […]

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    After protests in London following the imprisonment of far-right activist Tommy Robinson, William Allchorn examines the changing strategies of the UK’s fringe extreme-right groups in recent months, which include a concerning revival of street protest, mobilising around a narrative of victimisation.