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Category Archives: Society & Culture

Following the German trend? Austria votes on Sunday.

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Elections in Austria? Again? Most non-Austrian react with bewilderment when they take note of the forthcoming Austrian elections on 15 October: elections, now? Have they not just voted? Indeed. On 4 December 2016 Austria had to re-run its presidential elections, with the quasi-Green candidate Alexander van der Bellen winning by a really small margin of […]

The Czechs are going to vote. And strengthen the populists further.

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In ten days (October 19-20) Czech voters will go to the polling stations. After four years, they will decide once more about the future of Czechia – as the republic in the middle of the Europe is (unsuccessfully) trying to rebrand its name. And once more, these elections are portrayed as “important” or “path-breaking”, not […]

Brexit, Scotland, and the Kingdom: a constitutional drama in four acts

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The European Union (EU) referendum result has led to the unfolding of a domestic constitutional drama in the United Kingdom, which on its current trajectory could lead to its break-up. This is the first of two blog posts which maps the initial trajectory by considering the roles of the key institutional actors in the drama so far. […]

Catalonia: Headlong into the unknown.

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Come October, something with high political voltage will happen in Catalonia and, therefore, in Spain. The main question is that nobody knows exactly what will be. The Catalan Government is strongly committed to holding a referendum on Catalan independence, while the Spanish central government is just as strongly committed to preventing anyone from taking part […]

Northern Ireland: A Casualty of Brexit?

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As if things were not already complicated enough in Northern Ireland, recent events have even added to the general feeling of instability and uncertainty. Both the assembly elections and the unfolding of Brexit – with increasing disagreements between London and Edinburgh – have not been particularly encouraging. The Assembly elections The 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly […]

What makes the Dutch Dutch? A constitutional perspective.

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Ever since the rise of the Christian Democrats (CDA) in the beginning of the 2000′s, the issue of ‘Normen en Waarden’ has been a topic in the elections. Jan Peter Balkenende was the first to frame the problems in Dutch society as the result of individualistic attitudes propagated by the preceding cabinets. As with a lot of […]

Whatever happened to the Dutch Left?

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Third post in our series on the Dutch general elections. Questions on the vital statistics of ‘The Left’ are rising everywhere in the Western World. At least in the Netherlands, it is too early to organise a wake. We may be well known for our liberal and permissive attitude to society (which is not the […]

Can the populist far-right win the elections in the Netherlands?

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Second post on our series on the Dutch general elections. On Wednesday 15 March, Dutch voters will head to the polls to elect a new parliament and prime minister. And for once, the rest of Europe is very interested, as the question looms whether the leader of the far-right populist Party for Freedom (PVV) Geert […]

Dutch coalition politics and the 2017 general elections

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The year 2017 is widely seen as hugely important for European politics, with general elections in key European Union member states Germany and the Netherlands – and perhaps even in Italy – and presidential elections in France. Following the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote and the election of President Donald Trump in the United States, populist […]

Introducing Alliance Europa

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Bonjour! And warm greetings from the University of Nantes, where the office of “Alliance Europa” is hosted. Alliance Europa is a new and – as we hope: innovative – regional consortium in European Studies. Initiated and supported by the authorities of the Pays-de-la-Loire, it brings together the researchers of 19 laboratories or centres based in […]

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