Book review / FMWEB: L. Morlino, Equality, Freedom, and Democracy: Europe After the Great Recession, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2020

The intense economic decline during the late 2000s, the Great Recession, is considered the most critical downturn since the 1929 Great Depression. Thus, this significant event has become the ‘critical’ context for explaining how the world as we know it has been affected in recent years. Financial markets, banking and real estate industries, on one side, with home mortgage foreclosures, life savings and unemployment on the other. Centre stage, our democracies and their values, amongst them the two critical and most important ones: equality and freedom.

Leonardo Morlino and the research group working with him for years – Daniela Piana, Mario Quaranta, Francesco Raniolo, Cecilia Emma Sottilotta and Claudius Wagemann -, analyse both values in this impressive comparative research, focusing on France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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Are you a UK political party member? Would you like to improve the internal democracy of your political party? Do you have any ideas to make your political party better? Are over 18 years old?

We are looking for participants in a scientific study based at the University of Sussex. The research aim is to understand the impact of the post-Brexit period on the life of your political party.

If you sign up, you will be contacted in the spring-summer of 2021 by a researcher from the University of Sussex to receive all the information necessary for participation in the project.

If you wish, we will provided,  free of charge all the analysis about your political party generated during the research and all scientific articles published on the subject.

Take part in this study and improve politics.

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The Italian style: Giuseppe Conte’s ‘half-populist’ leadership during Covid-19

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Conte-EP.jpg
Italian PM Giuseppe Conte at the European Parliament. Credit: European Parliament (CC BY 2.0)

Article appeared in the EUROPP – European Politics and Policy – LSE Blog, June 8th, 2020

From the starting position of a political outsider, Italy’s PM Giuseppe Contehas carved a widely positive image for himself, gaining widespread popularity during the Covid-19 crisis. Marino De Luca argues that Conte’s savvy use of communication channels during a time of national emergency, combined with his personality, have helped him project an image of political competence, empathy, and reassurance. 

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Who and what is their people? How British political leaders appealed to the people during the 2019 elections [Report]

The 2019 UK election was touted by many as a contest between the parliament and the people. But who were ‘the people’ in question? The rise of populist politics in recent years across the world had bought ‘the’ people squarely into political discussion and as a resource to be called on by populist politicians. Looking at twitter in the context of the UK election we can see what was meant in this context.

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Corona Virus: Consequences for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) projects and related activities

  • The Commission understands that the current containment measures taken at national level may have consequences on MSCA projects.
  • This may concern the regular mobility activities of MSCA fellows and other project staff as well as the participation of individuals in meetings and events organised by beneficiaries in the framework of MSCA projects.
  • To respond to these uncertainties, the European Commission is applying the maximum flexibility in the implementation of the programme, within the limits of the applicable legal framework.
  • The Research Executive Agency (REA) has informed all project coordinators about the possibility to invoke the “force majeure” clauses: REA will assess the circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
  • Project coordinators should liaise with their Project Officer as soon as possible to notify them of the situation and receive support.
  • The Commission is monitoring this situation very closely and will adopt any additional measure that may become necessary.

Populist Radical Left Parties in Western Europe by Marco Damiani

Populist Radical Left Parties in Western Europe by Marco Damiani

This book provides a comparative analysis and a systemic categorization of the Populist Radical Left Parties (PRLPs) in Western Europe.

Institutional and socio-economic aspects have transformed the political culture of many modern democracies, leading to the creation of radical left-wing parties who, by combining a strongly populist political offer with the historical demands of the traditional left wing, are capable of electoral success. This book analyzes a range of different Populist Radical Left Parties (PRLPs) in Western Europe through in-depth case studies. The author uses statutes, internal documents, programs, election results, membership data, and international political literature combined with interviews with executives and national secretaries to describe and interpret the main features of PRLPs, their paths of formation and political transformation.

More info: Routledge

The UK’s points-based immigration system – University researchers

Johnson’s government wants a “points-based system” – a minimum of 70 points – which takes different key skills into account when giving visas, which would allow people to find a job in the UK.

Among these factors, it is necessary to have proof both a job offer from an employer and an appropriate English level. That will get an applicant to 50 points.

Moreover, the applicant will have to earn at least £25,600 – not applicable for the job in which the UK has a shortage – in order to get 20 points.

As for university researchers, the future applicant could be also gain extra points for having higher qualifications, e.g., 10 points for a relevant Ph.D.; or 20 points for a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering, or maths.

More info here

Source: BBC

From Populism to the People

Fata Morgana Web, 10 February 2020


Populism (Pablo Compagnucci)

More than twenty years of ideas and reflections are enclosed in a dense and recent book: “Me, the people” by Nadia Urbinati which represents the most recent contribution on populism, a concept still too ambiguous and challenging to clearly determine. Populism flows, like a karst river, without a trace only to re-emerge in periods of substantial uncertainty, in traumatic moments and phases of crisis, in the forms that we know and with all of its disruptive force.

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