Can Mexicans predict the presidential election in June?
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by Lena Schorlemer
4d ago
In most democracies, opinion polls routinely ask voters how they intend to vote in an upcoming election. The press and other media use these poll results, specifically the aggregated percentage measures of voting intentions for candidate X, to indicate the likelihood of that candidate winning. While this approach is a practical means of predicting election outcomes, there is a lesser-known survey item that can also serve this purpose, namely questions about voter expectations rather than voter intentions. For example, “Who do you think will win?” rather than “Who are you going to vote for?” A ..read more
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Finger-Pointing Across the Channel: EU as ‘Other’ in UK Government’s Post-Brexit Discourse
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by lisa.klaassen
3w ago
Despite leaving, the EU remains the UK’s significant, constitutive other. Even post-Brexit, the British sense of self is being claimed by defining the EU as ‘Other’. Naturally, since 2016, the character of this ‘Other’ has evolved. Following the referendum, and especially Brexit itself, the UK-EU relationship has undergone a transformation of redefining each/the other. One might have expected that, once the UK had left the EU, the mutual relationship would run more smoothly. Yet, the opposite has been the case. Boris Johnson’s government was keen to pick fights with the EU and “regularly and d ..read more
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ISRAEL AND IRAN: WHAT NEXT?
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by Lena Schorlemer
1M ago
With this month’s direct military strikes against each other, a war between Israel and Iran becomes not only conceivable but a growing risk. For all Israel’s advantages and determination, with the most sophisticated military in the region and an innovative and resilient economy, it is a small country of less than ten million people. Iran is a large country of over 80 million people whose economy and military capabilities have survived years of crippling sanctions. The outcome would depend on who had the strongest external support. For the time being, Israel has firm international friends and a ..read more
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OxPol Blogcast. Politics, Re-Imagined — Displacement and the World Economy with Alexander Betts
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by Cassandra van Douveren
1M ago
How can we ensure that displaced people live in safety and dignity and create a policy that is sustainable at the same time? In this episode, we speak to ⁠Dr. Alexander Betts⁠, the Leopold Muller Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs at the ⁠Refugee Studies Centre⁠, and the Director of the ⁠Refugee Economies Programme⁠, both at the University of Oxford. Alexander has written extensively on the political economy of refugee protection — highlighting how displaced people can access and contribute to economies worldwide. Politics, Re-Imagined is a series by the Department of Poli ..read more
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Gang-leader “Barbecue” is Haiti’s “Bane”. But is there a “Dark Knight” to restore the country’s stability?
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by lisa.klaassen
1M ago
The unfolding events in Haiti are reminiscent of the American superhero film, “The Dark Knight Rises”. The key distinction between the Caribbean country and the final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is that, so far, no superhero has emerged. In the film, Bane, Batman’s main antagonist, orchestrates chaos and upheaval in the crime-ridden Gotham City by releasing criminals from prison. Portrayed as a symbol of anarchy, Bane exploits societal divisions by mobilizing the disenfranchised against Gotham’s corrupt social order. Meanwhile, Batman, depicted as the “Dark Knight”, emerges a ..read more
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Chaos by Design: The Dehumanising Nature of US Aid Airdropped into Gaza
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by lisa.klaassen
2M ago
Since October 7, Israel has blocked most food, water, hygiene items, and medicine from entering Gaza. The government has denied access to aid agencies, security inspections have deliberately slowed the entry of trucks, communication blackouts have cut off internet and phone services to more than two million residents, and Israeli protesters have lined up to block humanitarian aid supplies. Moreover, the US, UK, and other donors suspended funding to UNRWA, the UN’s aid agency for Palestine, after Israel accused staff members of participating in the October 7 attacks and called for the organisat ..read more
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Sliding away from Unity: The Democratic Dilemma in the European Union
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by Lena Schorlemer
2M ago
As the European Union (EU) steadily approaches the  2024 elections scheduled for June, attention is focused on the likely formation of a coalition between the conservatives (EPP) and the socialists (S&D). However, amidst this political landscape, a chorus of concern is emerging about the EU’s tendency towards authoritarianism, underlined in particular by democratic backsliding in Hungary and Italy (Pietrucci, 2023). Projections indicate a potential consolidation of influence by two far-right factions, namely the Identity and Democracy (ID) and European Conservatives and Reformists (EC ..read more
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Assessing the Performance of Minority Governments in Europe: The Devil is in the Detail
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by lisa.klaassen
2M ago
In 1974, when Harold Wilson formed the UK’s first minority government in 45 years, observers like Anthony King optimistically claimed that “[m]inority rule can work”. This challenges the oft-cited view of Strøm that minority governments are “counterintuitive phenomen[a] in the world of parliamentary democracy”. Today, minority governments constitute approximately one third of governments in established parliamentary democracies, globally. This ‘counterintuitive’ statistic raises the following questions: When can minority rule work? Under which conditions are minority cabinets effective? How ha ..read more
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OxPol Blogcast. Politics, Re-Imagined — Democratic Backsliding with Vicente Valentim
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by Lena Schorlemer
3M ago
As we witness a rise in radical right politics in Europe and beyond, our host ⁠Cassandra van Douveren⁠ speaks to ⁠Dr. Vicente Valentim⁠, a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College at the University of Oxford. Vicente’s work focusses on the role of social norms in normalising the expression of views and behaviours associated with authoritarianism. Join us as we discuss his upcoming book, ⁠The Normalisation of the Radical Right: A Norms Theory of Political Supply and Demand⁠ (forthcoming: September 2024), pathways to restore democratic norms and Vicente’s hopes for the future. Poli ..read more
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Populism and Crisis: Exploring the Interplay of Political Dynamics
OxPol | Oxford Politics Blog
by Lena Schorlemer
3M ago
Over the past two decades, the world has faced a series of crises including economic downturns, political disruptions exemplified by events such as the latest example of  the Covid-19 pandemic, which have generated a discourse around a perceived crisis in democratic governance. Due to its perceived association with these crises, populism has become a focal point of both academic inquiry and broader societal discourse, with a strong emphasis on its relationship with democracy (Mény & Surel, 2002). Scholarly investigations into populism have expanded to encompass various dimensions, inc ..read more
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