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A ‘magnificent achievement,’ imperilled

A ‘magnificent achievement,’ imperilled

As dignitaries gathered in Belfast last week to commemorate twenty years since the Good Friday agreement was signed, ending over three decades of bloody sectarian conflict on the island of Ireland, a Brexit-shaped shadow loomed large. According to Professor Brigid Laffan, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, London’s apparent reluctance to take the Irish problem seriously could lead to the unravelling of Good Friday and the reappearance of violence on the border.

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Building South Sudan

Building South Sudan

South Sudan is the world’s youngest country. After nearly 99% of eligible voters opted to secede from Sudan in 2011, people like William Lochi set about putting in place the building blocks that he and many others hoped would lead to South Sudan becoming a successful democracy. Progress has been fitful thus far, marred by on-off civil conflict and political upheaval. However Lochi, the Deputy-Secretary General of the South Sudanese government, remains optimistic that South Sudan’s future is bright. In Florence to undertake a Young Policy Leader fellowship at the School of Transnational Governance, Lochi hopes to return to Juba with a fresh perspective on governing and policymaking in his fledgling home country.

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Italy redraws its political landscape

Italy redraws its political landscape

After a fraught campaign, Italians went to the polls on 4 March. The results have confirmed the decline of the country’s traditional political elites, and consolidated the rise of populist and anti-establishment parties that are threatening to redraw Italy’s political landscape. As coalition horse-trading begins, Fabio Bulfone and Lorenzo Cicchi of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies try to unpack what happened, what it means, and what comes next.

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How do you solve a problem like globalisation?

How do you solve a problem like globalisation?

When Dani Rodrik published ‘Has Globalisation Gone Too Far?’ in 1997, his contention that not everyone stood to gain from increased global economic integration was laughed at. Twenty years later, with populist candidates riding a wave of anti-establishment, anti-globalisation anger at the ballot box, Rodrik’s insights seem more revelatory than ridiculous. Fast forward two decades, and the Turkish-born economist has a lot of ideas about how to re-write the rules of globalisation for the better. This time round, everyone would be wise to listen to him.

Dani Rodrik is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He visited the EUI on 14 February to deliver a Max Weber Lecture entitled ‘Globalisation and the Populist Backlash’.

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Inside the net neutrality debate

Inside the net neutrality debate

Net neutrality is a hot topic at the moment, but it is not always clear what it actually is and why it matters. In this article, Elda Brogi and Luc Steinberg of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom explain the concept of net neutrality, and discuss what implications the US Federal Communication Commission’s recent decision to repeal it could have for the maintenance of an open and free web in Europe and beyond.

Elda Brogi is Scientific Coordinator  and Luc Steinberg is Project Assistant at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom (CMPF), a research programme devoted to develop innovative and relevant lines of research on media freedom and pluralism in Europe and beyond. It is housed at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, and is co-financed by the European Union.

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Monitoring racism

Monitoring racism

From Europe to Myanmar, the world is in the grips of a racism emergency. Exacerbating the crisis is a lack of information. Despite there being a cornucopia of important and insightful academic research on and about racism and anti-racism, there has been nowhere for the vast majority of people to access it. Until now. MONITOR: Global Intelligence on Racism is a new online multimedia magazine and portal that aims to become the go-to source for research-based public debate on racism, housed at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and part of its Global Governance Programme. Ahead of its launch this week, EUI Times spoke with MONITOR’s editor, Monica Gonzalez-Correa, about what inspired the magazine, and why its intervention is so important in the current moment.

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The ‘rule of law crisis’, Europe’s most existential challenge

The ‘rule of law crisis’, Europe’s most existential challenge

For all its travails in recent years, the European Union has generally been adept at responding to crisis. However, creeping authoritarianism in eastern Europe, and the EU’s subsequent inability to muster a coherent response, is posing a unique and threatening challenge to Brussels’ authority. Speaking at an event hosted by the School of Transnational Governance in January, Kim Lane Scheppele – the Lawrence S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School – argued the contravention of the rule of law by aggressive governments in Hungary and Poland in particular are exposing an uncomfortable reality for the EU: it seems unable to discipline its own member states.

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Closa: What next for Catalonia in 2018?

Closa: What next for Catalonia in 2018?

For Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, fresh regional elections at the end of 2017 were supposed to lift a cloud of political uncertainty that has shrouded Catalonia for the past six months. However, Professor Carlos Closa writes in EUI Times, the inconclusive results of those elections mean that there is no end in sight for one of Europe’s most testing political crises in recent memory.

Carlos Closa is Part Time professor at the School of Transnational Governance. He recently edited the volume Secession from a Member State and Withdrawal from the European Union. Troubled Membership (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

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Social media: Democracy’s poisoned chalice

Social media: Democracy’s poisoned chalice

Not long ago, social media were being hailed as an unprecedented force for plurality and progress in modern-day democracies. The impact of platforms like Facebook and Twitter are widely seen as integral in organising and mobilising the popular protests that brought about the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt in 2011 and Victor Yanukovych in 2013. Yet, as evidence continues to surface about Russian attempts to subvert the 2016 US election, talk of social media’s power has become inextricably linked with the danger that it poses to democracy. How did we get here? And, looking ahead, what can be done to return social media to their former glory?

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Reassessing the Brexit battleground

Reassessing the Brexit battleground

Despite the fogginess of the British government’s approach to Brexit, there is little desire among the electorate to see the referendum played out again, according to Matthew Goodwin, a politics professor and Brexit expert from the University of Kent. Speaking at an event organised by the Migration Policy Centre at the Schuman Centre last week, Goodwin pointed out that there has been little change in public opinion towards Brexit in the eighteen months since the referendum. In fact, if anything, Leavers and Remainers’ positions have hardened. After delivering his lecture at Villa Schifanoia, Goodwin sat down with EUI Times, to discuss what comes next for Britain and the EU, and how we got here in the first place.

Matthew Goodwin is Professor of Politics at the University of Kent and a Senior Visiting Fellow at Chatham House. His new book, ‘Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union’, was published earlier this year.

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