Islamic State of Mind

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

The situation in the Middle East is moving fast and the maps showing who controls which area of land are being redrawn almost every day. And it may be asking a lot to expect the steady and analytic disciplines of social science to keep themselves relevant alongside the 24-hour rolling news coverage. But it would also be slightly strange if experts, in any given subject, didn’t try to influence or inform a national debate when it wonders into their field.

‘Hard to believe that they could be serious’ – Professor Martin Scheinin and the British Bill of Rights

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

Adopted in 1950, the European Convention on Human Rights can be viewed as Europe’s collective response to the horrors of the holocaust and Second World War and its repudiation of Nazism, fascism and Stalinism. Today, the Europe the convention emerged from, still in shadow of the great dictatorships and often referred to as ‘the midnight of the century’, can feel like a distant place.

The EU taking to the global stage

Written by Mark Briggs. Posted in Current features, Features

Since its inception in the 1950s the European project has sought to be one of cooperation to the mutual benefit of its members. There is strength in numbers, economies of scale, efficiency in pooling resources with in a union of nations that would be impossible as 28 separate countries.

Changing climate, changing markets

Written by Mark Briggs. Posted in Current features, Features

Chief scientists, political leaders and even business leaders have named climate change as “the biggest challenge we face”. Extreme weather and rising sea levels pose immediate threats to life and property. But any response to the phenomena is likely to dramatically change the economy. So why does an environmental problem require an economics solution?

European Parliament Elections: what, why and who

Written by Mark Briggs. Posted in Current features, Features

At the end of May the population of the European Union will go to the polls and elect 751 MEPs to the European Parliament, to represent 500 million citizens in 28 member states. This will be the first election since the accession of Croatia, the first election since the Eurozone crisis swept the continent, and the first election under the auspices of the Lisbon Treaty giving the electorate a direct say in the presidency of the European Commission

Seceding in the union

Written by Mark Briggs. Posted in Current features, Features

What do secession and independence mean in today’s world, what drives regions in a globalised world to put up additional borders? What do these regions want when they talk of secession, and what are the potential pitfalls of becoming an independent nation?

After the Arab Spring

Written by Mark Briggs. Posted in Current features, Features

The Arab Spring forced a host of undemocratic leaders from office across the region, greeted by jubilant crowds from Tripoli to Tahir Square and beamed around the globe by the world’s media. Now the dictators and the news crews have gone, the hard work of rebuilding countries after years of monopolised power has been met with a mixture of success and shortcomings