Reluctant Europeans? Britain and the EU referendum

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

In 2017 Britain will vote in a referendum on whether to leave this European Union. Derided as the awkward partner since it joined the EU in 1973, Britain’s relationship with the EU has long been lukewarm. Like a standoffish party guest munching on the hors d’oeuvres but eschewing small talk, Britain it is assumed, has never fully reconciled itself to true union with its Continental neighbours.

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Right to the City: urban space today

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

From Walter Benjamin to Virginia Woolf, cities have captured the imagination of philosophers, artists and critics grappling with the condition of (post)modernity. Oscillating between depictions of the city as a realm of Dickensian slums, vice and deprivation on the one hand, and a utopian vision of ordered social progress on the other, in recent years the urban space has also loomed large in policy-centred debates about economic growth, devolved governance and transnational capitalism.

Green and clean? Lord Stern on COP21 and the world economy

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

”We know that the sum total of the emissions that are indicated for 2013 are too high for [the target of] 2°C. For me the test of success in Paris is not that by itself, but is learning from that, recognizing that there is a big gap and therefore discussing carefully and credibly how we raise our ambition beyond Paris. So in other words, Paris is the beginning of a process.”

The Failed Agreekment

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

Faith in the European Union is tumbling faster than Greece’s liquidity reserves. The bitter negotiations over the Greek debt crisis have stirred up resentment, discontent and even horror from Southern Europe’s citizens in a way never visible before. On the eve of the Greek referendum on the proffered bailout deal, protests for an Oxi (No) […]

Universal Basic Income – treading the 'capitalist road to communism'?

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

A spectre is haunting Europe: persistent unemployment. So how can it be tackled, along with the poverty and despair it generates? One proposal is the Universal Basic Income (UBI). A beguilingly simple idea whereby each individual adult is granted an unconditional income, without means test or work requirement, the UBI has garnered supporters across the […]

Europe under a common roof

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles. Posted in Current features, Features

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”, goes the famous Tolstoy line. And for Nobel Prize winning economist and EUI honoris causa recipient Jean Tirole, the European Union is truly an unhappy family indeed. “It would be better to have a federalist Europe”’ he suggests. “It would require people to […]

The Great European Insurance Policy

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

Robert Schuman’s ambition emerged from what some have described as “the midnight of the century,” a period that saw the rise of fascism, communism, industrial warfare, industrial genocide and nuclear tension that define the cold war. It was the same unprecedented climate which inspired the nightmares of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and countless other political thinkers to imagine that almost anything could happen next. Europe escaped this dark time, but only after having totally transformed its identity.

Sinking Leadership in the Mediterranean

Written by Nicholas Barrett. Posted in Current features, Features

The ongoing tragedies of the Mediterranean should disturb anyone with any interest in the identity of Europe. But for Fargues and many others they are becoming the symbol of a crisis of confidence in a world of retail politics. If legislators are afraid of expressing the values of Europe, then both the politicians and the European Union will risk becoming meaningless in eyes of the public. Or as Fargues puts it – “If you’re a leader you have to explain things, otherwise you’re not a leader.”