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As Scotland heads to the polls, this piece discusses the extent to which emotions have arrived at the heart of contemporary politics – yet we still hesitate to admit it. Emotions can neither be banished nor ignored when we discuss what constitutes political communities, how political decisions should be made and political action springs into being. Yet to embrace the rise of emotional politics without acknowledging how intimately it is and should be entangled with reason equally risks undermining just political action.
Dr Uta Staiger
18 September 2014
Starts: Sep 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM
As the Scottish independence referendum draws closer the outcome is hard to predict. Both Westminster politicians and the wider public are asking what – in practical terms – would happen if the Scots were to vote Yes. Robert Hazell offers a 10-point overview of what the road to independence might look like.
Professor Robert Hazell
9 September 2014
Starts: Sep 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM
The Nordic countries have received exceptionally good press in the UK - at least until earlier this year, when British travel writer and resident of Denmark, Michael Booth, claimed to dispel the of Scandinavia as the perfect place to live. Many are now confused. Is
everything we believed about the social ideals of Sweden, Denmark,
Norway and Finland a lie? Well, not entirely but we’re not all drunk
serial killers either.
Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen
19 August 2014 More...
Starts: Sep 8, 2014 12:00:00 AM
What is the meaning of the ‘vampire graves’ unearthed in Poland?
22 July 2013
Dr Tim Beasley-Murray (UCL School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies) says the root of the vampire legend goes right back to ancient Egypt and Greece.
The world's media have been getting their teeth into the story of a "vampire grave" uncovered last week by archaeologists at a roadside construction site in the town of Gliwice in southern Poland. When four skeletons were found with their skulls placed between their legs, speculation followed that these were suspected vampires that had been prevented from rising from the grave through the once-ritualistic local practice of decapitation.
Interviewed by the Guardian, Dr Tim Beasley-Murray (UCL SSEES), who teaches on a course entitled Vampires, Society and Culture: Transylvania and Beyond, explained that the root of the vampire legend goes right back to ancient Egypt and Greece. The myth then spread up through the Balkans into eastern Europe where it proved fertile during the pre-Christian era: "There is a strong Slavic belief in spirits. Romanian folklore has vampiric figures such as the moroi and strigoi. The word 'mora' means nightmare. But these are common to many cultures. We often see bird- or owl-like figures that swoop down and feed on you."