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COMMENTS 

'Highly problematic, to put it mildly'

Deciphering the Conservative Party’s proposals for a new ‘British Bill of Rights’ is not an easy task, as the eight-page policy document is riddled with errors, distortions and imprecise language. What is more, their two main policy aims are highly problematic, argues
Colm O'Cinneide
9 October 2014
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Starts: Oct 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM

UK & EU: New Faces, Old Problems?

The row between Britain and its allies that accompanied the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker as the new Commission President was seen by some as an effective short-term tactic from David Cameron. But the ‘Juncker bounce’ was short-lived and left Cameron in a long-term strategic pickle.
Paola Buonadonna
6 October 2014
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Starts: Oct 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Five lessons of the Juncker Affair

It is now three months since Jean-Claude Juncker was elected President of the Commission, against the express wishes of the British and Hungarian governments.  What lessons can we draw from this episode about British attitudes to the European Union?
6 October 2014
Prof Michael Shackleton
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Starts: Oct 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM

Research Grant awarded: Passionate Politics

6 August 2014

24 July 2014
The UCL European Institute, the UCL Centre for Transnational History and UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies have been awarded £10,000 seed funding for a new interdisciplinary research project on “Passionate Politics” from CHIRP.


Passions play a fundamental role in shaping political movements and ideologies, providing the emotional basis of individual and social identities. Our historical understanding of key moments of social change remains impoverished if we fail to take into account the importance of grief, for example, as a response to social upheaval, the role of love and empathy in the creation of political and social solidarities, or the roots of political dissent in anger. The tradition of thinking about politics, stretching from the Stoics to Kant and Rawls, has tended to view the passionate nature of human beings with suspicion if not outright hostility. The passions sit uncomfortably with the idea of a social contract, for example, that is meant to be the product of reason. Until recently, the passions drew the attention of political theorists and philosophers above all because of their capacity to wreak havoc in the social order. Interdisciplinary approaches to conceptualizing affects have recently opened up a new way of understanding the human. Our project will draw on the unique opportunity that this ‘affective turn’ has brought to other fields by returning the passions to the study of politics.

The core group of the project consists of Tim Beasley-Murray (SSEES), Dina Gusejnova (CTH), Axel Körner (CTH) and Uta Staiger (EI). Over the next three years, the group will run a number of workshops, a reading group and an international conference. To support its research as well as public engagement with the project, the team will create a digital archive “Collecting Emotions”, featuring text, images, music, film and interviews.

We are grateful to the UCL Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects (CHIRP) for its support.