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COMMENTS 

From Indyref to Indignados: how passions and politics mix

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
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Starts: Sep 18, 2014 12:00:00 AM

10 things you need to know about what will happen if Scotland votes yes

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
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Starts: Sep 9, 2014 12:00:00 AM

The truth is, Scandinavia is neither heaven nor hell

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

New dataset on the EU's codecision procedure launched

19 June 2014

18 June 2014
UCL SPP's Dr Christine Reh is part of a research team to launch the data, which strongly underline the relevance of informal decision-making in the European Union since 1999.


One of the most important developments in the history of the EU’s codecision procedure has been the steep rise in “early agreements” since 1999, and the shift of legislative decision-making from public inclusive to informal secluded arenas. As part of a wider research project on “The Informal Politics of Codecision”, this working paper launches a new data set on all 797 legislative files concluded under codecision between 1999 and 2009. The paper discusses the process of data collection and coding; explains and justifies the operationalisation and measurement of key variables; and elaborates on the methodological challenges of capturing informal political processes. The paper offers rich descriptive statistics on the scale and scope of early agreements across time, and explores how key characteristics of the legislative file (legal nature, policy area, complexity, salience, policy type, duration) and of the main negotiators (priorities of the Council Presidency, ideological distance between Parliament’s rapporteur and national minister, Presidency’s workload) co-vary with decision-makers’ choice to “go informal”. Demonstrating that early agreements are not restricted to technical, urgent or uncontested files but occur across the breadth of EU legislation, and increasingly so with time in use, the data strongly underline the relevance of informal decision-making for scholars and policy-makers alike.


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