Category Archives: SPIRe seminars

Is the Open Ballot a Closed Door to Women in Parliament?

by Mary Brennan, University College Dublin Around the world millions of women celebrate 100 years since they joined the ranks of the electorate… but not the ranks of the Parliamentarians!! As Yvonne Galligan consistently points out, the suffragettes did not suffer … Continue reading

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The international development civil society sector in Poland: from beneficiary to agent of change

by Dr Galia Chimiak, Polish Academy of Sciences. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have emerged over time as the entities considered best equipped to initiate “development from below” (Hart 2001). Yet in the 1990s it was professed that their popularity with donors will … Continue reading

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Intra-government conflict and electoral accountability

by Carolina Plescia and Sylvia Kritzinger (Department of Government, University of Vienna) Competitive elections offer citizens the opportunity to reward or punish elected officials for their performance while in office. Keeping elected official accountable is a keystone of democracy. The … Continue reading

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Assembly dissolution powers and incumbency advantages in government formation

By Cristina Bucur (Lecturer / Assistant Professor, University College Dublin) and Petra Schleiter (Professor of Comparative Politics, University of Oxford) Governments in most parliamentary democracies have some influence on assembly dissolution, which enables them to affect parliamentary bargaining. Yet, whether these … Continue reading

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From Devolution to Brexit: Lessons from the Citizens’ Assembly Experiments in the UK

By Prof. Graham Smith, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster. Over two weekends in September 2017, the Citizens’ Assembly on Brexit brought together 50 randomly selected citizens who reflected the diversity of the UK electorate. The Assembly … Continue reading

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The Garrison State Project: Tracking the Growth of Consensus on National Security

by David Sylvan Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies In the three years since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA, it has become clear in one country after another that such surveillance is carried out by each country’s own … Continue reading

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Brexit and the constitution

By Prof Michael Keating In the last twenty years, the United Kingdom has undertaken a massive programme of constitutional change. It has transformed form a formally unitary state into a plurinational, quasi-federal union associated in complex ways with the neighbouring … Continue reading

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From George W Bush to Donald Trump: The Exceptional Resilience of Democracy Promotion in US Political Discourse

John Ikenberry recently wrote: “the relationship between American grand strategy, democracy promotion and international security has been debated with great intensity ever since the unexpected collapse of Soviet power between 1989 and 1991.” According to Ikenberry, this is “a debate … Continue reading

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