U.K. Election: The tories’ last gamble? Radhika Desai and Alan Freeman

Even in an age of political and electoral upsets, Thursday’s U.K. election contained so many shocks that commentators ran out of superlatives. Historic Conservative losses and Labour gains, the setback to Scottish independence, the demise of Hard Brexit and a triumphal result for Sinn Fein were topped off by the humiliating spectacle of a minority Conservative government relying on a bigoted Unionist rump in Northern Ireland. These outcomes are not random, but are the maturation of historic problems of the U.K. state. The key lies in the Tory party itself, whose vote share has been declining since the 1970s. For…

Euroland: Will the Netherlands be the next domino to fall? Servaas Storm

The Dutch go the polls on March 15, a few weeks ahead of the French vote to choose the successor to Président François Hollande and well before Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel seeks a fourth term in September. The Dutch vote takes on a wider European significance, however, because Dutch voters — who rebelled against a EU ‘constitution’ in 2005 and last year rejected the association treaty between the EU and Ukraine in a referendum — have in the past proved to be a good gauge of European sentiment. Click to read the full article

Brexit, the City, and the Crisis of Conservatism Alan Freeman & Radhika Desai

In this report, the authors argue that, underneath the surface of liberal dismay and right wing triumphalism which characterizes much commentary on Brexit, two sets of developments- the electoral crisis of the Conservative Party and the British financial sector are critical to understanding the British vote on leaving the European Union. Brexit_the_City (Download the full text in PDF format) (The article was originally published in the Valdai Discussion Club)

Why the European Union should be Even More Worried about Brexit C.P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh

The economic pressures that may have driven the Brexit vote are also evident in other big European nations. So to survive, the EU must rethink its template for economic policies.   European_Union_Worried (Download the full text in PDF format) (This article was originally published in the Business Line on July 18, 2016.)

What Next for the EU? Jayati Ghosh

Even before the results of the UK referendum, the European Union was facing a crisis of popular legitimacy. The result, especially in England and Wales, was certainly driven by the fear of more immigration, irresponsibly whipped up by xenophobic right-wing leaders who now appear uncertain themselves of what to do with the outcome. But it was as much a cry of pain and protest from working communities that have been damaged and hollowed out by three decades of neoliberal economic policies. And this is why the concerns of greater popular resonance across other countries in the EU – and the…

After Brexit C.P. Chandrasekhar

Britain has voted to leave the European Union (EU). And the managers of global capitalism have their hands full addressing the fall-out of ‘Brexit’, even as their efforts to manage the after-shocks of the crisis of 2008 remain unsuccessful. It does not help that Brexit immediately affects the EU where the legacy of the earlier crisis has been the worst. In fact, the churning within the EU is partly the result of the persisting crisis in parts of the region. And it is there that the next crisis is likely to first unfold. But as recent history has repeatedly made…

Brexit: A revolt against the hegemony of globalized finance Prabhat Patnaik

Almost all commentators on the British electorate’s vote to leave the European Union, whether from the Right or the Left, have missed the main point of it, namely that it is a massive revolt against the hegemony of globalized finance. Indeed, the fact that they have missed this point is itself indicative of the ubiquity of this hegemony among the literati, from which the British electorate, interestingly, appears substantially to have freed itself. No doubt, some, including President Barack Obama, have been prescient enough to see the Brexit vote as a rejection of globalization, but they have attributed it to…

Societal Involution in the North Jayati Ghosh

The term “involution” – which means to turn into oneself, or to shrink, or to reverse a process of evolving – may seem like a strange one to apply to societies. Yet that is the term that increasingly comes to mind when considering recent social and political trends in the United States and in some parts of Europe. Consider the United Kingdom, currently in the throes of a heated debate before the referendum that will be held about whether or not Britain should stay in the European Union. Many issues and concerns have been raised on both sides, and politicians…