'Talent in high places': A prime ministerial friendship
10 June 2023
To mark the thirty-forth anniversary of the former Conservative Prime Minister's appearance on Channel 4's After Dark programme, Tom Chidwick chronicles Sir Edward Heath's friendship with the actor and UNICEF ambassador, Peter Ustinov.
Creating an Inclusive Education System for all
30 May 2023
Following a collaborative event, held in conjunction with the Disability Policy Centre last week, Lyndsey Jenkins considers how the voices and rights of disabled people can be put at the heart of the education system in England and the rest of the UK.
Why do citizens petition Downing Street?
25 May 2023
Citizens have been petitioning Downing Street for well over a century. In this blog, Henry Miller explains why delivering petitions to Number 10 has been a popular campaign tactic - even though the prime minister rarely responds - and why, despite the rise of e-petitions and digital democracy, petitioners still knock on the famous black door.
What does Dominic Raab's resignation tell us about the current state of Minister-Civil Servant relations?
22 April 2023
In the wake of Dominic Raab's resignation as Deputy Prime Minister after two claims that he bullied civil servants were upheld by an independent investigation, Patrick Diamond and Dave Richards consider what this saga can teach us about current relations between ministers and civil servants.
The Failure of Remain: the remarkable mobilisation and limited efficacy of the anti-Brexit movement
30 March 2023
Following the referendum in June 2016, there was a mass mobilisation of anti-Brexit activism across all parts of the UK. Based on their recently published book, The Failure of Remain, Stijn van Kessel and Adam Fagan examine this movement and the 'politicisation of Europe' by a grassroots social movement.
Rebuilding the 'governing marriage' between Ministers and the Civil Service
17 March 2023
Following Moazzam Malik's revelatory article in The Guardian about the deteriorating relationship between Ministers and Civil Servants, Patrick Diamond reflects on the rise of political appointees in Whitehall and assesses how reforming the machinery of government can repair the 'governing marriage'.
Budgets: The Local and the National
14 March 2023
Ahead of tomorrow's Spring Budget, Greg Stride from the Local Government Information Unit explores the state of local government funding, arguing that there is little evidence that Jeremy Hunt will make significant changes in England.
The Return of Sue Gray
3 March 2023
After news broke yesterday that Sue Gray, the author of the 'Partygate' inquiry, has been appointed as Keir Starmer's new Chief of Staff, Max Stafford considers what Gray will bring to the Opposition, ACOBA, and Labour's transition to government.
Mission: Possible. Keir Starmer is preparing for Government
2 March 2023
After Keir Starmer unveiled his '5 Missions' last week, Wes Ball and Alan Wager consider the transition from opposition to government, the dangers of 'unforeseen policy gaps', and how to translate 'campaigning poetry' into 'Whitehall prose'.
'Return Taverne': 50 years on from the Lincoln by-election
1 March 2023
Fifty years ago today, Dick Taverne, the former Labour MP, won the Lincoln by-election for 'Democratic Labour'. In this blog, Tom Chidwick explores Taverne's 'local difficulties' and the consequences of one of the most significant by-elections of the last century.
Showing Ambition: The challenge for Keir Starmer
24 February 2023
Keir Starmer has some big choices to make about the government he wants to lead. Karl Pike argues that whatever he decides, the Labour leader cannot afford to be unambitious.
'The formidable and lasting power of multilateral partnerships': Ernest Bevin's continued relevance in 2023
6 February 2023
Despite rationing and hardship at home, working-class voters in postwar Britain understood the need to provide aid to Europe and beyond. Ryan Henson and Alice Palmer argue that Ernest Bevin, more than any other politician, was the reason why.
Breaking the Glass Chamber: The Role of the Local in Shaping Women's Political Activism
3 February 2023
With just over a month to go until International Women's Day 2023, Micaela Panes reflects on last September's Breaking the Glass Chamber conference and highlights the important of 'the local' in women's political history.
Labour's Commission on the UK's future: towards a 'new politics'?
24 January 2023
Following the publication of Labour's Commission on the UK's Future in December 2022, David Richards and Patrick Diamond reflect on the Report's recommendations, the need to tackle the UK's weak productivity and anaemic growth, and how Labour can maintain the momentum for constitutional reform.
David Cameron's Bloomberg speech: 10 years on
20 January 2023
To mark the tenth anniversary of David Cameron's Bloomberg speech, Dr Karl Pike considers the 'pressures' Cameron faced, the consequences of his commitment to hold an In-Out referendum, and the importance of good judgement in government.
A unique opportunity? How Keir Starmer can change the conversation on drugs
11 January 2023
Jay Jackson argues that Keir Starmer has a unique opportunity to seize the drug policy reform agenda and concludes that, as a former Director of Public Prosecutions, the Labour leader has the experience and credibility to bring the public with him.
Brentry at 50: How postwar Britain joined the European Community and the implications for today
9 January 2023
Three years on from the 2019 Brexit election, debate over the UK's relationship with the European Union may have abated but shows no signs of disappearing. To mark the recent anniversary of the EU's 'first enlargement' (when Denmark, Ireland, and the UK all became members), Dr Daniel Furby revisits the circumstances that enabled post-war Britain to join the European Community and considers the prospects for re-accession.
The Challenge for Keir Starmer's Labour
18 December 2022
In this blog, Professor Patrick Diamond marks the publication of The Challenge Ahead for Starmer's Labour, considers how Labour could move beyond 'tackling short-term crises' in government, and argues that it must articulate 'a compelling story' about Britain's future.
The Leader's Lynchpin: Starmer's need for a Chief of Staff
14 December 2022
With the Labour Party seeking a new Chief of Staff, Max Stafford considers the challenge facing whoever manages the Leader of the Opposition's office and how they might contribute to Keir Starmer's transition to Downing Street.
The UK's productivity-governance puzzle, from On Productivity
5 December 2022
The UK's productivity issue is often framed as an issue driven purely by economic outcomes. In this blog, Professors Dave Richards and Patrick Diamond and Dr Anna Sanders outline how government policy in the UK is too centralised and 'top down', and has created a structure that is inherently dismissive of local needs and circumstances.
Rishi Sunak's 'Major Dilemma'
21 November 2022
Following last week's Autumn Statement, David Ward considers the political considerations guiding Jeremy Hunt's economic measures, the parallels between the Conservatives' strategy in 1992 and today, and the 'very tough' choices facing Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves.
'Youth is no guarantee of brilliance': Assessing Joe Biden's appeal
20 November 2022
As President Biden celebrates his 80th birthday, Tom Chidwick considers the major achievements of the first two years of his presidency, his continued political appeal as an octogenarian, and the value of 'knowhow'.
Autumn Statement: Reunions and Dilemmas
18 November 2022
In our latest piece of analysis on yesterday's Autumn Statement, Dr Colm Murphy charts the 'staggering incoherence' that led to Kwasi Kwarteng's 'Mini Budget', the return of austerity, and the dilemma facing Rachel Reeves and Keir Starmer when devising Labour's fiscal policy.
Autumn Statement: After Truss, back to Conservatism?
18 November 2022
Following yesterday's Autumn Statement, Dr Karl Pike considers what Jeremy Hunt's economic plan says about the difference between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak's political projects.
Dashing to the 'political centre': Patrick Diamond's reflections on the 2022 Autumn Statement
18 November 2022
Following yesterday's Autumn Statement, Professor Patrick Diamond reflects on Jeremy Hunt's efforts to rebuild the Government's economic credibility, the parallels with 1992, and the scale of the economic and political challenge facing the Labour Party in the run-up to the next general election.
'Talking to politicians about drugs doesn't work, it just makes things worse ...'
14 October 2022
Following this summer's Drug Possession White Paper, Jay Jackson argues that the Government needs to adopt a multi-departmental approach to tackle the 88 per cent increase in drug deaths in the UK since 2010.
It's David Cameron, stupid ...
26 August 2022
In our latest entry on this summer's Conservative party leadership election to determine whether Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will become Prime Minister, JayJackson argues that, contrary to the prevailing narrative, this contest is all about David Cameron's legacy rather than Margaret Thatcher's.
Party members choosing Prime Ministers - a constitutional concern?
12 August 2022
With just under a month to go until the Conservative Party announces its new leader, and Britain's next Prime Minister, David Klempererer considers how the Party chooses its leaders and the extent to which this process should be independently regulated.
Making Downing Street Work
22 July 2022
As Conservative Party members decide who will be the next Prime Minister, Dr Max Stafford considers the organisational challenges facing the next occupant of Number 10 Downing Street and the fate of Boris Johnson's commitment to establish an Office of the Prime Minister.
'Some sort of beer': Remembering John Smith
17 July 2022
To mark the 30th anniversary of John Smith's election as Leader of the Labour Party, Tom Chidwick considers Smith's personality and politics and suggests that more of our elected representatives should seek to emulate his 'undemonstrative Presbyterian approach to public life'.
John Smith and the mythology of 'One More Heave'
17 July 2022
To mark the 30th anniversary of John Smith's election as Leader of the Labour Party, David Ward reassesses Smith's short tenure as Leader of the Opposition and his impact on the Party's 'modernisation.
Many Croydons: Labour's Challenge in South London
25 May 2022
Reflecting on this month's local elections, Dr Daniel Frost considers the significance of the Conservatives' victory in Croydon's first direct mayoral elections and explores the differing interpretations of London's southernmost borough in 2022.
Radically shrinking the State? Boris Johnson's Government and the Civil Service
18 May 2022
In light of the Government's announcement that it intends to cut 91,000 jobs in the Civil Service, Dr Patrick Diamond explores how such a radical shrinking of the State would affect the Government's crisis management capacity and its ability to 'level up'.
Better health for all? Lifelong Health in East London
17 May 2022
In our latest Blog, Joanna Brown explores how QMUL's groundbreaking Lifelong Health team is using the School of Medicine and Dentistry's expertise to benefit people living in the East End of London and considers the effect of the Levelling Up White Paper on their work.
Abortion and the Perils of Judicial Supremacy
11 May 2022
Following the publication of a leaked Supreme Court majority opinion, which would overturn women's right to an abortion across the United States, Dr Richard Johnson considers the implications of the Court's actions and explores how the US Congress could legalise abortion.
Solving Labour's Electoral Dilemma
6 May 2022
To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of New Labour's historic landslide in May 1997, Anthony Broxton reflects on the significance of Tony Blair's 'mythological grip on the party' and considers what Labour can learn from 1997 in 2022.
Between the Obsolete and the Utopian: How to understand the 1997 "Project"
6 May 2022
In this excerpt from his Keynote Address to the MEI's New Labour, New Britain? conference, David Miliband reflects on the 1997 election and New Labour's impact on the landscape of British politics.
The Road to 1997
3 May 2022
To mark the 25th anniversary of New Labour's landslide victory in the 1997 general election, Dr Patrick Diamond charts the 'Road to 1997', explores how New Labour built on Neil Kinnock's 'modernisation' programme, and considers the lessons from the long road to victory in 1997.
If the Conservatives change leader, what political project will emerge?
19 April 2022
In our latest entry, the MEI's Deputy Director, Dr Karl Pike, explores the fallout from 'Partygate' and considers what the Conservative Party's next 'ideological project' might look like.
'Assuming full and direct responsibility': 50 years of the Northern Ireland Office
30 March 2022
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of 'Direct Rule' in Northern Ireland coming into force, Dr David Torrance explores the advent of The Troubles, the foundations of 'Direct Rule', the dissolution of the old Stormont Parliament and the creation of the Northern Ireland Office.
Long Read: 'All say Yes or Tinkerbell will die': The 1979 Scottish Referendum
1 March 2022
In the second 'Long Read' to mark the 43rd anniversary of the first referendum on the creation of a Scottish Assembly, Tom Chidwick explores the various 'Yes' and 'No' factions formed within the Labour Party and reflects on the famous devolution debate at the Oxford Union in February 1979.
Long Read: 'Come Referendum Day': The 1979 Scottish Referendum
1 March 2022
In the final entry in our series of 'Long Reads' to mark the 43rd anniversary of the first referendum on the creation of a Scottish Assembly, Tom Chidwick explores the result and considers how significant the referendum was in the fall of James Callaghan's government.
Long Read: 'A Kingdom on the Brink': The 1979 Scottish Referendum
28 February 2022
In the first of a three part series of 'Long Reads' to mark the 43rd anniversary of the first referendum on the creation of a Scottish Assembly, Tom Chidwick takes a deep dive into the events leading up to 1 March 1979 and charts the state of Scottish politics in the 1970s.
Who can Stop the War? The British Left, NATO, and Russia
28 February 2022
With Russia's invasion of Ukraine launching the biggest groundwar in mainland Europe since 1945, the MEI's Deputy Director, Dr Colm Murphy, explores the British Left's divisions over NATO and an 'ethical' foreign policy and concludes that it is 'not inconceivable that it could shape British foreign policy' in the years ahead.
Levelling-up London? What it would take to fix the damage the pandemic has done in the Covid Triangle
11 February 2022
In our latest entry on the Levelling Up White Paper, Farah Hussain argues that the Government has not fully acknowledged the scale of the socioeconomic challenges facing Londoners and stresses that it should stop thinking of London as a 'homogenous monolith'.
Levelling Up: 'Nothing More Than A Rhetorical Device'?
7 February 2022
Following the publication of the Government's Levelling Up White Paper last week, Dr Paul Copeland concludes that, without greater regional autonomy across England and the UK as a whole, the promise of the Levelling Up agenda will remain unfulfilled.
'Talking a Good Game': Levelling Up and Localism in England
3 February 2022
Following the publication of the Government's Levelling Up White Paper this week, Dr Patrick Diamond argues that Downing Street and Whitehall need to be 'more strategic, more enabling and less controlling' if English localism and Levelling Up is to succeed in future.
'A Medieval Court': Reforming Number 10
2 February 2022
Following the Prime Minister's 'knee-jerk' commitment to undertake wholesale structural reform of Number Ten, Dr Patrick Diamond argues that the creation of a Prime Minister's Department could make Whitehall 'less able to evolve as new governance challenges emerge'.
30 November 2021
After a shaky start to Starmer’s first inperson Labour conference earlier this year, the Labour leader emerged victorious and the head of the strongest faction.
Does the SPD Performance in the German Elections Point To a Left-Wing Resurgence in Europe? Dr Patrick Diamond
28 September 2021
When Labour Believed in Brexit – Dr Richard Johnson
15 September 2021
Can Labour Fix Its Relationship with Its Muslim Voters before It’s Too Late? Farah Hussain
1 September 2021
Labour leader Keir Starmer celebrated victory in the recent Batley and Spen by-election by declaring his party “is back”. He hailed Kim Leadbeater’s win as the beginning of Labour’s fight to win the next general election.
Smart Government: Making Public Administration More Effective - Dr Patrick Diamond
21 July 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic is a grim reminder that competent or poorly run governments are literally the difference between life and death for their citizens. The crisis has shone a spotlight on the inadequacies of governing institutions in many parts of the world; the UK has been no exception.
‘They Are Going to Eat Our Lunch’: Joe Biden’s China Challenge – Dr Richard Johnson
7 July 2021
As the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its one-hundredth anniversary, the mood among China watchers in the United States is markedly less celebratory. For all of the ways in which Joe Biden is different from Trump, the two presidents share a fundamentally similar outlook on US-China relations, and the prognosis is not encouraging.
Deliver us from EVEL?: Is the government right to abolish ‘English Votes for English Laws’? Dr Daniel Gover & Professor Michael Kenny
6 July 2021
Following reports that the UK government is considering abolishing the ‘English Votes for English Laws’ procedures in the House of Commons, Daniel Gover and Michael Kenny argue that, although EVEL has some flaws as a solution to the ‘West Lothian Question’, abandoning it will also leave open bigger questions about how England should be represented within British parliamentary government.
G7 Summit: What to Expect from Boris Johnson as Joe Biden Visits the UK - Professor Tim Bale
10 June 2021
Joe Biden’s first trip to the UK as US President is bound to produce hundreds of hot takes on the state of the so-called special relationship, most looking for signs either of its continuing strength or its more or less imminent demise.
Cummings, Systemic Failures, and the Need for Fundamental Institutional Reform Across Whitehall – Dr Patrick Diamond
4 June 2021
The former Number Ten Chief Strategist Dominic Cummings’ testimony before a parliamentary select committee led to a series of extraordinary revelations, notably the claim that the Prime Minister would rather see ‘bodies piled high’ than go through another lockdown in autumn 2020.
Building Back Better: A New Jerusalem? Professor Philip Cowley
25 May 2021
When this is all over, we’re going to build a new Jerusalem, apparently. We’ll build back better (according to the Prime Minister), in a spirit of togetherness we’ve not seen since 1945 (according to the Leader of the Opposition).
The Future of London – Dr Patrick Diamond
21 May 2021
Re-elected as London mayor for a second term, what are the challenges that Sadiq Khan must address? What is his vision for the city’s future, and what kind of legacy does he want to bequeath?
Starmer's First Year: The Signal and the Noise - Dr Robert Saunders
19 May 2021
A year ago, as Keir Starmer strapped himself to the mast of the Good Ship Labour, I joked that "leading the Opposition is not so much a job as a multiple personality crisis". Twelve months later, as he picks through the wreckage of his first big electoral test, Starmer could be forgiven for wondering in what role he has been cast: as the captain, the albatross, or the first violin, bravely playing on as the ship goes down.
Not for Patching? – Dr Patrick Diamond
13 May 2021
MEI Director, Dr Patrick Diamond discusses the findings of the report Not for Patching? published by the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London.
Muslim Women in the Labour Party: Inconvenient Voices - Farah Hussain
6 May 2021
Farah Hussain introduces her PhD research and the theoretical framework used to inform her work. In this piece, originally published by Renewal, she explains why intersectionality is key to understanding Muslim women’s experiences in the Labour Party and how to improve them.
Sadiq Khan Is on Course for a Big Win – So What Do Londoners Want from Their Mayor in a Second Term? Dr Patrick Diamond
5 May 2021
Polling shows Sadiq Khan is set to secure a second term as London mayor on May 6. He is easily beating his Conservative rival, Shaun Bailey, who looks likely to suffer the worst defeat of a Tory candidate for the mayoralty since the office was created more than 20 years ago.
Why It Is Good That the BAME Term Has Been Scrapped - Dr Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay
30 April 2021
Dr Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay outlines why, from her perspective, it is good that the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has announced the scrapping of the BAME term from UK public discourse.
A Gameable Electoral System? The Additional Member System in Scotland - David Klemperer
26 April 2021
Voters across Scotland will go to the polls on 6 May to elect members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). David Klemperer explains how Scotland's Additional Member System actually works.
A Progressive Alliance? Yes. But Not Against the Electorate. Dr Robert Saunders
20 April 2021
In a powerful blog post, the economist Simon Wren-Lewis issued a call to arms to Britain's Opposition parties.
From London to City Regions: The Rise of Directly-Elected Mayors and What Next For Them? Neil Pye
13 April 2021
During the mid-1990s, Tony Blair explored the idea of creating directly-elected mayors in London and the English regions with the intention of reinvigorating local democracy.
Three Essentials to Campaigning – Matthew Lloyd
7 April 2021
I am often asked by new activists how to start new campaigns to bring about change and I recently sat on a panel at the University of Birmingham addressing this question.
A Newer Labour? Dr Patrick Diamond
30 March 2021
The British Labour Party has had a tortuous time over the last decade. But there are hints of openness towards new solutions to its problems.
AstraZeneca Vaccine: Careless Talk Has Dented Confidence and Uptake in Europe – Dr Jonathan Kennedy
15 March 2021
At the start of the year, one of the main causes of the EU’s slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines was lower than expected supplies from AstraZeneca. Fast forward a few weeks and the EU’s vaccination programme still trails far behind the UK and US, but politicians and those in public health now have something else to worry about: low uptake of the AstraZeneca vaccine. In France, over three-quarters of AstraZeneca vaccines remain unused. In Germany, the figure is two-thirds.
The Politics of the Budget – Dr Karl Pike
4 March 2021
The day after the Budget, when the economic analysis from think tanks like Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies comes in, we begin to grasp the kinds of messages and political debates that will actually spring from the Budget.
Compulsory Voter ID is Unnecessary, Undemocratic and Does Nothing to Strengthen our Democracy – Dr Robert Saunders
2 March 2021
For millions of voters, the most basic act of democratic citizenship - casting a vote - is about to get harder.
When Systems Fail: UK Acute Hospitals and Public Health After COVID-19 – Professor Colin Haslam
25 February 2021
In the report, When Systems Fail, the Foundational Economy Collective explains how and why our healthcare system lacked the capacity to respond to the surge in demand caused by the highly infectious Covid-19 virus. Relative to others, the UK healthcare system was peculiarly and irresponsibly vulnerable to any surges in demand.
Place and Wellbeing After the Pandemic – Dr Andrew Walker
22 February 2021
In a new project funded by Research England, the Mile End Institute and the Local Government Information Unit are working together to understand how a public policy agenda oriented towards “wellbeing” and “place-shaping” is faring amid the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.
How (Not) to Kill a Constitutional Convention: Theresa May’s Intervention in Syria, April 2018 – Dr James Strong
11 February 2021
What makes conventions tricky is their consensual nature. Though many are written down, and some are called into being through declarations, most exist only to the extent they are in fact observed.
Beyond Brexit: The Conservatives – Professor Tim Bale
9 February 2021
After Boris Johnson’s big win at the 2019 General Election, the Conservatives became a party largely for and of Leavers.
Racial Inequalities of COVID-19 Laid Bare in Study of East London Hospitals– Dr Yize Wan and Dr Vanessa Apea
4 February 2021
The UK has passed the terrible milestone of 100,000 deaths with COVID-19. These losses have not been evenly spread throughout different communities. A disproportionate number of both severe cases and deaths have been among those from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
How the Coronavirus Pandemic Has Exposed Britain’s Failed ‘Regulatory State’ – Dr Lee Jones
1 February 2021
Why has Britain fared so poorly with Covid-19? Although blaming this or that minister or official offers an easy answer, the deeper causes lie in the transformation of the British state.
Taking Back Control: Why the House of Commons Should Govern Its Own Time – Professor Meg Russell and Dr Daniel Gover
28 January 2021
Various high-profile tensions between parliament and government – including over Brexit and COVID-19 – have focused on what the House of Commons can discuss and when. In a major new report, Meg Russell and Daniel Gover highlight the problems that result from the government’s default control over the Commons agenda, and make proposals for reform.
They argue that the fundamental principle guiding House of Commons functioning should be majority decision-making, not government control.
Mayday: I Vote We Plan Ahead for Elections This Year – Professor Philip Cowley
26 January 2021
May 2021 is scheduled to yield an electoral bonanza in Britain, of a scale and variety to bring tears to the eyes of any self-respecting psephologist.
Michael Barber and the ‘Science’ of Delivery – Dr Patrick Diamond
20 January 2021
It was announced to some fanfare that the former Head of Tony Blair’s Delivery Unit, Sir Michael Barber, is returning to Whitehall to carry out an audit of government effectiveness.
Can Boris Johnson Get His ‘Mojo’ Back? Lessons from History - Professor Tim Bale
11 January 2021
The failures of Thatcher, Cameron and Major may provide lessons for the Prime Minister.
Violent Anti-Democratic Coups Are Not New to the United States – Dr Richard Johnson
8 January 2021
An excerpt from Chapter 2 – ‘The Fall of the First Reconstruction’, The End of the Second Reconstruction by Dr Richard Johnson (Polity, 2020)
The Term ‘Judeo-Christian’ Has Been Misused for Political Ends: A New ‘Abrahamic’ Identity Offers an Alternative - Dr Toby Greene
5 January 2021
Upcoming elections in the Netherlands and Germany in 2021 will test the strength of the radical right, which has a distinct vision of European identity.
Keir Starmer’s Dilemma: Should Labour Vote in Favour of a Brexit Deal in Parliament? Dr Karl Pike
14 December 2020
Since becoming leader of the Labour party, Keir Starmer’s approach to the politics of Brexit has been a simple one: please everybody, we need to talk about something else.
The IRA and the Resurrection of Irish Republicanism in the Twenty-First Century – Lucy Sproat
11 December 2020
Northern Ireland will soon be witness to one of the biggest IRA trials in decades. On the back of MI5’s ‘Operation Arbacia’, ten republicans from a group referring to themselves as the ‘New IRA’, will be charged with directing acts of terrorism. It has been more than twenty years since the ‘long war’ of The Troubles came to an end, but in a soon-to-be post-Brexit Britain and post-Trump era, can we say the same for the movement of Irish Republicanism?
What Biden’s Narrow Election Win Reveals about the Challenges and Obstacles Facing His Administration – Dr Richard Johnson
27 November 2020
Joe Biden’s narrow election victory in a year in which the US is experiencing high unemployment, a surge in coronavirus cases, and climate-induced threats signals a difficult period ahead. Richard Johnson examines the likely impact of a Republican-majority Senate and a conservative-majority Supreme Court on Biden’s policy agenda, especially in his first 100 days.
A Lesson to the Left on Both Sides of the Atlantic: Economic Credibility Is Essential to Winning and Retaining Power – Matthew Lloyd
25 November 2020
Joe Biden's victory in the US presidential election - winning the largest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history - offers a stark lesson to the left on both sides of the Atlantic: that economic credibility is essential to winning and retaining power.
Cummings’ Departure Will Not End the ‘Hard Rain’ That Has Fallen on Whitehall – Dr Patrick Diamond
23 November 2020
Dominic Cummings’ dramatic departure from 10 Downing Street inevitably stirred great excitement among political pundits and commentators in the Westminster village. It raised fundamental questions about the future character of the Johnson Administration. Among the most significant was whether Cummings’ historic project to fundamentally transform the British state was now over.
Are Lockdown Scepticism and Euroscepticism Linked? Professor Tim Bale and Dr Alan Wager
16 November 2020
What do lockdown-scepticism and Euroscepticism have in common? At first glance, it’s unclear why there should be a link between views on how we should handle the public health emergency posed by Covid-19 and attitudes to Britain leaving the EU.
Corruption in Modern Britain: The Warning Lights are Flashing Red – Professor Robert Barrington
12 November 2020
"Corruption" is not a word that tends to be bandied around in the mainstream of UK politics. And yet it is beginning to seep more and more into British political discourse. While opposition parties attack the Johnson government's "incompetence", other commentators in both the mainstream and social media are increasingly using the term "corruption."
History Shows How Trump Could Overturn Biden’s Victory – Dr Richard Johnson
11 November 2020
Donald Trump’s pronouncements challenging the 2020 election results have been met with derision by most media commentators. For historians of American politics, Trump’s claims cannot be brushed off so easily – not because they have validity but because wild claims of ‘fraud’ have been used by politicians and judges to overturn legitimate election results at other intervals in US history.
Decoding the Chilean Plebiscite – Dr Javier Sajuria
5 November 2020
Africa’s Future through the Lens of Malick Sidibé – Professor Parvati Nair
30 October 2020
The writing of history, like the taking of a photograph, is, by definition, a process of selection.
Donald Trump’s Electoral College Advantage Could Be Even Bigger in 2020 – Dr Richard Johnson
27 October 2020
Can Trump pull off an Electoral College majority once more, even when he is trailing Biden substantially in the popular vote?
Women in Work: How East Germany’s Socialist Past has Influenced West German Mothers
23 October 2020
When Germany was reunited 30 years ago, the general feeling was of hope. People felt a wind of change breeze through both parts of the country. With reunification, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) became part of the Federal German Republic (FRG) and adopted West Germany’s political, economic and legal institutions.
Resilient place-shaping - Dr Patrick Diamond and Dr Andrew Walker
21 October 2020
In the wake of the human and economic devastation wrought by Covid-19 and the ostensibly inept performance of the Johnson administration, a debate is certain to ensue about how effectively Britain is governed. There are many agendas at stake. Among the most important is the impact of blanket centralisation on our system of government, and the prevalence of a ‘Whitehall knows best’ mentality that has undermined our capacity to manage the pandemic.
The UK’s public admin failure: round up the unusual suspects? Professor Hugh Pemberton
15 October 2020
At last week’s Conservative party conference, Lord Agnew – a British government minister involved in civil service reform – echoed Dominic Cummings’ many attacks on the service for its over-centralisation, mediocrity, risk-averseness, inefficiency, failure to generate workable policy ideas acceptable to ministers, and lack of effectiveness in policy delivery. But he also pointed us to history.
Shipping asylum seekers offshore may boost Priti Patel’s hardline image, but Australian example shows it’s not a policy that works - Andonea Jon Dickson
13 October 2020
It has been reported that the home secretary, Priti Patel, has been considering sending migrants who arrive in the UK via the English Channel to islands in the Atlantic. While Downing Street later pushed back on the idea of using the far-flung territories of Ascension Island and St Helena as sites of immigration detention, the Financial Times reported that it was nevertheless considering offshore immigration processing sites.
America versus China: Things aren’t as uncertain as they may seem - Jay Revell
8 October 2020
Since World War Two, America has repeatedly reconsolidated itself as the global hegemonic power. It has pulled states under its influence through a mutually beneficial politics of economic growth, and by establishing and playing a vital role in international institutions such as the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Why we should forget about the United Nations to begin tackling climate change - Johannes-Maximilian Glahs
8 October 2020
Whilst the world and its leaders are occupied with the Covid-19 crisis, and its subsequent economic fallout, another crisis looms in its shadow, that of climate change and a global temperature increase of more than 1.5 degrees.
Historicising ‘Black Lives Matter’: the Women’s War of 1929 - Emma Davies
8 October 2020
What can historians of Black Lives Matter learn from women’s anti-colonial protest in Nigeria?
When women bear the brunt of lockdowns, is it feminist to support another? Professor Sophie Harman
7 October 2020
The UK lockdown in March saw rises in domestic violence, increased childcare and domestic burdens on women, limits on paid employment and potential career reversals.
Parliament and COVID-19 - Professor Sophie Harman
30 September 2020
If we’re unhappy about the UK going to war without parliamentary scrutiny why are we happy about the UK going to war against a virus without parliamentary scrutiny?
Joining and Leaving the European Union: Two Sides of the Same Coin? Dr Lindsay Aqui
15 September 2020
From ‘mutual aid’ to ‘mask diplomacy’: reflections on Covid-19 and the twinning movement - Dr Caterina Mazzilli and Dr Holly Eva Ryan
6 September 2020
In the midst of the worst pandemic in recent history, sister cities have shown themselves to be resourceful actors, ready to step in when inter-governmental relations come to a standstill.
Should the House of Lords be reformed or abolished? Dr Robert Saunders
27 August 2020
Liberal, Labour and Conservative governments have all sailed into the Bermuda Triangle of Lords reform, though few have completed the voyage.
The A-levels fiasco will cripple our crisis-ridden universities - Dr Lee Jones
26 August 2020
The fiasco over A-Level results has only deepened the suffering of a university sector mired in market-driven chaos.
Behind the Beirut explosion lies the lawless world of international shipping - Professor Laleh Khalili
17 August 2020
The disaster has roots in a global network of maritime capital and legal chicanery designed to protect businesses at any cost.
One Year as Prime Minister: Boris and Brexit – Professor Anand Menon and Dr Alan Wager
24 July 2020
A time traveller arriving from July 2019, interested in seeing how politics has moved on, and what progress had been made with Brexit, might be forgiven, at first blush, for thinking nothing at all had changed. ‘Britain close to abandoning hope of Brexit trade deal’, declared the Daily Telegraph this week. Déjà vu all over again.
Boris Johnson’s first year - Professor Tim Bale
23 July 2020
As a classicist, Boris Johnson hardly needs reminding that hubris can lead to nemesis. But hubris must have been hard to avoid. After all, his first six months as Britain’s eighteenth Conservative prime minister were, frankly, little short of miraculous.
Prorogation struck at the very heart of parliamentary democracy. But it was not an isolated incident. Dr Robert Saunders
22 July 2020
When the time comes to write the history of Boris Johnson’s premiership, historians will not be short of material.
Immigration was the most polarising issue of the last decade. Has Johnson’s first year seen a new centre-ground emerge? Sunder Katwala
21 July 2020
What would “taking back control” mean for immigration? That central question would determine how far the government would make its own choices about immigration in Boris Johnson’s first year as prime minister.
On Public Health, Johnson’s First Year Has Been Catastrophic. His Second Could Be Worse. Professor Sophie Harman
20 July 2020
COVID-19 and Captivity - Gabriel Lawson
15 July 2020
Gabriel Lawson writes about prisoners-of-war dealing with isolation and its absence.
A Real New Deal Needs Redistribution of Wealth and an Empowered Workforce, Not Just Government Spending - Dr Noam Maggor
6 July 2020
As progressives in the United States are fond of saying, “The New Deal was a great idea. It is time we tried it”. For its modern critics, the New Deal, as implemented, was not ambitious and transformative enough. A true New Deal would have conceded a lot less to capitalist interests, better protected the environment, and more aggressively addressed racial and gender disparities (rather than exacerbating them).
Should No.10 prepare for a ‘war on woke’? Professor Tim Bale
2 July 2020
According to research published this week, it is underlying socio and cultural (as opposed to economic) values that keep the Conservative Party and its electoral coalition together and give it the best chance of connecting with the voters it will need to win again in 2024.
Coronavirus: our study suggests more people have had it than previously estimated
30 June 2020
By Professor Norman Fenton, Dr. Magda Osman, Professor Martin Neil, and Dr. Scott McLachlan.
After COVID19 - Lord Peter Hennessy
24 June 2020
Lord Peter Hennessy asks what we might learn from the experience of another hinge moment: 1945, when an exhausted but victorious Britain launched a new social contract.
The UK state after COVID-19: Britain needs a system of government which is holistic, anticipatory, and intelligent - Dr Patrick Diamond
22 June 2020
While Cummings’s vision for reforming government looks even more questionable in the light of the pandemic, it is not sufficient simply to attack ideas of reform, writes Patrick Diamond. He explains what system of government Britain needs in order to be better able to solve problems in the future.
India’s internal migrants are citizens too – the government must protect them by Professor Parvati Nair
17 June 2020
The largest mass migrations in South Asia since the time of partition are taking place in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indians are on the move in every direction from the major urban centres, criss-crossing the nation on their way homeward to towns and villages across the country.
The anti-Brexit movement: failing to Remain (united)
16 June 2020
With the UK in lockdown and Covid-19 still on the rampage, it is easy to lose sight of the looming deadline for Britain and the EU to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Talks between Brussels and London have stalled and no progress on the key issues has been made.
Coronavirus destroys jobs and worsens inequality, with or without full lockdown - Dr Tim Lee
12 June 2020
Coronavirus plunged the world into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Many governments are trying to revitalise their economies by gradually lifting lockdown measures, including the UK.
A Statement from the School of Politics and International Relations
10 June 2020
The Mile End Institute is situated within the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR) at Queen Mary University of London. This piece affirms the School’s solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and provides resources recommended by the School’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee.
New data reveals a crisis of support for Black, Asian and minority ethnic women
9 June 2020
Professor Sophie Harman has contributed to new polling analysis which reveals the pressure on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women during the coronavirus lockdown.
Populist party supporters: Informed, uninformed or misinformed?
8 June 2020
Supporters of populist parties are often portrayed as politically naïve or misinformed, but to what extent does this image reflect reality? Drawing on a new study, Stijn van Kessel, Javier Sajuria and Steven M. Van Hauwaert present evidence that populist party supporters are not less informed than supporters of other parties. However, supporters of right-wing populist parties had a greater tendency to give incorrect answers to political knowledge questions, suggesting there are key differences between the characteristics of left-wing and right-wing populist voters.
Cummings, Covid and the British Establishment - Professor Tim Bale
5 June 2020
By the Establishment, I do not only mean the centres of official power—though they are certainly part of it—but rather the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised. The exercise of power in the United Kingdom (more specifically, in England) cannot be understood unless it is recognized that it is exercised socially.
A reformer from a bygone era: What the Cummings saga tells us about British governance - Dr Patrick Diamond
1 June 2020
Patrick Diamond writes that the Cummings coronavirus row has wider implications for the machinery of British government. These revolve around the status of political advisers and the future of Cummings’s state reform visions.
It Could Happen Here - Professor Sophie Harman
27 May 2020
It couldn’t happen here. A one-off event, at first as big as the 2008 financial crisis, and then equal to if not bigger than the end of the Second World War. Unique in its reach, impact, and cause. Locking down populations, shifting work, school, and childcare patterns, and reorienting whole health, social, political and economic systems to manage a health crisis all seemingly without precedent.
Why the Netanyahus Are Embracing 'Christian Europe' - Dr Toby Greene
18 May 2020
Jewish nationalists defending ‘Christian Europe’ and attacking ‘evil globalism’? For Benjamin Netanyahu and conspiratorial son Yair, the illiberal Islamophobic ethnonationalism of Europe’s radical right is just too enticing.
Advice for the Leader of the opposition - Dr Robert Saunders
16 May 2020
Leading the opposition is an extraordinarily difficult job. In fact, it’s at least four different jobs at the same time, each of which needs different skills.
Covid-19 and British politics: what are the threats and opportunities? Professor Tim Bale
15 May 2020
It’s an ill wind, they say, that blows nobody any good. And the coronavirus crisis is no exception. It’s too early to tell how – or how much – it will change UK politics in the long term. But we can at least make some educated guesses about the short- to medium-term opportunities and threats it presents to the Conservative government and to its Labour opposition.
New report reveals the stark impact of the coronavirus pandemic on parents and key workers
7 May 2020
Experts from the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London have contributed to new research published today which reveals the stark reality of the coronavirus pandemic for parents and keyworkers.
What Happens If A Prime Minister Dies in Office? Dr Robert Saunders
6 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a new problem in our constitutional arrangements. How would we replace a prime minister during a national emergency?
'Expelliarmus, Jeeves!' - Dr Robert Saunders
30 April 2020
If you need a break from Covid-19, here is some light relief.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Harry Potter met Jeeves and Wooster? Or if Aunt Agatha dated Lord Voldemort? Our co-director, Robert Saunders, has the answers, in 'Expelliarmus, Jeeves!'