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NEXTEUK Working Paper Series

Issue 1 - Brexit: The Scapegoating of the EU for the failures of British Neoliberalism?

By Humaira Mahmud


The fallout and aftershocks from the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to exit the European Union (EU) in 2016 are still reverberating.  With a nationwide schism dividing the countries that comprise the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to discord and resentment amongst the populace, the fissures created by this unprecedented occurrence have yet to be fully understood.  

>> Continue reading NEXTEUK Working Paper 1 [PDF 1,834KB]

Issue 2 - Towards more “E-volved” Democracy: An exploration of digital governance in Estonia and the lessons it holds for strengthening democracy in the United States

By Jonathan Diaz


Democratic governance in the developed world has declined over the past fifteen years, and the United States has been no exception. While globally, some countries have moved to increase effectiveness and efficiency of governance through the use of digital technologies over this time period, the US has fallen short in this regard. One country in particular, Estonia, has received acclaim for its pioneering use of ICTs, and is regarded as a global leader in digital governance. The aim of this study is to review the essential characteristics of Estonian governance and consider how they could be applied in the US for the betterment of its democracy. In this dissertation, we will first examine Estonia’s road to digitalization, construct the “Estonian Model” of digital governance, and show how pillars of the Estonian Model can reinforce modern democracy. Lastly, we will consider the case of the US and examine if, and how, the US can apply key lessons from the Estonian Model.

>> Continue reading: NEXTEUK Working Paper 2 [PDF 1,385KB]

Issue 3 - The Emergency Relocation Scheme: A Burden Sharing Failure

By Griffin Shiel


A common criticism of the European Union’s response to the European Refugee Crisis beginning in 2015 is that Member States failed to share the burden of responsibility for processing and protecting refugees arriving in Italy and Greece. This caused those nations’ asylum systems to be overwhelmed. Blame has been levied at both the EU for its weak leadership and Member States for not engaging with burden sharing. However, not enough work has been concerned with linking the absence of burden sharing with European integration. This paper will address this gap by examining the failure of the EU’s Emergency Relocation Scheme (ERS). It will do so by linking the shortcomings of the scheme to the persistence of tropes associated with ‘new intergovernmentalism’, a model for explaining the implications of European integration since the singing of the Treaty of the European Union in 1992. It will be argued that the inability of the EU and its Member States to meet the burden sharing objectives of ERS should be understood as a by-product of new intergovernmentalism, specifically the prioritisation of domestic policies over supranational ones, the emphasis on deliberation and consensus as policy-making methods and the use of de novo bodies.


>> Continue reading: NEXTEUK Working Paper 3 [PDF 1,308KB]

Issue 4 - The Italian Paradox 

By James Vigni


Italy’s foreign policy in Africa since the Second World War has long oscillated between two principal strategies: one of increased investment and geopolitical presence in regions, such as the Maghreb and the Sahel, and one of reduced involvement, in some cases total political and economic disengagement, as is the case, for instance, in the Horn of Africa with its former colonies, Eritrea and Somalia (Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale, 2020: 19). This two-fold, seemingly contradictory, policy sets Italy apart from other former colonial powers operating on a large scale in Africa, such as France and the United Kingdom (UK), whose neo-colonial exploits on the continent are more commonly documented (Bouamama, 2018; Haag, 2011; Curtis, 2016). At the same time, Italy’s standing within the “core-periphery” structure of the European Union (EU) sets it apart from typically peripheral member states as the peninsula can assume both a dominant and a subaltern role within the bloc depending on the political and economic circumstances (Wallerstein, 1974: 401). For instance, Italy has in the past gravitated more towards the periphery whenever the bloc has faced an existential threat, such as the refugee crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic (Karolewski and Benedikter, 2018: 100). Ultimately, Italy’s atypical role in both Africa and in Europe can be traced back to its atypical history as both a colonial power and a subaltern nation, from its relations with its former colonies to its peripheral role within the EU and the contradictory stereotypes of both grandeur and profligacy which define it.

>> Continue reading: The Italian Paradox [PDF 622KB]

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