Photo credit: Senado Federal (Flickr:CC BY-NC 2.0)

The historical defeat of Dilma Rousseff on 17 April, when more than two-thirds of Brazil’s lower House of Congress voted to oust the country’s first female president, is not the end of the debate about whether she committed a crime that would constitutionally justify her impeachment. The opposition claims that the president, elected with more than fifty-four million votes, used accounting tricks to artificially lower the government’s budget deficit. Her supporters argue that other Brazilian presidents have used the same strategy before. The final word on the impeachment motion will be given shortly by the Senate, but at the end …

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Demonstrators hold a banner reading "Out Dilma and take the PT (Workers' Party) with you. Impeachment now " during a protest against Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia March 15, 2015. REUTERS/Joedson Alves

As any country with a minimally functioning democracy, Brazil has an ambivalent relationship with its mass media. And as in all countries with a minimally functioning market economy, Brazilian mass media have been disrupted by personalised digital platforms. Understanding To two elements, and how they became entangled, is essential if we are to grasp the role of the media in the social turmoil that has engulfed Brazil in the past year or so. But in spite of their deep flaws, newspapers and broadcasters cannot be blamed for the toxic political environment that has taken over the country.
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The British political ship is set to weather another storm. On 20th February, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the start of the race towards the June 23rd referendum on the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) membership of the European Union (EU). This hews consistently with Cameron’s political manifesto presented last election: that the Conservative Party would seek to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership and hold a referendum by the end of 2017. Many of the current debates have been confined largely to freedom of movement, a core principle of the EU that perpetuates inward migration. The tensions are also constructed around three …
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (Flickr/Creative Commons)

In the likely event that Hillary Clinton secures the Democratic nomination by the end of May or early June, the task of uniting the party behind her will be much less onerous than that of whoever emerges from the GOP field. For Republicans, a ‘brokered’ convention looms on the horizon. And, given the severely fractured status of the conservative movement in America, it will be hard for any candidate—Trump or otherwise—to appeal to a national constituency that seems to lack any consensus on what it means to even be “conservative.” Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, would have the time and resources to bring unity to her platform and to her party following what has been an impressive challenge by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
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How can we best promote legislative strengthening in new democracies? In a previous article, I talked about a new research project that aims to fill some of the gaps in our knowledge about democracy promotion. That project aims to do more than say ‘context matters’. We want to know what works where and when, and why it does so. This week we’re taking our first steps in that direction with the release of a new policy paper. Nic Cheeseman and I argue that parliamentary strengthening involves several trade-offs. Democracy promoters can’t avoid them, but they can learn to navigate them …
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Ever since the Conservatives’ surprise win of a Parliamentary majority in the 2015 general election, the EU referendum has been at the centre of public debate. There has been much speculation about how many Conservative members of parliament (MPs) would back Brexit. Now David Cameron’s renegotiation has been concluded, MPs are free to choose sides in the referendum debate. Ever since, scores of Conservative of MPs, including the Mayor of London and six Cabinet Ministers, have endorsed the Leave campaign. Other MPs have sided with the Prime Minister and the Chancellor in backing Remain. My DPhil research focuses on the …
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At next week’s Political Studies Association Annual Conference  Politics will be sponsoring a panel session by the Pedagogies of Political Violence network. Here I outline the key questions that the relationship of pedagogy and violence raise. The Pedagogies of Political Violence research network brings together political theorists who share an interest in several overlapping problems. First, there is the question how forms of violence are taught, how the relevant physical skills and capacities are acquired. Second, there is the question how teaching about violence – in particular in university level work on contemporary war, conflict and politics – is implicated in teaching violence. These problems …