Category: Politics

The International Criminal Court and the Justice versus Peace Debate

Natalia Kubesch[1]

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Critics of the International Criminal Court (ICC) have long considered it to be an impediment to peace negotiations and regional stability.[2] Focusing in particular on the ICC’s intervention in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) they have contended that prospects of prosecution risk jeopardising fragile peace talks, thus prolonging or even intensifying violent conflicts.[3]

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Explaining the EU’s Ineffectiveness as an International Actor in Countering Terrorism

Rhea Franke[1]

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Since the terror attacks on 9/11, the European Union (EU) has enacted an ever increasing number of counterterrorism (CT) policies, in a continuous attempt to ‘add value’ to this policy area. The following essay will critically evaluate how far the EU has been effective as an international actor in CT and whether this can be explained by neo-functionalism. I argue that even though there have been some positive developments, especially post-Lisbon Treaty, there are clear limits to integration in this area since member States (MS) are often unwilling to give up power, rendering EU-level CT policy largely ineffective. It is asserted that the theoretical assumptions of neo-functionalism largely fail to explain the lack of integration in CT.

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Brexit Referendum: An Incomplete Verdict

C Penny Tridimas[1] and George Tridimas[2]

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The purpose of this paper is to use the insights of collective choice theory to examine the format and outcome of the Brexit Referendum. It is argued, first that the question asked by the Referendum was incomplete for it failed to address the choice between “Hard” and “Soft” Brexit resulting in a deficiency of legitimacy. Second, this observation gives rise to the question of the actor who can remedy the deficiency, either the electorate in an additional referendum on the form of Brexit, or Parliament in an active role in negotiations.

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The Single Transferable Vote and the Need for Electoral Reform in the UK: Is the System too Complex?

Christopher Banks[1]

Download here: Single Transferable Vote and the Need for Electoral Reform in the UK- Is the System too Complex?


Like the UK’s future relationship with the EU, electoral reform threatens to be an issue in British politics that will not go away. In the 2011 Alternative Vote (AV) Referendum, the UK voted by 68% against replacing the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system with AV. Yet, the prediction of Matthew Elliott, the victorious director of the ‘No’(pro-FPTP) campaign, that the decisive result would “settle the debate over changing our electoral system for the next generation”[2], appears to have been slightly premature. Just a few months ago it was back on the agenda in Parliament, through an Early Day Motion proposed by Chuka Umunna that called on the government to “introduce a system of proportional representation”.[3] While Early Day Motions are historically ineffective ways of actually forcing legislation through Parliament, the wide-ranging support that it received from across parties indicates that, at the very least, Elliott was wrong in assuming the issue would simply disappear. Yet despite the continuing calls for a change to the UK’s electoral system, political discussion rarely progresses to the stage of considering viable alternatives. In this piece, I will examine the Single Transferable Vote (STV), one of the alternatives to the FPTP system. In doing so, I will, first give an assessment of the need to alter the current system, in order to establish the aims that should be considered when deciding on the most effective electoral system for the UK. Applying these aims to the STV, I argue it would be the most suitable electoral system to guarantee both an increased degree of proportionality and maintain direct accountability of all Members of Parliament to the electorate.

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