Category Archives: Politics

01Nov/22

70 years of data suggest the Conservatives will suffer a big defeat at the next election – here’s how I worked it out

Paul Whiteley, University of Essex

With the UK’s new prime minister in office, it looks like the political turmoil of the last few months is likely to ease, at least for the time being. Rishi Sunak and his fellow MPs must put their political differences aside to focus on stabilising the economy and calming financial markets. But Sunak will of course have one eye on the next election, which he must call before January 2025.

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26Oct/22

Four scenarios for a world in disorder

David Bach, International Institute for Management Development (IMD)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s recent speech to the Communist Party Congress could be one of the most consequential of the decade. He told the audience – and the world – that his economic growth-crushing zero-COVID policy is here to stay, and that Beijing is more determined than ever to reunify with Taiwan, peacefully if possible and by force if necessary.

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25Oct/22

It matters that Rishi Sunak has become the UK’s first prime minister of Indian descent

Parveen Akhtar, Aston University

Following his uncontested run at the top job, Rishi Sunak acquires the less-than-coveted title of second successive un-elected British prime minister to take office in 2022. However, coming from Punjabi heritage, he also takes on the more esteemed title of the nation’s first British Asian leader.

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25Oct/22

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: who is he and how did he end up with the top job in British politics?

Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

When Rishi Sunak lost to Liz Truss in the first Conservative Party leadership race of 2022, few were surprised. Many of the people given the chance to choose between the two candidates blamed Sunak for Boris Johnson’s downfall. They also preferred Truss’s “optimistic” economic policies to Sunak’s sombre assessment of the fiscal outlook. Where she promised generous tax arrangements, he argued that economic circumstances would be hard and taxes could not be cut in the short term. Indeed, he warned, they might even have to rise.

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23Oct/22

Liz Truss resigns as prime minister: the five causes of her downfall explained

Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield

As Liz Truss stepped away from the lectern outside No.10 Downing Street after resigning as leader of her party, it probably occurred to her that her time as prime minister will have been only as long as the leadership campaign that got her there.

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15Oct/22

Kwasi Kwarteng: only a desperate prime minister sacks a chancellor

Despina Alexiadou, University of Strathclyde

Having seen her government’s popularity plummet just weeks after taking office, British prime minister Liz Truss has sacked her chancellor of the exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng in a bid to save herself. Kwarteng, widely seen as Truss’s right-hand man, was rushed back to London from New York for the occasion, where he had been meeting with IMF officials on Thursday evening.

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26Sep/22

Giorgia Meloni and the return of fascism: how Italy got here

George Newth, University of Bath

The rise of far-right politician Giorgia Meloni has left many outside Italy asking how her brand of what many argue is fascism can achieve such prominence in a country that has experienced life under the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. The answer can be traced back to a recent normalisation of reactionary politics.

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03Sep/22

Five quotes that define Boris Johnson’s time as prime minister

James Freeman, University of Bristol

Boris Johnson’s time as prime minister comes to an end next week, giving us all a chance to consider what his legacy will be. More than his predecessors, Johnson owed his premiership to his reputed ability to persuade audiences other Conservatives couldn’t, through his charisma, unpredictability and energetic campaigning.

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26Aug/22

The inside story of the CIA v Russia – from cold war conspiracy to ‘black’ propaganda in Ukraine

In the early 1990s, Senator Patrick Moynihan campaigned for the abolition of the CIA. The brilliant campaigner thought the US Department of State should take over its intelligence functions. For him, the age of secrecy was over.

In a New York Times opinion piece, Moynihan wrote:

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15Aug/22

OPINION: Besides AI, regulation key to fight mis/disinformation

By Anya Schiffrin, director of the Technology, Media and Communications specialization at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

When worries about online mis/disinformation became widespread after the 2016 U.S. election, there was hope that the tech giants would use artificial intelligence (AI) to fix the mess they created. The hope was that platforms could use AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to automatically block or downrank false. illegal or inflammatory content online without governments having to regulate.
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