for the love of books

What’s your early library memory? An intriguing question which opened a Jewish Book Week discussion on libraries in the digital age, as well as a highly topical one. We’ll return to it shortly, but first: Jewish Book Week — what is it, and what does it mean for me? In a nutshell, JBW brings together … Continue reading for the love of books

the left party: three key strengths — and an uphill task

This is the first in a series of blog posts on Germany’s approaching General Election (Bundestagswahl) and the implications for my research. Anyone who knows me personally and/or reads this blog will also know that the Left Party (Die Linke) is ‘my’ subject — so I’m starting things off with an overview of the party’s … Continue reading the left party: three key strengths — and an uphill task

reconnecting and looking ahead

(research notebook) The only downside of returning after three weeks’ complete break (and I'm honestly not complaining) is the mountain of work demanding your immediate attention. Which is why, after a truly brilliant time in Canada and with January rapidly slipping away, all I’ve managed to blog so far is this update and outlook. But there’s plenty … Continue reading reconnecting and looking ahead

lines in the sand: greens and the progressive alliance

The recent parliamentary by-election turned out to be something of a game changer. Not only did the Lib Dems defeat Tory-turned-‘independent’ Zac Goldsmith, but the Greens, by deciding to stand aside, demonstrated how a Progressive Alliance might work in practice. The idea is that parties with a broadly progressive policy agenda set aside their differences to strategically … Continue reading lines in the sand: greens and the progressive alliance

a healing process: labour’s future (conference report)

‘Political renewal and the future of Labour’. This was the title of a recent conference convened by Labour Together, bringing various groups and interests within the Labour movement together for the first time to exchange and explore ideas in a common space. The conference aimed to initiate discussion: how should Labour ‘rediscover its sense of historic … Continue reading a healing process: labour’s future (conference report)

brexit, democracy and ‘the people’

'Enemies of the people' and 'The judges versus the people'. Headlines like these, in the Mail and Telegraph respectively, not only give a flavour of, but also create the outraged response to Thursday's high court ruling that parliament alone has the authority to trigger article 50. This (rather hurriedly-written) blog lays out some of my personal … Continue reading brexit, democracy and ‘the people’

left, right and party ‘cartels’

Following five German regional elections this year, there’s now a bit of a breather. Needless to say there’s been plenty of analysis, not least on TV talk shows, with guests from various parties chewing over what it all means. Beyond the percentages, plusses and minuses, something that’s really caught my attention is a renewed focus … Continue reading left, right and party ‘cartels’

reaching out: what’s on your mind?

Jeremy Corbyn is confirmed as the leader of the Labour Party, with an increased mandate, after a contest that seemed to be mainly about MPs vs grassroots members and Westminster vs everywhere else. Now Labour has to overcome two big challenges: bringing together its own membership and transforming its grassroots supporters into voters. Both are … Continue reading reaching out: what’s on your mind?