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Retweeting Trump, AfD and Wilders: Helping the bad guys?

The swift rise of populist political parties and candidates, mostly from the far-right, owes much to extremely provocative social media campaigns, also dubbed “extreme tweeting”. This is mainly because social media reward starkness rather than subtlety. Besides making noise on Twitter and Facebook, they manage to strengthen their support base by reaffirming it about its political inclinations. Role […]

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Ponte Vecchio Florence

Parliaments in regional organisations. What are they good for (absolutely nothing)?

A growing number of regional organisations such as the EU, Mercosur or the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has set up representative assemblies, or regional parliaments, in an attempt to increase their own democratic legitimacy. As the public demands more political accountability, regional parliaments have taken shape in great variance as regards design, […]

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Why is Iceland’s Pirate Party so successful?

National polls suggest that the Icelandic Pirate Party, the local branch of the worldwide social protest movement spawned by the digital revolution, might be within striking distance to form a government in Iceland by the end of this month. In essence still a protest movement, the Pirates find themselves in a neck-and-neck race with the right-leaning Independence party, […]

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Bogota street

The Colombian Peace Pact is setting new standards in international peace-building (despite its defects)

The peace pact between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), agreed upon on August 24, 2016, to put an end to their 52-year conflict is a unique example of successful international peace-building. In a world seemingly tumbling back into the dark past of national egoism, it is a welcomed reminder […]

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Ciénaga monument

Ciénaga, Colombia’s sleeping colonial beauty on its way forward

Squeezed in between Colombia’s Caribbean capital Barranquilla and the coastal resort of Santa Marta lies the city of Ciénaga, a forgotten and largely malgoverned colonial beauty. At last, a new (tweeting) mayor may turn matters around.    A city with a population of roughly 100,000 and a mean annual temperature of 34°C, Ciénaga’s traditional economic base is banana production, managed […]

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EU flag Arsenal

Three unconventional lessons from #Brexit

Britain will be the first member state to walk away from the European Union, a not-even-close-to-perfect political project that nonetheless has been highly beneficial for Europe. As the dust settles, the ugliness of the entire Brexit campaign, its destructive scaremongering and willingness to bring about economic and political disaster become even more apparent. It has effectively […]

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A follow-up on Kosovo: Projects that make a difference

Following up on a political delegation trip is no trivial task: Members of Parliament (MPs) return to their daily routines and (very) different political agendas, are again caught up in parliamentary skirmishes, and their tight schedules might simply not allow for time-consuming follow-up meetings. This time was different. The aforementioned visit to Kosovo, Europe’s youngest […]

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