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What's New at the CSPP?

*REFERENDUMS AND EUROPE. National referendums show that member states have a surplus of democratic institutions that can challenge the EU’s deficit in representative democracy. This contradiction is being examined in a new project, REDO: Referendums and European Democracy in partnership with the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute Florence and C2D, University of Zurich. The initiative is part of the CSPP’s longstanding programme on Representing Europeans.

*BREXIT AND EUROPE. The UK’s Brexit referendum has been succeeded by the uncertainties about how or even whether Britain really leaves the European Union. To sharpen understanding, Richard Rose has been writing incisive blogs and briefs that combine insights drawn from interplanetary travels between Westminster and Brussels. As part of the REDO programme, we also present [Abstracts] of papers about Brexit presented at European and American conferences.

*DOES THE EUROPEAN UNION REPRESENT EUROPEANS? Half a billion Europeans can vote to hold their national governments directly accountable but their capacity to do so for European institutions is problematic. The result is a democratic deficit at the EU level and a democratic surplus at the national level. CSPP research on the resulting conflict appears in journal articles, Studies in Public Policy, talking points and in the OUP book Representing Europeans: a Pragmatic Approach.

*HOW SIZE MATTERS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION. More than three-quarters of the EU's member states are small states. EU treaties protect the rights of small states but to make their voices heard the states must use smart power. A project on Small States in EU Decision Making was led by Professor Richard Rose in cooperation with Alex Trechsel at the European U. Institute, Florence and funded by the Fundacao Francisco Manuel dos Santos, Lisbon.

*CORRUPTION IN PUBLIC SERVICES. Corruption at the grass-roots affects more than 1.6 billion people each year world wide. A GLOBAL GUIDE TO GRASS-ROOTS CORRUPTION examines what questions ought to be asked in surveys about corruption and what questions are asked in continental surveys. The book concludes with six principles for reducing bribery. It is a product of a five-year British ESRC study of the experience of corruption with Transparency International Berlin as a partner. A large and comprehensive study of CORRUPTION AND BAD GOVERNANCE will be published by Palgrave in 2018.

*TRUST IN GOVERNORS. The readiness of people to trust democratic institutions and politicians is no longer taken for granted. When the rejection of established parties, politicians and policies is registered in opinion polls, election results and referendums it is sometimes interpreted as a sign of a rejection of democracy. Another interpretation is that it is an affirmation of commitment to democratic standards by rejecting politicians who fall short of these standards. This is the theme of a new article by Rose and Wessels. It is also the case in countries with undemocratic institutions such as Russia.

*LEARNING ABOUT POLITICS ACROSS TIME AND SPACE. Learning requires observing and reflecting about what you see around you and asking questions about politics that make sense to the people you are talking to. To turn this knowledge into scholarly publications requires commitment to what you are writing about and a readiness to take intellectual risks and the ability to type. Put this all together and it adds up to Richard Rose's memoir published by ECPR Press. For the flavour of the book, see

*SOCIAL CAPITAL AND HEALTH. Official statistics only report data from the official economy. Barometer survey questionnaires provide a much fuller picture of individual activities in the unofficial shadow economy and in household production. The one-dimensional approach of reducing welfare to money income is replaced by innovative multi-dimensional measures of health and wellbeing as well as income. Long before the term became fashionable, people living in one-party states with non-market economies had become social capitalists, relying on networks of friends and friends of friends to get things done. Because social capital networking often does not involve money, it is particularly important in developing countries.

*ELECTIONS AND DEMOCRACY. A majority of countries now hold competitive elections and the CSPP's interests are wide ranging too. We research elections and democracy, electoral systems, voting behaviour and the interaction between the two in times past as well as the present. Geographically, our interests are worldwide and data bases of national election results are checked back to source. Click to see the effect of random fluctuations and opinion polls and why a British general election result is no longer general. Our programme on Representing Europeans pays particular attention to the election of Members of the European Parliament.

*RUSSIA: A DURABLE UNDEMOCRATIC REGIME? Since January, 1992 twenty New Russia Barometer surveys have been monitoring Russian public opinion and parallel surveys in Ukraine. Results are published in our Studies in Public Policy series, journals and books such as Popular Support for an Undemocratic Regime: the CHANGING Views of Russians. There are results of monthly Levada Centre polls about Russian domestic politics. See Fresh trend data will be collected following the September, 2016 Duma election.

*NEW EUROPE BAROMETER SURVEYS. Since 1991 more than 110 sample Barometer surveys have covered 15 countries: the eleven new EU member states of Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia plus Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. The questionnaires and results are published in our Studies in Public Policy series. Many themes are analyzed systematically in Understanding Post-Communist Transformation: a Bottom Up Approach.

*THE QUALITY OF EUROPEAN SOCIETIES. The CSPP has produced two major "bottom up" studies on how Europeans see their lives drawing on the EU-wide surveys of the European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions, Dublin. The report on the Quality of Public Services develops an innovative empirical indicator of evaluations of six different types of public services. The report on Changes shows trends within European socio-economic groups and in new and old EU member states. For further discussion, see Economic and Social Capital.

CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland