The Centre Holds: European Union Election

Summary  There is no populist right anti-EU surge. Voting participation increased. The old centre-right and centre-left in the European Parliament declined but the centre holds with a  stronger role for Greens and Liberals. The European Union is not anti-democratic and does not impose its will on member states. Its decision-making is complex, but that is … Continue reading The Centre Holds: European Union Election

Economic Liberalism and (Re)Building Europe after WWII.

It is important to understand that economic recovery and growth in Europe after World War II is not as tied to Keynesianism, unfunded welfarism, and corporatism as is sometimes assumed. The Glorious Thirty Years of European recovery from world war and subsequent growth were not due to ‘Keynesianism’ etc. The Thirty Years ended because the … Continue reading Economic Liberalism and (Re)Building Europe after WWII.

Brexit Breakdown

Ir has been obvious for at least a month now that soft Brexit has won out in the UK, though the Prime Minister Theresa May would never admit such a thing directly. Government discussion of access to the EU internal market at its existing level, or very close, and keeping the border open between the … Continue reading Brexit Breakdown

Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism III

Previous posts in this series have looked at the preconditions for the proclamation of the Republic of  Turkey in 1923. The Ottoman Empire was in a very difficult situation from the early 19th century, effectively lacking the capacity to prevent erosion of its territory, extraterritorial legal rights for the stronger Great Powers which were extended to non-Muslim subjects … Continue reading Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism III

Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism II

In the last post, I gave some historical background on how the Ottoman state, whether in reformist or repressive mode (or some combination of the two), was on a road, at least from the early nineteenth century, that was very likely to end in a nation-state for the Turks of Anatolia and the Balkan region … Continue reading Ottomanism, Nationalism, Republicanism II

Reply to ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’

I write in reply to Edwin van de Haar’s post ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’, which contains some generous remarks about my social media posts while putting forward a view different from my own about the role of the nation state. Edwin argues that the nation state is foundational to classical liberalism in that post. … Continue reading Reply to ‘Classical Liberalism, Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism’

The Case for the UK staying in the EU

Leaving the European Union would not be a gain for liberty in the United Kingdom. This is true as a matter of general principles and is reinforced by the nature of the Leave campaign which has targeted sections of the population hostile to immigration, open markets, and free trade. Much of the Leave campaigning which … Continue reading The Case for the UK staying in the EU

European Union: Creative Destruction Wave?

Some thoughts in reply to Edwin’s recent very interesting piece on the European Union. The Greek crisis, the refugees crisis and the recently announced German suspension of the Schengen agreement on free movement are all very testing for the European Union. I certainly agree with Edwin that ideas of a highly integrated European Union superstate … Continue reading European Union: Creative Destruction Wave?

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVII: Common and Civil Law

The last post referred to the need to investigate ideas about law and related ideas in discussing Britain’s relation both with the Anglosphere (USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and with the rest of Europe. The big issue here is Anglosphere common law tradition versus Roman or civil law tradition in the European mainland and indeed … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation XVII: Common and Civil Law

Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, IV: Britain the Enlightenment model for a liberal Europe?

Following on from last post in this series, focused on the violent formation of the nineteenth century British state, a largely political theory post on how far Britain had a special status as a model of liberalism and then democracy in Europe. Despite all the negative aspects discussed in the last post, there was of course some … Continue reading Myths of Sovereignty and British Isolation, IV: Britain the Enlightenment model for a liberal Europe?

Against Imperial Nostalgia: Or why Empires are Kaka

I write in response to Fred Folvary’s post on this site, “Restore the Turkish Empire!” Living as I do in the largest city of the Republic of Turkey, Istanbul, which is its commercial and cultural centre, with a formidable concentration of universities (explaining my presence here), it made an impact, but of the most irritating kind … Continue reading Against Imperial Nostalgia: Or why Empires are Kaka

Israel-Palestine: Is a reasonable debate possible?

The question in the title is to be taken very seriously and not just as a prelude to a comforting ‘of course there is’ answer and a few helpful hints to how to engage in respectful debate. This is a debate which stretches at the  limits of debate, at all attempts at civility and respect … Continue reading Israel-Palestine: Is a reasonable debate possible?

Another Liberty Canon

For my first post, I’ll pick up on the bio under ‘About the Notewriters’ and start to address the issue of what kind of texts I find most valuable with regard to thinking about liberty, though there are other reasons for selecting those texts, in particular I favour the kind of texts which are deeply … Continue reading Another Liberty Canon