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Human Rights: What are they and where do they come from?

Human Rights and the extent to which the UK constitution and courts are able to preserve them are key topics in Unit 2. This video (from the LSE blog) is a lecture given by Prof. Connor Gearty on the concept of Human Rights. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/22/dna-human-rights-gearty/   Advertisements

Incumbency in Congress

Congressional incumbency rates have been tumbling in recent years as more radical politicians challenge incumbent candidates. However, the success of Rep Charles Rangal and Sen Orrin Hatch provide good cases of the incumbent prevailing. Rangal is also an interesting case study of African- American representation although the redistricting of his Haarlem seat has seen it … Continue reading


Immigration issues have dogged the 2012 campaign as Hispanic voters are a key group in several swing states. Polling data for Hispanics can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/a-silver-lining-for-republicans-in-the-latino-vote/2012/06/25/gJQAQ7RD2V_blog.html The recent SCOTUS decision on SB 1070 has put Romney in a difficult position as he had previously stated that Arizona could provide a ‘model’ for other states. … Continue reading


Immigration is a key ‘wedge issue’ in US politics and has been receiving a lot of coverage in the American press recently. Obama’s announcement to suspend deportations of illegal migrants under 30 who contribute to US society is seen by many as a ploy to win over key Latino voters in 2012. Coverage of his … Continue reading

Conservative Euroscepticism

This piece from Tim Bale examines the recent relationship between the Conservative Party and Europe and suggests that an ‘in-out’ referendum on membership could occur in the future. This speculative story links to Unit 1 material on referendums and parties as well as Unit 2 questions on the constitution. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/11/britain-eu-exit-bale/#more-24326

Duverger’s Law

Duverger’s Law is a classic piece of political science. Maurice Duverger writing in the 1950s stated that plurality electoral systems led to 2 party party systems. This post from Patrick Dunleavy on the LSE politics blog suggests that outside of the USA Duverger’s Law is a dead parrot. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/18/duvergers-law-dead-parrot-dunleavy/#more-24544 This post is packed with excellent … Continue reading

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