Category: Europe

Islam with an Austrian Character

Is an authentic, local Islam to be brought about via legislation, or should it come organically from within communities? In the resort town of Lech, Austria there is only one story late in the ski season. Beneath the warm spring sun, torrents of beer flow from the taps, and the après-ski crowd share the day’s… Read more »

The Upcoming British Elections Explained

On May 7th, 2015, the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will vote in one of the most tightly contested elections in British history. The next Prime Minister will either be Ed Milliband of the center-left Labour party or David Cameron of the Conservative party, returning for a second term… Read more »

The Martyrdom of Charlie Hebdo

To say, “Je suis Charlie,” is to stand on the side of free speech, not bigotry. The more offensive the speech, the louder we ought to yell in its defense.

Easing the Greek Burden

When the European Central Bank (ECB) on January 22 launched its long-expected expansion of its quantitative easing (QE) program, the world markets looked on with hopeful eyes. Seeking to spur growth and raise European inflation to around 2 percent, the ECB’s plan is simple. Every month starting in March 2015, the ECB will buy approximately… Read more »

The Politics of Public Debt

Greece’s entry into the Eurozone in 2001 was heralded as a victory for the European community. The creation of the euro represented the culmination of post-war European cooperation, and an expansion to Greece proved that that Europe’s goal of centralized economic planning could be successfully exported. For Greeks as well membership in the Eurozone cemented… Read more »

Nationalism and the Future of the European Union

Several months ago, the people of Scotland voted rather narrowly (about 55%-45%) to remain a part of the United Kingdom. On the surface, this seems like it should have been a massive blow to the Scottish National Party (SNP), who championed the referendum. After all, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond did resign in the days after… Read more »

They Voted No – Now What? Scottish Devolution After the Vote

On September 18, 2014, Scotland held a referendum with only one question on the ballot: Should Scotland become an independent country? In the end, the vote came to 54.2% against an independent Scotland and 45.7% for an independent Scotland. However, this does not mean that the balance of power in the UK will remain the… Read more »

The West Lothian Question: What’s the difference between “English” & “British”?

The recent referendum in Scotland raised some important questions about devolution, the process of Westminster gradually granting what former Prime Minister William Gladstone called “home rule” to Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. For instance, what does it mean to be British –a word too often used synonymously with “English”- and what justification would be… Read more »

UKIP and Friends: Free Expression and the New Right in the United Kingdom

In August of 2014, a profoundly disturbing story broke in the United Kingdom. In the small city of Rotherham, in South Yorkshire, approximately 1400 children had been the victims of sexual abuse since 1997 as local authorities failed to respond. A report released by Alexis Jay, former Chief Inspector of Social Work in the town,… Read more »