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  • Is it time for All Under-25 Shortlists?

    In the 1992 General Election, the turnout of 18-25 year old voters was 60%. By 2010, this had dropped to 44%. What can be done to reverse that trend?

  • Why does central bank independence vary across countries and over time?

    This paper assesses the various theories explaining the growth of independent central banks (ICB) across the world and highlights factors that might explain variations in central bank independence (CBI) across polities and across time. I will argue that any account of variations in CBI must place heavy emphasis on the role of ideas and interests to provide complete accounts of CBI development.

  • What factors explain the decision to dissolve the Financial Services Authority?

    This piece explores the arguments used during two phases of regulatory reform of the financial services sector. I use content analysis of Parliamentary debates to understand the causes of these policy changes, arguing that the critical junctures thesis is inappropriate for explaining the policy change as it relies on the notion of policy failure. I conclude that partisan political pay-offs drove the case for reform, rather than pure policy failure.

  • Is speciesism as bad as racism?

    Do animals deserve equal rights to humans? Do they have a right to life, or do we simply have a duty to not do them harm?

  • How does the method of aggregating votes influence the outcome of elections?

    The reductive nature of electoral systems is actually not a problem in itself, but the question we should be asking is what type of government we wish to see; we should be aiming to minimize the gap between individual preferences and aggregate outcomes when designing and choosing electoral systems as the key implication for the validity and stability of democratic regimes of government.

  • Is equality intrinsically valuable?

    This piece will assess the worth of equality by looking at instrumental and non-instrumental versions of egalitarianism. It will argue that on the whole, egalitarian theory fails to defend equality in a way that separates it from other moral principles, and that the closest to a defence we can get is using the Original Position as an attempt to prove the intrinsic value of equality.

  • Does Hobbes’ employment of natural rights take him in an absolutist direction?

    In this piece, I assess the political thought of Thomas Hobbes, through analysis of his work, Leviathan. I explain his theory of human nature, leading to his views on the natural rights of mankind and ultimately, the link he creates between this and his view that absolutism, preferably centred in a monarchy, is the best form of government. I then analyse this reasoning, leading to a defence of his theory.

  • Are majoritarian or proportional electoral systems better?

    Electoral systems – the set of rules that regulate competition between parties and/or candidates during elections, that decide how vote shares map to seats in parliament and indeed, how the electorate express their preferences – have traditionally fallen into two categories; majoritarian – which include Single Member Plurality (or ‘First-Past-The-Post’), the Two-Round System and Alternative Vote – or proportional – like open or closed-list PR and the Single Transferable Vote.