How the Netherlands became a country of cyclists, and why the UK failed

Emil Törnsten is a Swedish Erasmus student of urban planning. In this blog for POL40160 Comparative Public Policy, he compares the dramatically different role of cycling in urban transport policy in the Netherlands and the UK – and the policy lessons to be learned. Cycling is considered an important tool in mitigating climate change, local pollution, congestion and lifestyle-related healthContinue reading “How the Netherlands became a country of cyclists, and why the UK failed”

Wonky policy or sweetly inspired? Why ‘sugar taxes’ won’t solve our growing problem with obesity

Emer Scott asks how effective a levy on soft drinks is likely to be in tackling obesity. Emer is a student on the UCD Master of Public Policy programme. Waistlines in Britain and Ireland have thickened in the last 20 years, and it’s not just our scales that are groaning under the burden of rising obesity. Health servicesContinue reading “Wonky policy or sweetly inspired? Why ‘sugar taxes’ won’t solve our growing problem with obesity”

To tax or not to tax: The relationship between taxation and welfare

As a newly arrived Dane in Ireland, I have found myself highly puzzled by the public resistance and mass demonstrations across the country against the recent introduction of water taxes. The unwillingness to pay for a utility is unfamiliar to Danish citizens, recognising the fact that the provision of clean drinkable water, as well asContinue reading “To tax or not to tax: The relationship between taxation and welfare”

Resilience and EU Foreign Policy: The Promise of Justice?

The appearance of ‘resilience’ as a core leitmotif within the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) has been a significant focus of analytical interest in recent months (Wagner and Anholt 2016; Juncos 2016). Featuring several dozen times within the Union’s strategy statement and frequently linked to the broader concept of ‘principled pragmatism’, the concept has come inContinue reading “Resilience and EU Foreign Policy: The Promise of Justice?”

The truly stagnant class in American society are young men from low-income backgrounds

In this blog post @ucdpolitics student, Muireann O’Shea, examines why America tends to look back upon the past with nostalgia, and to what extent this is bound up with perceptions of social mobility and the America Dream. The period of 1950 to 1980 saw the lowest income inequality ever in modern American history, with the top decile taking 30Continue reading “The truly stagnant class in American society are young men from low-income backgrounds”

The chasm of inequality: Why is the middle class shrinking?

In PewResearchCenter’s report (2015:1) they argue that lower and upper-income U.S households now outnumber the middle for the first time in decades. Despite financial gains the middle class has lost their majority income share to the upper classes and “the share of American adults living in middle-income households have fallen 61% in 1971 to 50%Continue reading “The chasm of inequality: Why is the middle class shrinking?”

Legal Discrimination: How Double Taxation Treaties Discriminate against Lower-Income Countries

Multinational treaty shopping and tax avoidance is commonplace throughout the world, particularly in poorer countries. The secretary-general of the OECD, Angel Gurría, believes that developing nations lose three times more money to tax havens then they receive in aid each year (The Economist, 2015). This treaty shopping is made possible by lax tax laws which oftenContinue reading “Legal Discrimination: How Double Taxation Treaties Discriminate against Lower-Income Countries”

The Financial Transaction Tax: Has the Market Finally Met It’s Foe?

Following the Great Recession, many solutions have been put forward to “rein the markets in”, and try to plug the inequality that has been on the rise since. These have included rent controls, increased banking regulation, and efforts to harmonise corporate taxation and discourage international tax havens. Most are in agreement that the long termContinue reading “The Financial Transaction Tax: Has the Market Finally Met It’s Foe?”

#Ash-shab’yuridisqatannizam: How 140 characters shaped the world.

Over the last decade, the power of social media as an independent media outlet has grown exponentially. Its ability to provide free and non censored information to the masses has allowed it to become a critical tool for political demonstration. @UCD_Politics student, Hazel Nolan, argues that social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook enabled andContinue reading “#Ash-shab’yuridisqatannizam: How 140 characters shaped the world.”

Ordoliberalism was the main inspiration behind EU competition law.

EU-US relations have been marked by a significant volume of trade and close diplomatic ties for most of post-WWII history. Together the EU and US currently account for half of world GDP and a third of global trade (EU Commission Trade Department). The first transatlantic regulatory cooperation agreement was signed 1991 in the area ofContinue reading “Ordoliberalism was the main inspiration behind EU competition law.”