In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the growth of nationalist and minority movements interacting with democratic political forces stretched to breaking point the rules and conventions of parliamentary systems. Today, a combination of economic crisis, stresses caused by refugee movements and economic migration, as well as a collapse in the perceived legitimacy of many political systems, is again testing the capacity of political institutions to cope. This discussion will explore how the fit between democratic institutions and national identities and aspirations is being challenged across Europe.
Professor Tim Bale holds a Chair in Politics at Queen Mary, University of London. In 2011 he received the Political Studies Association's W.J.M. Mackenzie prize for his book The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron. His latest monograph is The Conservatives since 1945: the Drivers of Party Change.
Professor Robert Hazell is Director of the Constitution Unit, University College, London, an independent think tank specialising in constitutional reform. In 2006 he was awarded the CBE for his services to constitutional reform, and in 2009 the Political Studies Communication Award for his work in developing and communicating the constitutional reform agenda.
Professor Simon Hix is Professor of European and Comparative Politics at the LSE. He is Director of the Political Science and Political Economy Group at the LSE and is the co-editor of the journal European Union Politics. He is author of a number of books on EU and comparative politics, including What's Wrong With the EU and How to Fix It (2008), and The Political System of the European Union, now in its third edition (2011).
Dr Gwendolyn Sasse is University Reader in the Comparative Politics of Central and Eastern Europe, Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College. Her work on democratisation in Eastern and Central Europe, on migration and diaspora politics and minority rights has included studies of Ukrainian and Polish migrants and Bosnian refugees. Her books include The Crimea Question: Identity, Transition, and Conflict (2007), awarded the Alexander Nove Prize by the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies.