Recent Publications

(In)equality in the Digital Society - Workshop Summary

Stephen Devlin (December 2016): In November 2016 FES London and the New Economics Foundation jointly hosted a workshop in London to discuss and debate new technological trends and how they impact inequality on society. This paper summarises the key points that emerged from the workshop and serves as a basis for further discussion.

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May’s Rocky Road Ahead: Why Brexit May Not Happen

Brendan Donelly (December 2016): For many, the momentum behind Brexit has seemed unstoppable since the referendum. A re-united conservative Party will support May's desire to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March. However, it would be premature to argue that British withdrawal is a foregone conclusion. May and her colleagues would do well to remember that "normality" has been a poor guide to the course of British politics over the past 12 months. In this paper Brendan Donelly explores the potential stumbling blocks on the way towards Brexit. Cumulatively, they illuminate the political and practical contradictions within the entire project and point towards a potential combination of circumstances in which the proclaimed divorce between the UK and the EU may not take place after all.

Please find the full report here

Germany’s Industry 4.0 strategy

Wolfgang Schroeder (November 2016): The debate about the digitalisation of production has been given fresh stimulus around the world. No other growth discourse has been so strongly pushed by state technology and research policies and at the same time so closely linked to the entrepreneurial and union players in Germany in recent years as the Industry 4.0 discourse. This paper discusses the conditions, potentials, players and prospects associated with the Industry 4.0 strate­gies. The aim is not merely to generate and use new technical options, but also to examine whether and how the German production model, which, contrary to the disruptive US model for instance, relies on incrementally evolutionary changes, can compete in light of the new challenges.

Please find the full report here

Digitalisation and Low-Skilled Work

Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen (2016): This study, prepared for Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung by Prof. Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen, shows how low-skilled work remains highly relevant also in a context of advancing digitalisation. Any discussion about the future of work in a context of advancing digitalisation of production must address the central question of the social, societal and economic consequences for workers. But the situation of enterprises, especially the small and medium-sized, should not be neglected either.

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For a better tomorrow: Why basic values are essential for Social Democracy

Jochen Dahm, Meik Woyke (2016): Social Democracy stands for freedom, justice and solidarity and guarantees basic rights for everyone: rights that protect and empower. Basic rights that are enshrined in the Constitution and function in practice. Basic rights in political, social, economic and cultural life. A society that guarantees such rights is a Good Society.

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The Future of Post-Brexit Germany–UK Security Relations

Sarah Lain (July 2016): On 11 July 2016, RUSI and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) hosted a half-day workshop aimed at bringing together leading German and UK security specialists as well as members of the UK Parliament and German Bundestag to discuss key aspects of European security. This was a timely event, taking place less than three weeks after the UK referendum on membership of the EU, which resulted in an unexpected vote in favour of Brexit.

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A Generation Apart - Were Younger People Left Behind by the EU Referendum?

Katy Owen and Caroline McFarland (July 2016): Youth participation in the EU referendum and the drivers behind the attitudes towards Europe of younger people are central topics for this analysis by CoVi and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung London. Drawing on post-referendum polling conducted with Opinium Research, the report shows that the overwhelming majority of young voters opted to Remain in the EU. This preference is reflected in wider social attitudes and identities as outlined in the report.

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Defend Europe by Making It Better

Frank-Walter Steinmeier (July 2016): In his article, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier looks ahead to a European Union of 27, calling for a better, more flexible and more responsive EU. “We are committed to making Europe better and to making it listen more to the needs of its citizens. This is the direction taken by the proposals put forward by the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and myself last week”.

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The Irish General Election of 2016

Theresa Reidy (June 2016): It took ten weeks for a government to be formed after the February general election in the Republic of Ireland. Eventually Fine Gael is leading the new minority government and is supported in office by nine non-party politicians. Everything about the new political set up in the Irish government is unusual - no political party emerged as the clear ‘winner’ of the election.

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Social Europe - Breakthrough or Breakup?

Reiner Hoffmann (June 2016): The EU is facing the most severe crisis of credibility and legitimacy in its history. The crisis in the financial sector and the economy is far from over. The reason for this lies, inter alia, with the false prescription of austerity politics to foster economic recovery. Not least the federal German government has contributed to turning the economic crisis for broad swaths of Europe into a full-blown social crisis.

In his report, Reiner Hoffman argues that if Europe wants to regain the trust of its citizens, then Brussels must finally put the primacy of politics above that of the market and shift social cohesion and social democracy to the centre of its policy-making.

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