Democracy: ‘Inclusion is the future – not exclusion’

Prof. Merkel says that despite the challenges presented by right-wing populists, democracies in Western Europe remain deeply rooted in strong liberal civil societies. Image credit - Prof. Wolfgang Merkel/ David Ausserhofer

by Annette Ekin The rise of right-wing populism is being fuelled by polarisation in society that we must address without resorting to the claim of moral superiority, or protest voters will become the permanent supporters of these new parties, says Wolfgang Merkel, director of the Democracy and Democratisation research department at the WZB Berlin Social … Read more

DNA gives insight into prehistoric bonds between dogs and humans

Scientists believe that modern-day dogs originated from two different populations of wolves. Image credit - Pixabay

Domestic dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but the animals we now regard as man’s best friend may have originated from just two populations of wolves, research suggests. The findings, along with studies on other domesticated animals, are providing new insights into how our ancestors’ lives and movements transformed these creatures forever. The domestication … Read more

Critical, informed citizens crucial for the EU to stay relevant

Image credit - Ilovetheeu, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The upcoming European elections will reveal how recent challenges such as immigration, the financial crisis, Brexit and the rise of populist parties will play out in the political arena. But the elections are also providing an opportunity for researchers to understand how to better engage voters and ensure the European Union remains relevant to its … Read more

Studying ant cooperation is revealing how brains work together

Image Credit - Antoine Wystrach

By Jonathan O’Callaghan As a child, you almost certainly at one stage spent hours watching ants move about from their nest. Maybe you dropped a piece of food and watched as a group of ants came and picked it up, carrying it home in an impressive display of cooperation. What you probably didn’t realise, however, … Read more

The internet is helping to revive minority languages

Image credit - CC0

Europe’s minority languages have been squeezed by nation-building, urbanisation and the ‘lingua francas’ of the internet, according to Professor Anneli Sarhimaa, specialist in Northern European and Baltic languages and cultures at the University of Mainz, Germany. But one lesson she has learned from researching the fate of the Finnic language Karelian, spoken in Finland and north-western Russia, … Read more

Quotas get more women on boards and stir change from within

Mandated quotas are raising the number of women appointed to top company posts in Europe and sparking a cultural push for gender equality, but entrenched networks are getting in the way of achieving true boardroom diversity, according to researchers. In recent years, a number of European countries have tried to tackle the underrepresentation of women on boards … Read more