13 July 2017

Blog: Education has become the new political cleavage in Europe

A new political cleavage in Europe has emerged between citizens with high levels of education and those with lower levels of educational attainment. Recent European elections showed a clear split in voting choices between citizens with different levels of education. 

Mark Bovens (Professor of Public Administration at the Utrecht University School of Governance) and Anchrit Wille ( Leiden University) have written a blog post about this educational cleavage.

Commentators argue that a globalisation cleavage is appearing in western Europe, with the issues of migration and European integration as core bones of contention. We argue that at a deeper level it is not just globalisation or the EU that drives this contestation. The new political divide is also rooted in demographic changes, it is a manifestation of the rise of a more structural, educational cleavage. It’s no longer just the economy, stupid, it’s education.

Read the full blog at the website of the London School of Economics and Political Science: It’s education, stupid.


Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille are also the authors of the book Diploma Democracy: The Rise of Political Meritocracy (Oxford University Press 2017).