Across the water: personal and political reflections on holding dual British-Irish citizenship

After the Brexit vote, Richard S Grayson (Goldsmiths, University of London) became an Irish citizen, meaning that he has dual British-Irish citizenship. This was partly from his desire to retain a European identity. More importantly, it reflected a Northern Irish ancestry which, before and after partition, was intimately bound up with the rest of the island. He suggests that for those […]

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    Referendums, though they may be political lifeboats, can be very bad for democracy

Referendums, though they may be political lifeboats, can be very bad for democracy

Britain has an uncodified constitution. No one is exactly clear – when is it proper for a government to hold a referendum? In the absence of clarity, all seek to take advantage, to the detriment of well-functioning democracy. Consequently, while referendums may be treated as political lifeboats, they can be very bad for democracy, argues Peter Wiggins. 

‘Boris Johnson has told friends that […]

‘Brexitannia’: an unsettling, beautiful insight into post-referendum UK

Brexitannia is a sociological portrait of post-referendum Britain. Travelling around the UK, its director invited people to talk about Brexit and left their responses to speak for themselves. Oliver Daddow (University of Nottingham) says the documentary is an unsettling insight into a Britain coming to terms with an imagined past, a leadership-less present and a manifestly uncertain future.

Put together in […]

Long read | Freedom of movement: what Brexit means for dance

What does Brexit mean for dance, an art form that depends – in more than one sense – on freedom of movement? Dancers from many different backgrounds and who speak different languages routinely work together. Chris Bannerman (Middlesex University) traces the history of European and non-European dance collaborations during the 20th century, and asks what Brexit may mean for the future […]

February 14th, 2018|Culture, Featured|0 Comments|
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    Brexit is part and parcel of Britain’s ongoing quest for national self-understanding

Brexit is part and parcel of Britain’s ongoing quest for national self-understanding

Marnie Howlett (LSE) asks whether Brexit should be viewed as “a simple matter of democratic politics” or a complex matter of national identity politics. She argues that while Brexit is often portrayed as the consequence of social issues, it appears that it is also a demonstration of how identity politics and, more specifically, national identity politics, have come to dictate much […]

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    EU citizens in Britain are already being stigmatised – and it’s likely to get worse

EU citizens in Britain are already being stigmatised – and it’s likely to get worse

After the Brexit vote, a ‘silent majority’ was revealed, whereby those prejudiced against EU immigrants now felt they could express those views freely. But discrimination is not only the result of bigotry, writes Thomas Roulet (KCL). He explains the many ways EU citizens are already being stigmatised in Britain, and how such treatment may progressively lead to an erosion […]

February 5th, 2018|Culture, Featured|14 Comments|

In the post-Brexit world, England deserves its own Parliament

When Scotland has a Parliament – and Wales and Northern Ireland their own assemblies – the lack of an English Parliament represents a serious democratic deficit, writes Colin Copus (De Montfort University). Instead, regionalists have preferred to divide England into EU-delineated regions. The absence of a forum for specifically English concerns and national identity, together with the rejection of the supranational EU, arguably helped […]

‘We don’t exist to them, do we?’: why working-class people voted for Brexit

Working-class people were more likely to vote for Brexit. Lisa Mckenzie (Middlesex University) takes issue with the notion that these people were ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’. They saw Brexit, with all the uncertainties it would bring, as an alternative to the status quo. De-industrialisation and austerity has taken a heavy toll on working-class communities – one which the middle-class often fails […]

January 15th, 2018|Culture, Featured|84 Comments|

Keeping freedom of movement is the top Brexit priority for young people

What are young people’s priorities in the Brexit negotiations? In focus groups held around the country, Shakuntala Banaji and Sam Mejias (LSE) found a majority want to keep the right to freedom of movement and maintain trade links with Europe. They also complained about the lack of political education in British schools, which they felt left adults ill-prepared to vote.

Young people in our focus […]

Young people are highly critical of Brexit and fear the insularity it could bring

Most young people did not support Brexit and the referendum result left many feeling frustrated and disempowered, write Shakuntala Banaji  and Sam Mejias (LSE). They fear the vote will make the UK more insular and are highly critical of the way the campaign was conducted. In focus groups, they showed a strong understanding of the EU – and want a […]