In this talk, we reflect on the sociopolitical developments that accompanied or led to (a) the decision to hold a referendum about exiting the European Union in the first place; (b) the somewhat surprising outcome of that referendum; and (c) the various attempts to interpret the referendum result and to act or not act upon it. We look at this phenomenon of Brexit from three angles: (a) as an accident - a series of unintended consequences; (b) as a uniquely British (or, more narrowly, English) phenomenon; and (c) as indicative of a broader political malaise or impasse, one which is by no means limited to the UK but which does manifest itself in a uniquely British fashion. We argue for the significance of this third angle.
Presenter: Patrick Baert, University of Cambridge
Discussant: Jamal Shahin, Institute for European Studies (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and University of Amsterdam