Taking Back Control – From whom and to what end?

Dr Laura Cashman

Last week I attended a play at the Marlowe Theatre billed as a “post-Brexit satire about what it’s like to be treated as a foreigner in your own land”.

Octopus may have been a dystopian fantasy when writer and producer Asfaneh Grey conceived the play but a year after the EU Referendum, it feels far too close to reality for comfort. The sharpness of the script and the talent of the actresses evoked the dark humour, fear and sadness which permeate the discussions I’ve been having with EU migrants and British citizens, who worry about what our post-Brexit future has in store for us all.

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‘Brexit’, nationalism, and a changing global economy

By Lewis Bloodworth

Second Year Undergraduate, Politics and International Relations

The UK’s place in the world is perhaps the most divisive issue in contemporary British politics. Critics from both sides of the political spectrum rail against the vivacity of European integration, the decline of British influence on the world stage, and the sublimation of law from the national to the international. Globalisation has heralded the diffusion of power and agency from the nation state to that of a multiplicity of interconnected actors, all operating within a broader transnational system that is fluid and dynamic. Such change being accompanied by fragmentation and a re-formation of society, its composition being in flux as traditional Fordist economies were reimagined into a Post-Fordist information society. Civilisation became one of ever greater shift, networked and culturally fluid. It is under these structural changes that citizens of every nation state find themselves ill at ease: The older generation, having borne witness to the rise of a structured and regulated society with security of work and guaranteed welfare are having to adjust to the imposition of a new world order of free markets, flexible employment, and suppressed wages. british-eu-flag-2

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The European Union: An Imperfect Democracy

EU-Parliament

By Dr André Barrinha, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations 

From all the debates surrounding the Brexit campaign, the ‘democratic deficit’ question seems to me to be among the most relevant (although certainly not the most discussed). It is undeniably true that much of the EU’s activity is conducted by unelected officials who are not directly accountable to any electorate. Also, it is fair to say that whereas the common citizen knows how to participate in the political life of his or her region or country, the same does not necessarily apply to the EU. Many have never voted in the European elections and most would not be able to tell the name of a single MEP.

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CEFEUS takes part in ‘Virtual Research Seminar’ with academics from around the globe

On Thursday February 25th the Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS) took part in its first ‘Virtual Research Seminar’ with colleagues from universities around the world. The debate was hosted in Carleton University, Ottawa, by Dr. Agnieszka Weinar, a Visiting Scholar from the European University Institute. In attendance were CEFEUS Director Dr Amelia Hadfield and Deputy Director Dr Benjamin Martill along with undergraduate and postgraduate students from Politics and International Relations. Once the participants to the virtual debate had introduced themselves, Dr Weinar delivered a presentation on the development of migration and visa policies in the EU in which she surveyed the progressive Europeanization of migration policies over the years. This historical overview touched above all the implications on the various policies aimed at the European Neighbourhood, with a special regard to former Soviet countries Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and to the South Mediterranean countries. The event concluded with an interactive question and answer session in which several CCCU students were able to quiz Dr Weinar on her presentation, with PhD candidate Francesco Violi and third-year undergraduate Jack Brooks both asking insightful questions.