Performing Brexit: How a Post-Brexit World is Imagined Outside the UK

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Theresa May’s claim that ‘Brexit means Brexit' demonstrates the malleability of the concept. The referendum campaign showed that ‘Brexit’ can be articulated to a variety of post-Brexit scenarios. While it is important to analyse how Brexit gives rise to contestation in the UK, Brexit is also constructed from the outside. Brexit signifies more than the technical complexities of the UK withdrawing from the European Union. It works both as a promise of a different future and performatively to establish a particular past. Brexit works as a frame with potential to shape perceptions in three domains. The first is identity. How does ‘Brexit' shape national and European identities in distinct national environments? The second is how Brexit shapes understandings of geopolitical reality and influences conceptions of what is diplomatically possible. Third is the global economy. How does ‘Brexit' work within intersubjective frames about the nature of global economic order?
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)573-591
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - Brexit, European Integration, Performance, Performativity, Diplomacy, Political economy, National Identity, United Kingdom, Germany, Commonwealth, Judith Butler, Speech-act, Discourse analysis, Austin, European Integration Theory

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