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Explaining ‘Brexit capital’: uneven development and the austerity state

MacLeod, Gordon and JONES, Martin (2018) Explaining ‘Brexit capital’: uneven development and the austerity state. Space and Polity. pp. 1-26. ISSN 1356-2576

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Abstract or description

The precise moment that triggered the EU referendum had its roots
in the Europhobia that lurked within the soul of the Conservative
Party. It has been deeply perturbing to witness such Europhobia
played out in the form of an internal party political melodrama
while the scandalous socio-economic fissures that fed the Brexit
insurgence appeared to represent a mere side-show. Taking
inspiration from recent work on Brexit as a critical conjuncture, this
paper examines how part of this insurgence emerged as a ‘revolt of
the regions’ led by communities that had endured sustained
economic dispossession of public goods and services further
exacerbated by the steadfast commitment by Conservative-led
governments to a politics of austerity. In then sharpening the focus
on to Stoke-on-Trent – baptized ‘Capital of Brexit’ in light of its
status as the city with the highest Leave majority – the paper
reveals deep-seated political disaffection as people railed against
prolonged economic abandonment and social injustice. It further
identifies how at the very heart of the Brexit conjuncture was a
growing disconnect between citizens and the institutions of
government, what amounts to a gradual exhaustion of consent for
the neoliberal political economic mainstream. It has also resulted in
a highly discordant state that is struggling to balance the process of
extricating the UK from the EU with the management of a society
that is now more imbalanced than at any time in living memory.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Executive
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 10:49
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2018 10:49
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/4878

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