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Brexit geopolitics

ABSTRACT

Publication date: December 2016 Source:Geoforum, Volume 77 Author(s): Veit Bachmann, James D. Sidaway

In this review we bring together a line of comments and arguments on the Brexit vote that revolve around five key terms: populism, nationalism, imperialism, fragmentation and inequality. We argue that Brexit is caught up with right-populism, racism, ultra-nationalism, socio-economic inequalities and outright misery across Europe. While these trends are across the entire continent, we will focus on the UK - as the place where, in form of the Brexit vote, populism has now left the biggest mark. We contextualize Brexit in British imperial geography and argue that factors leading to the rise of nationalism(s) and populism in the UK hinge on geopolitical decline and heightened uneven development and inequality. We view these fragmentations in British society through the lens of wider debates around territorial, relational and multi-scalar conceptions of EU space.