Brexit and the post-imperial trauma of withdrawal

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Brexit and the post-imperial trauma of withdrawal

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Title Brexit and the post-imperial trauma of withdrawal
Author Stinshoff, Richard ; Dittmar, Jakob
Date 2016
English abstract
We think that Britain’s awkward relationship with Europe is an expression of an ongoing post-imperial identity crisis in the face of contemporary globalisation’s challenges. Behind all the grandstanding by subsequent British governments (no matter which party was in office!) the pain and anguish of an earlier withdrawal of a different kind can be spotted. The deep-seated identity crisis behind Britain’s legendary semi-detachedness (Stephen George) towards Europe, “with Europe, but not of it” as Churchill liked to put it, stems from the post-WW II forced withdrawal from empire that the country has never quite come to terms with. As Dean Acheson, former US secretary of state, famously stated in a speech at West Point in 1962: ‘Great Britain has lost an Empire but not yet found a role’. Quite a few observers of British politics think this still holds true even more than half a century later! The multipolar world of today is different from the one that Britain dominated as the foremost imperial and industrial power throughout the long 19th century. One upshot of her subsequent rapid economic and political decline in the upheavals of the 20th century is that substantial numbers of British politicians and voters wistfully hark back to those golden days. Rather than critically engaging with the issue of how the EU as a unique transnational ‘association of states’ can provide viable democratic responses to globalisation’s inherent problems, not few of them entertain somewhat woolly notions of an organized Anglosphere as an alternative to EU membership.
Conference
In and Out of Europe : British Literary and Cultural Discourses of Europe in the 20th and 21st Centuries (15-17 September, 2016 : Basel, Switzerland)
Publisher kompetenzzentrum kulturelle topografien
Language eng (iso)
Subject Brexit
Empire
Post-Empire
Anglosphere
European Union
British EU membership
Euroscepticism
British / English identity
English identity
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS
Note Britain and Europe have for centuries been seen as different entities,... (see Details for more)
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/22606 Permalink to this page
Link https://kultop.unibas.ch/conference/podium-discuss... (external link to related web page)
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