Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit
British migrants in Berlin: negotiating postcolonial melancholia and racialised nationalism in the wake of Brexit
World War II nostalgia in the UK is mired in a postcolonial melancholia that not only fuels Brexit nationalism, but carries implications for how the UK relates to the European Continent. This paper presents an empirically engaged examination of Gilroy's concept of postcolonial melancholia by exploring how British migrants negotiate this “complex ailment”. Engaging with empirical research conducted with British migrants in Berlin, I will examine how migrants negotiate this form of nationalism through their relationships with family members in the UK. The particular position of the British migrant in Germany illuminates how postcolonial melancholia's entrenchment shapes British nationalism and Britain's relationship to mainland Europe. It explores discourses of British exceptionalism before examining how Brexit's foregrounding of empire nostalgia pushes migrants to redefine their relationship to Britain. Meanwhile, black British migrants inhabit a different orientation to the postcolonial through their practical engagement with complex colonial histories.
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This paper foregrounds an understanding of Brexit as unexceptional, as business as usual in Britain and Europe. It reports on original empirical research with British People of Colour who have settled elsewhere in Europe…
Intergenerational narratives of citizenship among EU citizens in the UK after the Brexit referendum
The share of British naturalization applications by EU citizens increased in the aftermath of the 2016 EU referendum. This article offers unique insights into the range of motivations informing decisions to become British or not among EU families from new and old EU member states.
Methodological nationalism and the Northern Ireland blind-spot in ethnic and racial studies
Northern Ireland (NI) has been one of the central issues in Brexit. Yet, it barely featured in the discussions in the run up to the EU Referendum in 2016. This blind-spot regarding NI has been a long-standing feature of social science research on the UK. This article examines the NI blind-spot…
Towards a new politics of migration?
This paper reconsiders Stephen Castle's classic paper Why Migration Policies Fail. Beginning with the so-called migration crisis of 2015 it considers the role of numbers is assessing success or failure. It argues that in the UK public debates about immigration changed with European Union (EU)…