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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

On Europe, Immigration and Inequality: Brexit as a 'Wicked Problem'


In this paper I attempt a novel interpretation of Brexit as a `wicked problem'. Wicked problems are those which are unique and complex, full of internal contradictions, and defy solution, instead only creating other problems. After reviewing the lead-up to the 2016 Brexit referendum, particularly the role of immigration, the core of the paper takes the main criteria for the specification of a wicked problem and applies them to Brexit. Special attention is given to two propositions: that every wicked problem is a symptom of other problems; and that every attempted solution to a wicked problem produces irreversible consequences. Both are seen to apply to Brexit. In the conclusion, I explore `wicked synergies' between Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.

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Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies


Russell King (United Kingdom)

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