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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

‘You get a better life here’: social in/security and migration in a time of geopolitical transformations


This paper is not about Brexit and yet it is. It presents findings from a project which explored the ways in which experiences of material and emotional in/security have shaped the decision-making and choices of people who came to live in Scotland from Central and Eastern Europe over the period 2004-2014. Their stories reveal much about the ways in which apparently monumental moments of geopolitical change resonate in longer-term lived experiences of transformation. The analysis foregrounds the often mutually constitutive influence of material and emotional in/securities in people's experiences of and decisions regarding migration and settlement. It demonstrates the linkages between these and wider questions of representation and entitlement which can feed into a (lacking) sense of deserving presence. It explores the complex relationship between the past, present and future which provide rationales and justifications for sometimes difficult decisions and experiences. Based on research largely undertaken before the referendum had even been announced the papers arguments and findings resonate closely with an emerging literature on Brexit and its consequences.

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Scottish Affairs


Rebecca Kay (United Kingdom)

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