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The Failure of Remain – Adam Fagan and Stijn van Kessel
27/04/2023 @ 18:45 BSTFree
Studies of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) have largely focused on the role of politicians and political parties or the characteristics of Leave and Remain voters.
The Failure of Remain offers the first comprehensive study of the UK’s grassroots anti-Brexit movement. Emerging in the weeks and months following the June 2016 referendum, this movement was the most significant and wide-scale mobilization of proEuropean support that the UK had ever witnessed.
In The Failure of Remain, Adam Fagan and Stijn van Kessel assessed participants’ ideologies, arguments, and strategies. Drawing evidence from first-hand interviews, an original survey of anti-Brexit activists, and an analysis of their campaign materials, Fagan and van Kessel conclude that, while the anti-Brexit movement was successful in mobilizing a large number of pro-European citizens, its impact was limited by weak links to political elites and institutions, divisions between organizations and activists, and the absence of a clear stance on the UK’s relationship with the European Union.
The Failure of Remain reveals the difficulties of formulating effective pro-European arguments. What lessons for the future can be gleaned from past experiences? What can be learned for campaigns for an ever-closer relationship with the EU and ultimately to Rejoin it?
Adam Fagan – Professor of European Politics at King’s College London and senior editor of East European Politics. Stijn van Kessel – Reader (Associate Professor) in European Politics, School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London.
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