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Britain and Europe at a CrossroadsThe Politics of Anxiety and Transformation$
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Andrew Ryder

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529200515

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529200515.001.0001

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Antidotes to Brexit

Antidotes to Brexit

(p.165) 8 Antidotes to Brexit
Britain and Europe at a Crossroads

Andrew Ryder

Policy Press

A core message of the book is that authoritarian populism (Brexit nationalism) is a state of affairs where emotions are orchestrated by an increasingly demagogic subsection of the elite to polarise, mobilise and demonise, a reactive, illiberal and antagonist form of politics. It presents a threat in that although perhaps it has manifested itself in one of its most extreme forms in Britain through Brexit, it is in fact an endemic threat to all of Europe. In January 2019 a group of thirty lead European thinkers, writers, historians and nobel laureates, declared that Europe as an idea was “coming apart before our eyes” and the consequences would be “calamitous” if the rising tide of populism was not challenged. The final section of the book seeks to identify the panacea to the rise of authoritarian populism and forms of agonism, both in Britain and Europe. Britain’s future relationship with the EU will be a key determiner in Britain’s course as a nation, hence the book advocates Britain’s eventual re-entry into a reformed European Union grounded within the concept of Social Europe and a conception of identity that is inclusive and accommodated in a structural framework that is deliberative and egalitarian. The chapter also seeks to challenge ‘post-truth’ politics through a reformed public sphere and inclusive and bridging speech acts and rhetoric. Finally, the chapter reflects on the value of critical multiculturalism as a mechanism that might dispel monoculturalism and nativism.

Keywords:   Bridging Rhetoric, Agonism, Deliberative Democracy, Social Europe, Public Sphere

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