Politics @ Surrey

The blog of the Department of Politics at the University of Surrey

From deterrent to contagion: Brexit as a cautionary tale?

I was very glad to have attended the EPOW seminar series this week, where one of my longer-standing thoughts about Brexit finally got some more robust grounding than the impressionistic approach I’ve taken to date. Sara Hobolt was presenting her co-authored paper on the impact of attitudes towards Brexit on attitudes towards your own country’s […]


Football and foreign policy: confronting some uncomfortable truths

The last decade has witnessed a soft-power arms race, based on leveraging acquisition while reducing attribution. In other words, buying up assets while lessening or even obscuring the structures and obligations of ownership. What’s interesting is how culture and sport have figured largely in this trend, alongside civil and military technology and strategic assets.


The DFID/FCO Merger and the National Interest

Boris Johnson’s announcement on 16 June that he was merging the UK’s diplomatic and development ministries, the FCO and DFID, into a new ‘super-department’, the FCDO, provoked predictably strong reactions. Three former Prime Ministers condemned it as a retrograde step, development charities were unusually outspoken in their opposition, and academics expressed concern. On the other […]


I really mean it this time

In the Groundhoggery of the Brexit process, we find ourselves once more at the stage of discussing whether what’s come before matters or not. More specifically, there is an argument made in some quarters that since the Political Declaration isn’t legally-binding, it doesn’t impose any limits on the current Future Relationship negotiations. This argument often […]


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