The course explores the background to the UK's vote by looking at the history of UK-EU relations, explores more recent developments to explain why the vote happened, before examining what the vote tells us about the UK, the EU and Western politics more broadly, and where Britain and the EU might go next. The classes were delivered as part of NYU's Program in International Relations and were open to anybody interested in the topic. While focused largely on political analysis, some economics, international relations and legal issues are explored. The course assumes some knowledge of EU and UK politics, but brief explanation of both is given where necessary.
Class 1: Britain and the EU
Examines the history of the EU's development, Britain's part in it and Europe's place in British politics. The class covers such questions as: Why was the EU founded? Why did the UK join late? Has the UK been ‘an awkward partner’ or ‘a quiet European’? What have the rest of the EU felt about the UK’s role? How has the EU changed and how much of this has the UK shaped? Why has the issue of Europe been so divisive in British politics?
Class 2: The Referendum Campaign, Vote and Outcome
Examines why the referendum was called and why the British people voted to leave the EU. The class covers such questions as: Why was the referendum called? What did David Cameron secure in his renegotiation of the UK’s membership? How did the campaign unfold? What key issues emerged during the campaign? Why did the Leave side win? How did Britain vote? What divisions have been observed?
(Recorded - Wednesday, 2 November 2016)
Class 3: The Future
What will Brexit mean for Britain, the EU and others? The class covers such questions as: What happens now in the Brexit negotiations? What does ‘Brexit means Brexit’ actually mean? What does the vote mean for the UK politically, economically and strategically? What will it mean for the EU and ideas of European integration? What might it mean for the USA, the transatlantic relationship and wider international relations? Where does it leave ideas and theories of European integration/disintegration? How important is Brexit for Britain, the EU and the world?
(Recorded - Tuesday, 8 November 2016)
The whole series can be found by clicking here.