Monday, November 13, 2017

Elections Shaping the Future of Europe: Catastrophe Avoided, Challenge Accepted

Last Friday I took part in the CIDOB workshop 'Elections Shaping the Future of Europe: Catastrophe Avoided, Challenge Accepted'. Further details of the event can be found here





Friday, September 29, 2017

Video summary of The European Union in Crisis by (eds.) D. Dinan, N. Nugent and W.E. Paterson.

A video summary of my LSE Brexit blog book review of The European Union in Crisis, edited by Desmond Dinan, Neill Nugent and William E. Paterson (Palgrave, 2017). Full review: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/09/07/book-review-the-european-union-in-crisis/


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Britain’s Brexit Strategy: Lions Misled by Donkeys.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech in Florence was intended to move forward stalled Brexit negotiations. But as I argue in this piece for the Dahrendorf Forum, Britain has found itself running into numerous problems with Brexit because its strategy for exiting the EU has been a textbook example of failed strategic thinking.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Disappointment all round: experts respond to the Florence speech

The LSE's Brexit Blog ran a piece with analysis from me and several others on the speech Theresa May gave today here in Florence. My analysis is pasted below. 

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/09/22/disappointment-all-round-experts-respond-to-the-florence-speech/

Much has been made of Theresa May’s choice of Florence to deliver a speech intended for the rest of Europe. She was right to point to the historical links, not least in trade, that bind the UK and the rest of Europe together and of which Florence was once the heart. But it didn’t escape the notice of those attending that the venue was a dreary former Carabinieri training college with views of Florence’s main railway station. In a city overflowing with world-renowned first-rate venues she spoke in a nondescript, fourth-rate one that most in the city have rarely if ever noticed. The Italians hardly seemed to have rolled out the red carpet for her. Optics aside, did the rest of the EU hear what she had to say?
For those elsewhere in the EU not transfixed by the German elections, the response will be disappointment and a growing realisation that they need to prepare for a no deal, hard Brexit. Yes, the Prime Minister spoke of the need for a transition period, of paying contributions, of guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens, and dealing with the question of Northern Ireland’s borders. On closer inspection, however, there was nothing substantively new and she continues to try to bridge differences within the Conservative party rather than between the UK and the EU. Both sides will push forward with negotiations, but a plan B will now be on the rest of the EU’s agenda.
This all reflects how the UK’s overall strategy for Brexit has been a failure to set out realistic and clear ends, think of plausible ways to reach those ends, and configure the means to do so. The British government needs to reflect on what the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu argued in the 5th century BC: ‘The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory’. In other words: only seek a fight when you’re sure – or as sure as you can be – that you’re able to win. Those destined to lose get into a fight and then try to think of how to win. Having jumped headlong into Article 50 negotiations without a coherent strategy, Britain has struggled to find a way out of the fight it’s in. The prospects do not look good. That’s not something the EU or anyone should welcome.

Four Facts for Theresa May and the Brexiteers

A piece in the Wall Street Journal on Theresa May's Brexit speech today in Florence. 


Brexit is not magically remaking the European Union, and Britain needs a reality-based strategy...

https://www.wsj.com/articles/four-facts-for-the-theresa-may-and-the-brexiteers-1506021060#_=_




Thursday, September 07, 2017

Book review: The EU in Crisis

A review for the LSE's Brexit Vote blog of The European Union in Crisis, the latest contribution to deal with the multi-dimensional nature of the EU’s crisis. it offers a solid starting point to understanding a Union which over the past few years has been tested as it has never been before.

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/09/07/book-review-the-european-union-in-crisis/


Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Is Brexit Lost At Sea?

This is the first in what will be regular pieces for the Clingendael Spectator, the new online magazine of the Clingendael Institute.

https://spectator.clingendael.org/en/publication/brexit-lost-sea


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Video review of Command and Control by Eric Schlosser

A video review of my 2014 book review of Command and Control by Eric Schlosser (published by Allen Lane in 2013). The written review - here - first appeared in International Affairs, the journal of Chatham House. The book tells the history of accidents and near-misses involving the US nuclear arsenal and is one of the most brilliantly written but profoundly disturbing books I have ever read. Events surrounding North Korea made me think this was a good time to create a short video review.


Friday, August 04, 2017

Guilty Men: Brexit Edition by Cato the Younger

My latest book review is of Guilty Men: Brexit Edition by Cato the Younger. You can read it on the LSE's Brexit Vote Blog or in the document below.



You can also watch a short video review on my YouTube channel.


Friday, July 28, 2017

A Brexit summer reading guide

Have you been struggling to keep up with all the new books on Brexit? Were you secretly planning to spend your summer holiday catching up on some of them? Ok, so you probably weren’t. But if you were, then here to help c/o the LSE's Brexit blog is my guide on what to take away with you to the beach or poolside to keep your mind focused on an issue that will be keeping us all busy for several more summers to come.

As a bonus I even offer some thoughts on which Brexit books might make excellent Christmas stocking fillers... 

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/07/28/brexit-summer-reading-guide/



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The EU Falling Apart? Theoretical Discussions of Brexit, Grexit and Other Exit Scenarios

I have a chapter in the recently published in ‘Solidarity in the European Union: A Fundamental Value in Crisis’ edited by Andreas Grimmel and Susanne My Giang.

Abstract: The contribution by Tim Oliver studies the theoretical discussions of Brexit, Grexit and other exit scenarios. Oliver starts from the fact that the UK’s vote to leave the European Union has presented the integration project with an unprecedented challenge. What this could mean for the EU has been the subject of increased levels of analysis and speculation, albeit nowhere near as comprehensive as that into what the vote might mean for the UK. One concern is that Brexit signals or could begin the unravelling of the EU, eventually leading to its complete collapse and disintegration. To examine whether or not Brexit will lead to European disintegration, this chapter explores some of the analysis into what Brexit could mean for the EU and then explores some of the theoretical debates about European disintegration.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Presentation to the 24th International Conference of Europeanists, Glasgow.

A few days spent in Glasgow at the 24th International Conference of Europeanists. Below is the script for my presentation on 'Europe's Britain', which is a project I'll be continuing to work on while at the EUI in Florence.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

May's Brexit election that wasn't

My take for the Clingendael Institute on what happened in the 2017 UK election and what it means for Brexit.

https://www.internationalespectator.nl/article/mays-brexit-election-wasnt


Friday, June 23, 2017

Assessing the Value of Regionally Aligned Forces in Army Security Cooperation

While a TAPIR Fellow at RAND in 2014 I contributed to research that was recently published in a report assessing the value of Regionally Aligned Forces. The report is focused on US Army efforts in this area, but there are some brief sections exploring similar efforts by the British and French armies. 

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1341z1.html 


Dissecting the Elexit

It's one year since the EU referendum, so I had to say something... 

Britain’s recent General Election and its unanticipated outcome marks the latest chapter in the political turbulence that has characterised the last twelve months since the EU referendum. However LSE Ideas Associate and former Dahrendorf Postdoctoral Fellow Tim Oliver argues that the election was not in fact about Brexit, although it does now leave the timing of Brexit in flux.

Full article here: http://www.dahrendorf-forum.eu/dissecting-the-elexit/


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Bibliography of Books on Brexit


Britain’s relations with the EU and the rest of Europe have long fascinated authors. The result has been a wealth of books on the topic, to say nothing of the media and academic journal articles, and reports from think tanks, government, the EU and other European governments, businesses, charities, NGOs, law firms and consultancies.


Britain’s vote to leave has added more choice. As part of a recent book proposal I had to produce a list of books published on UK-EU relations since the referendum, and I thought it would be helpful to publish that list here and try to update it regularly. I focus here on books and not the far too numerous reports or articles.

I list the books here in alphabetical order with no divisions based on quality, background or political slant. If I’ve missed a book then please email me the details via timloliver@gmail.com Also, please take a look at my regularly updated Brexicon: A Dictionary of Brexit, which is also summarised here.  


Some of these books are included in my Brexit summer reading guide on the LSE's Brexit Blog.  Note: the following are listed in alphabetical order based on the surname of the first author.
1.     K. Armstrong, Brexit Time: Leaving the EU - why, how and when? Cambridge University Press, 2017, £17.99 (PB), £29.99 (HB), online access also available. Written by Kenneth Armstrong, professor of law at Cambridge University, its analysis is divided into four sections examining the world before the vote, the vote itself, preparing for Brexit, and Brexit itself. Comes with a very helpful online edition. 
2.    M. Ashcroft and K. Culwick, Well, You Did Ask…: Why the UK voted to leave the EU, Biteback, 2016, £9.99 (PB), £3.89 (Kindle). Looks at the available data on how and why the British people voted as they did. Published quickly, draws on a wide range of sources, not least that backed by Lord Ashcroft’s own polling, focuses on the campaign and polling, with little analysis of the future, history, or implications for the EU.
3.    D. Bailey and L. Budd, The Political Economy of Brexit, Agenda, 2017, £16.99 (PB), £16.99 (Kindle). An edited collection of academic analyses with a focus on political economy, but also some domestic political issues such as the unity of the UK, and the future of the EU. Ideal for postgraduate readers studying political economy and with an existing knowledge of the topic of UK-EU relations.
4.    A. Barnett, The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit and America’s Trump, Unbound, 2017, £20 (HB). Veteran campaigner for a more democratic Britain, Barnett identifies a range of causes of Brexit and especially the problems of the English (specifically non-London England) within the UK.
5.    O. Bennett, The Brexit Club, Biteback, 2016, £12.99 (PB), £7.91 (Kindle). A popular account of what happened inside the Leave campaigns.
6.    R. Bootle, Making a Success of Brexit and Reforming the EU, Hodder and Stoughton, 2017, £10.99. An update of Bootle’s The Trouble with Europe, it offers not only an analysis of Britain and Brexit but also where it leaves the EU.
7.    Cato the Younger, Guilty Men: Brexit Edition, Biteback, 2017, £10 (HB), £7.99 (eBook). Based on the 1940 book of the same name that destroyed the reputation of the men responsible for appeasement, this 2017 edition goes after the men - or 13 men and 2 women - guilty of causing Brexit and plunging Britain into a period of unnecessary risks that could end in calamity. Whether you voted Leave or Remain, it's difficult not to view Brexit Britain as a country of lions misled by donkeys. 
8.    H. Clarke, M. Goodwin and P. Whiteley, Brexit: Why Britain voted to leave the European Union, CUP, 2017, £49.99 (HB), £15.99 (PB). The most comprehensive analysis so far of the vote, with a focus on voting behaviour over time and giving some pointers as to where Brexit goes next. You can read my review of the book for the LSE's Brexit blog here.
9.    N. Clegg, How to Stop Brexit (and Make Britain Great Again), Vintage, 2017, £8.99 (PB). The former Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister takes aim at some of the myths of Brexit and sets out how it can be reversed.
10. T.J. Coles, The Great Brexit Swindle: Why the mega-rich and free market fanatics conspired to force Britain from the EU, Clairview Books, 2016, £11.68 (PB), £6.47 (Kindle). A provocative book focusing on the neoliberal backers of Brexit and the deceitful way in which Leave supporters were drawn to an agenda that will not be fulfilled or benefit them.
11.  I. Dunt, Brexit: What the Hell happens now? Canbury Press, 2016, £5.59 (PB), £3.99 (Kindle). Written by a journalist in the immediate aftermath of the vote, it looks at the future giving a popular – but Remain leaning – account of what may unfold.
12. G. Evans and A. Menon, Brexit and British Politics. Wiley, due late 2017. Looks set to explain the outcome of the vote by looking at longer-term trends in British politics. 
13. J. Farrell and P. Goldsmith, How to Lose A Referendum: The Definitive Story of Why the UK Voted for Brexit. Biteback, 2017, £20 (HB). An overview of the various reasons  (they identify eighteen key ones) for why Britain voted leave. The book looks back at the history of UK-EU relations along with analysis of the referendum campaign and contemporary UK politics. 
14. G. Gibbon, Breaking Point: The UK referendum on the EU and its aftermath, Uni of Chicago Press, 2017, £13.00 (PB) £6.47 (Kindle). A short analysis by political editor of C4 News looking into what drove Brexit with some analysis of what it could mean for the rest of the EU. Strengths:
15. A. Glencross, Why the UK voted for Brexit, Routledge Pivot series, 2016, £36.99 (HB), £24.69 (Kindle). A short academic analysis of the referendum divided into four sections covering the history of Euroscepticism, the renegotiation, the campaign, and the future handling of Brexit. It focuses on the nature of direct democracy in the UK and the nature of Euroscepticism.
16. D. Allen Green, Brexit: What Everyone Needs to Know. OUP, due to be published late 2017. Due out later this year, the book forms part of a wider 'What everyone needs to know' series. What you need to know is set out in the answers to 41 questions. 
17. E. Guild, Brexit and its Consequences for UK and EU Citizenship or Monstrous Citizenship, Brill, 2017, €54 (HB). A detailed analysis of the potential implications of Brexit for citizenship.
18. L. Halligan and G. Lyons, Clean Brexit: Why leaving the EU still makes sense – Building a post-Brexit economy for all, Biteback, 2017, £20 (HB). Offers a positive case for Brexit that addresses many of the concerns raised in the debate since he vote to leave.
19. D. Hannan, What Next: How to get the best from Brexit, Head of Zeus, 2016, £9.99 (PB), £3.69 (Kindle). Written by longstanding Eurosceptic Dan Hannan, it offers a Leavers analysis of where Britain and UK-EU relations can go next with a focus on the nature of UK democracy.
20. F. Harrison and M. Gaffney, Beyond Brexit: The blueprint, Land Research Trust, 2016, £8.00 (PB). Looks at Brexit from the perspective of taxation (especially land taxes) and political economy, arguing for reform of both to enable a post-Brexit Britain to succeed.
21. G. Hassan and R. Gunson (eds.), Scotland and the UK After Brexit. A Guide to the future. Luath Press, 2017, £12.99 (PB). An edited volume covering a wide range of issues connected to the future of Scotland, the UK and Brexit.
22. J. Hillman and G. Horlick (Eds.), Legal Aspects of Brexit: Implications of the United Kingdom’s decision to withdraw from the EU, Institute of International Economic Law, 2017. An edited overview of a wide range of legal issues, covering such matters as trade negotiations through to the implications for the English Premier League.
23. D. Kauders, Understanding Brexit Options: What future for Britain? Sparkling books, 2016, £11.99 (PB), £2.37 (Kindle). A short book, written around the time of the vote and in a non-academic way, describing the various options facing the UK on leaving the EU. Backed remaining in the EU.
24. D. MacShane, Brexit: How Britain will leave the EU, I.B.Tauris, 2016, £8.99 (PB), £8.54 (Kindle). A readable, provocative analysis written before the referendum looking at the reasons why Britain was likely to vote leave.
25. D. MacShane, Brexit: Why (in the End) Britain Won’t Leave Europe, I.B.Tauris, 2017, £6.99 (PB). A follow-up to the 2016 book, but with a focus on the limits of Brexit.
26. J. Montague and J. Pick, The Brexit Years: a handbook for survivors, ATWP, 2017, £10.95 (PB), £4.99 (Kindle). A short attempt at a satirical analysis of the referendum and its outcome.
27. J. Morphet, Beyond Brexit: How to assess the UK’s future, Policy Press, 2017, £9.99 (PB), £8.39 (Kindle). A detailed academic analysis focused on the potential implications of Brexit across a wide range of institutions and policy areas.
28. M. Mosbacher and O. Wiseman, Brexit revolt: How the UK voted to leave the EU, New Culture forum, 2016, £10 (PB), £4.99 (Kindle) A short contemporary history written by Eurosceptics explaining how the Leave campaign won.
29. H. Mount, Summer Madness: How Brexit split the Tories, destroyed Labour and divided the country, Biteback, 2016, £12.99 (PB), £7.47 (Kindle). A quickly published insider account of the campaign.
30. C. Oliver, Unleashing Demons: The inside story of Brexit, Hodder and Stoughton, 2016, £20 (HB), £9.99 (PB), £20 (Kindle). An insider’s account by Cameron’s Communications Director of what happened during the campaign. One of the best insiders accounts.
31. T. Oliver, Europe's Brexit: EU Perspectives on Britain’s Vote to Leave, Agenda, due out early 2018. Through chapters written by authors from across the rest of the EU, the book examines how the rest of the EU responded to the UK's renegotiation, referendum campaign and the result of the vote up to when Theresa May triggered Article 50.
32. W. Outhwaite, Brexit: Sociological Responses, Anthem Press, 2017, £70 (HB), £32.27 (PB), £29.39 (Kindle). An edited academic analysis of a wide range of issues connected to Brexit. Comprehensive in coverage, academic in analysis.
33. D. Owen and D. Ludlow, British Foreign Policy After Brexit, Biteback, July 2017, £12.99. A forthcoming book looking at the way forward for UK foreign policy.
34. T. Shipman, All Out War: The full story of how Brexit sank Britain’s political class, William Collins, 2016, £25 (HB), £9.99 (PB), £25 (Kindle). A popular account of both the Remain and Leave campaigns. Another good insiders account.
35. T. Shipman, Fall Out: A Year of Political Mayhem, HarperCollins, 2017, £25 (HB). Having written All Out War, Shipman took up his pen to write the story of Theresa May’s premiership from its beginning, just after the referendum, to the general election result that deprived her – and her plans for Brexit – of a majority in the House of Commons.
36. J. Smith, The UK's journey into and out of the EU: Destinations Unknown. Routledge, 2017, £48.99 (HB), £10.50 (eBook). An overview of Britain's European journey written by Julie Smith, member of the House of Lords and Director of the European Centre at Cambridge University. 
Updated: 13 October 2017.


Prague European Summit 2017

Last week I spoke at the Prague European Summit 2017 on the panel 'Brexit: Bad or Worse?' Other speakers on the panel included: 

Steffan De Rynck, Advisor for Outreach and Think Tanks, Brexit Task Force of European Commission 
Emmy van Deurzen, Director, New Europeans
Martin Povejšil, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the EU 


Chair: Tom Nuttall, Charlemagne Columnist, Economist




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

LSE IDEAS Alumni weekend

Last weekend I spoke at alumni gathering for the LSE IDEAS MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy. The panel was on Brexit and was chaired by Mick Cox with talks also from Uta Staiger and Jennifer Jackson-Preece.


Full photo album here.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Talking Brexit at the Università degli Studi di Milano

Spoke this morning about Brexit to students taking part in the summer school 'Law and Bilateral Trade: North America - Europe' organised by the Università degli Studi di Milano and the Université de Montréal. 



Jean Monnet Fellow at the EUI, Florence

From September I will be living in Florence for a year where I will be a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute. It goes without saying that I'm looking forward to it. 


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review: Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union

My review of the new book on Brexit by Harold Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley. It's the best attempt so far to answer the question of why Britain voted for Leave.

Full review here: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/05/12/book-review-brexit-why-britain-voted-to-leave-the-european-union/



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Globalization, domestic politics, and transatlantic relations

A joint-authored article with Brian Burgoon and Peter Trubowitz looking at the state of transatlantic relations. 

Abstract: For two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, globalization functioned as a unifying force in the West. In the absence of a common security threat, the United States and Europe found common ground in a neoliberal agenda calling for the freer movements of capital, goods, services, and peoples across national boundaries. Today, support for that neoliberal agenda has been rapidly weakening across the West. Drawing on a variety of quantitative measures, we show that Western support for globalization has declined, both at the level of national policy and at the level of party politics. We argue that this erosion of domestic support for globalization is closely linked to the rise of populist parties in Europe and the USA. We consider the implications of this shift in the West’s domestic politics for the future of transatlantic cooperation and leadership.

Full article here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41311-017-0040-1


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Never mind the Brexit? Britain, Europe, the world and Brexit

My latest on Brexit, published in International Politics

Abstract: Britain’s vote to withdraw from the EU came as an unexpected shock to many in the UK, the rest of the EU and around the world. The UK and the remaining EU now face a fraught and potentially lengthy period of negotiations to settle Brexit. How might this change Europe? And how might it change the rest of the world’s views of Europe? This article looks at how Brexit could shape worldviews of Europe. It does so firstly by looking at the international and European roles Britain sees for itself and how the rest of Europe views those roles. The article then turns to views of both the UK and the EU from the USA, Russia and China. It argues that neither the UK nor the EU should overlook how external perceptions of Europe, the UK and Brexit matter because they will determine the strategic context in which the Brexit negotiations unfold.

Full article here: 
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41311-017-0043-y