The rise of nationalism in the United Kingdom and its impact on globalisation: a critical analysis
Since the end of the Second World War, Britain has successfully contributed to building international institutions. Britain also played a key role in imposing liberal democratic governance across the globe and contributed to a safer, more democratic world. In the period following the end of the Cold War, Britain was one of the main exporters of neoliberalism and by extension, globalisation and the processes of globalisation. However, in June 2016, the new world order that replaced the bipolar world of the Cold War was shaken by the results of the UK’s referendum. Fifty-two percent of the UK’s electorate voted to leave the European Union (EU). In this study it is argued that the decision by the British electorate to exit from the EU (Brexit) is mainly the result of rising nationalism and populism amongst citizens in the UK. On a theoretical level, the decision by the UK’s electorate to leave the EU, indicates a move away from the neoliberal approach to international relations, towards the more neorealist approach, which is synonymous with nationalism, the nation state and self-determination. Hence the theories of realism and liberalism are discussed providing the theoretical foundation for the question on whether nationalism is on the rise in the UK. The study also provides a historical background of Britain’s interaction with the EU, culminating in the decision by Britain to leave the EU. The study concludes with an assessment on how the resurgence of nationalism will influence Britain’s security and foreign policy in a globalised world.
- Humanities