Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Brexit

22 Brexit and Financial Stability: An Agent-Based Simulation

Authors: Aristeidis Samitas, Stathis Polyzos

Abstract:

As the UK and the EU prepare to start negotiations for Brexit, it is important for both sides to comprehend the full extent of the consequences of this process. In this paper, we employ an object oriented simulation framework in order to test for the short-term and long-term effects of Brexit on both sides of the Channel. The relative strength of the UK economy and the banking sector vis-à-vis the EU is taken under consideration. Our results confirm predictions in the relevant literature regarding the output cost of Brexit, with particular emphasis on the EU. Furthermore, we show that financial stability is also an important issue on both sides, with the banking system suffering significant losses, particularly over the longer term. Our findings suggest that policymakers should be extremely careful in handling Brexit negotiations, making sure to consider dynamic effects that may be caused by UK bank assets moving to the EU after Brexit. The model results show that, as the UK banking system loses its assets, the end state of the UK economy is deteriorated while the end state of EU economy is improved.

Keywords: Banking Crises, Brexit, Financial Stability, VBanking

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21 Brexit: Implications on Banking Regulations and Conditions; An Analysis

Authors: Astha Sinha, Anjali Kanagali

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The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, also termed as “Brexit,” took place on June 23, 2016 and immediately had global repercussions on the stock markets of the world. It is however expected to have a greater impact on the Banking sector in the UK. There is a two-fold effect on the earnings of banks which is being expected. First is of the trading activity and investment banking businesses being hit due to global weakness in financial markets. Second is that the banks having a large presence in the European Union will have to restructure their operations in order to cover other European countries as well increase their operating costs. As per the analysis, banks are expected to face rate cuts, bad loans, and tight liquidity. The directives in the Brexit negotiations on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) will be a major decision to be taken for the Banking sector. New regulations will be required since most of the regulations governing the financial services industry allowing for the cross-border transactions were at the EU level. This paper aims to analyze the effect of Brexit on the UK Banking sector and changes in regulations that are expected due to the same. It shall also lay down the lessons learnt from the 2008 financial crisis and draw a parallel in terms of potential areas to be focused on for revival of the financial sector of Britain.

Keywords: Brexit, Brexit impact on UK, impact of Brexit on banking, impact of Brexit on financial services

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20 Gramscian Class Analysis of the Brexit Process in the Passive Revolution Framework

Authors: Volkan Gulsen

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This paper attempts to indicate the main class dynamics of the Brexit process in a Gramscian theoretical framework. It further aims to point out the influence of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom on the European Union class structure. It defines the unification process of the European Union as a passive revolution. In that way, the Brexit process has been described as a moment of negation in the European Union history of class struggle. It will be argued that the withdrawal of the United Kingdom has already altered the European class structure from the embedded neoliberal structure to a more corporate-liberal one.

Keywords: brexit, gramsci, passive revolution, post-neoliberalism

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19 Impact of Brexit on the Structure of the European Insurance Market: A Solvency and Financial Condition Report Content Analysis of UK Insurance Companies

Authors: Antonia Müller, Svend Reuse

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The Brexit referendum in June 2016 led to different publications analysing potential consequences for European and British insurance companies under the European Passport. This study addresses a research gap, regarding the measures taken by insurance companies based in the United Kingdom and thus on structural changes to the European insurance market by an innovative structured Solvency and Financial Condition Report content analysis. In scope are all insurance companies based in the United Kingdom, that fall under the Solvency II supervisory regime. The results show that the majority of British Solvency II insurance companies in scope, conducting cross-border business to the European Union, have applied and reported measures to be able to continue operating this cross-border business after Brexit. In addition, the study shows that 34 new insurance companies based in the European Union were established as a result of Brexit, indicating structural changes to the European insurance market.

Keywords: brexit, europe, insurance market, solvency and financial condition repot, structural changes

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18 An Investigation of Sentiment and Themes from Twitter for Brexit in 2016

Authors: Anas Alsuhaibani

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Observing debate and discussion over social media has been found to be a promising tool to investigate different types of opinion. On 23 June 2016, Brexit voters in the UK decided to depart from the EU, with 51.9% voting to leave. On Twitter, there had been a massive debate in this context, and the hashtag Brexit was allocated as number six of the most tweeted hashtags across the globe in 2016. The study aimed to investigate the sentiment and themes expressed in a sample of tweets during a political event (Brexit) in 2016. A sentiment and thematic analysis was conducted on 1304 randomly selected tweets tagged with the hashtag Brexit in Twitter for the period from 10 June 2016 to 7 July 2016. The data were coded manually into two code frames, sentiment and thematic, and the reliability of coding was assessed for both codes. The sentiment analysis of the selected sample found that 45.63% of tweets conveyed negative emotions while there were only 10.43% conveyed positive emotions. It also surprisingly resulted that 29.37% were factual tweets, where the tweeter expressed no sentiment and the tweet conveyed a fact. For the thematic analysis, the economic theme dominated by 23.41%, and almost half of its discussion was related to business within the UK and the UK and global stock markets. The study reported that the current UK government and relation to campaign themes were the most negative themes. Both sentiment and thematic analyses found that tweets with more than one opinion or theme were rare, 8.29% and 6.13%, respectively.

Keywords: Brexit, political opinion mining, social media, twitter

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17 The Impact of Human Resources Management on the Job Security of Self-Initiated Expatriates after the Brexit

Authors: Yllka Hysaj, Ylberina Hysaj Arifi

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Recently, with BREXIT taking place, organizations and employees have been affected in the way of job and employment security. Career-oriented human resources management (HRM) practices are likely to facilitate self-initiated expatriates’ adjustment to the host country. This was related to the career security (job security and employment security), which were missing in their home country and seemed to be important elements to adjust to the host country. The aim of this study is to assess whether the perception of career security by Frances self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) have changed in the wake of the referendum result. Quantitative research method will be used, and the data will be collected through electronic questionnaires. Data will be analyzed through Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The study variables will include an adjustment to the host country, HRM practices, employability, and job security. Predicted results consist that career-oriented HRM practices are positively related to the adjustment to the host country, employability, and job security. However, with Brexit, there might be a negative relationship between career-oriented HRM practices and job security.

Keywords: migration, self-initiated expatriates, Brexit, job security

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16 Shopping Tourism for Emerging Markets: Examining Shopping Tourism in the UK as an Attraction Tool for Wealthy Tourists

Authors: Ali Abdallah, Shaima Al Mohannadi

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This study explores shopping tourism in the UK and examines it as an attraction tool for wealthy tourists to the UK’s capital city London. The study aims to identify the scope of shopping tourism used by countries such as the UK as a tool for attracting wealthy tourists. This study adopts the quantitative research approach through surveys in attaining the results required. Results demonstrate how the UK tourism market is an experience-based market and has recently become an attraction for luxurious brand shoppers. The term Trexit is introduced as a new form of tourism generated by the Brexit. If addressed appropriately the Trexit can assist in any negative economic retaliations of the Brexit. The study concludes that shopping tourism is yet to further incline in years to come, however, government support and cooperative planning with the retail industry is required as a means of further strengthening this developing sector.

Keywords: Brexit tourism, luxury shopping, UK tourism, wealthy tourists

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15 Britain and the EU Referendum: Arguments over East European Welfare Benefit Tourism

Authors: James Moir

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This paper considers the political controversy in Britain, both pre- and post-EU referendum, concerning claims over welfare benefit tourism and immigration in the UK. These claims were seen to be a significant reason for the vote for Brexit despite evidence to the contrary that benefit tourism was not, and is not, implicated in the migration of East Europeans to the UK. Populist rhetoric is analysed alongside studies that contradict such views. These contentious issues are examined with respect to the agenda set by the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) concerning anti-EU and anti-immigrant sentiment and the notion of cultural differences as the basis for supporting Brexit. The paper also examines the paradoxical claim that East European migrants are taking British jobs and driving down wages. Taken together, it is argued that these two kinds of claims effectively contribute to anti-immigration discourse based on the logic of economics, but also at the same time conceal more irrational fears of adapting to change through the inclusion of others. Such fears are considered as being founded upon a challenge to the stability of totems of national life and identity.

Keywords: benefits, Brexit, immigration, tourism, welfare

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14 A Historical Overview of the General Implementation of the European Union Market Abuse Directive in the United Kingdom before the Brexit and Its Future Implications

Authors: Howard Chitimira

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The European Union (EU) was probably the first body to establish multinational anti-market abuse laws aimed at enhancing the detection and curbing of cross-border market abuse activities in its member states. Put differently, the EU Insider Dealing Directive was adopted in 1989 and was the first law that harmonised the insider trading ban among the EU member states. Thereafter, the European Union Directive on Insider Dealing and Market Manipulation (EU Market Abuse Directive) was adopted in a bid to improve and effectively discourage all the forms of market abuse in the EU’s securities and financial markets. However, the EU Market Abuse Directive had its own gaps and flaws. In light of this, the Market Abuse Regulation and the Criminal Sanctions for Market Abuse Directive were enacted to repeal and replace the EU Market Abuse Directive in 2016. The article examines the adequacy of the EU Market Abuse Directive and its implementation in the United Kingdom (UK) prior to the British exit (Brexit). This is done to investigate the possible implications of the Brexit referendum outcome of 23 June 2016 on the future regulation of market abuse in the UK.

Keywords: market abuse, insider trading, market manipulation, European Union, United Kingdom

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13 The Representations of Protesters in the UK National Daily Press: Pro- And Anti- Brexit Demonstrations 2016-2019

Authors: Charlotte-Rose Kennedy

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In a political climate divided by Brexit, it is crucial to be critical of the press, as it is the apparatus which political authorities use to impose their laws and shape public opinion. Although large protests have the power to shake and disrupt policy-making by making it difficult for governments to ignore their goals, the British press historically constructs protesters as delegitimate, deviant, and criminal, which could limit protests’ credibility and democratic power. This paper explores how the remain supporting daily UK press (The Mirror, Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian) and the leave supporting daily UK press (The Daily Mail, The Daily Star, The Sun, The Express, The Telegraph) discursively constructed every pro- and anti-Brexit demonstration from 2016 to 2019. 702 instances of the terms ‘protester’, ‘protesters’, ‘protestor’ and ‘protestors’ were analyzed through both transitivity analysis and critical discourse analysis. This mixed-methods approach allowed for the analysis of how the UK press perpetuated and upheld social ideologies about protests through their specific grammatical and language choices. The results of this analysis found that both remain and leave supporting press utilized the same discourses to report on protests they oppose and protests they support. For example, the remain backing The Mirror used water metaphors regularly associated with influxes of refugees and asylum seekers to support the protesters on the remain protest ‘Final Say’, and oppose the protesters on the leave protest ‘March to Leave’. Discourses of war, violence, and victimhood are also taken on by both sides of the press Brexit debate and are again used to support and oppose the same arguments. Finally, the paper concludes that these analogous discourses do nothing to help the already marginalized social positions of protesters in the UK and could potentially lead to reduced public support for demonstrations. This could, in turn, facilitate the government in introducing increasingly restrictive legislation in relation to freedom of assembly rights, which could be detrimental to British democracy.

Keywords: Brexit, critical discourse analysis, protests, transitivity analysis, UK press

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12 Pre- and Post-Brexit Experiences of the Bulgarian Working Class Migrants: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches

Authors: Mariyan Tomov

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Bulgarian working class immigrants are increasingly concerned with UK’s recent immigration policies in the context of Brexit. The new ID system would exclude many people currently working in Britain and would break the usual immigrant travel patterns. Post-Brexit Britain would aim to repeal seasonal immigrants. Measures for keeping long-term and life-long immigrants have been implemented and migrants that aim to remain in Britain and establish a household there would be more privileged than temporary or seasonal workers. The results of such regulating mechanisms come at the expense of migrants’ longings for a ‘normal’ existence, especially for those coming from Central and Eastern Europe. Based on in-depth interviews with Bulgarian working class immigrants, the study found out that their major concerns following the decision of the UK to leave the EU are related with the freedom to travel, reside and work in the UK. Furthermore, many of the interviewed women are concerned that they could lose some of the EU's fundamental rights, such as maternity and protection of pregnant women from unlawful dismissal. The soar of commodity prices and university fees and the limited access to public services, healthcare and social benefits in the UK, are also subject to discussion in the paper. The most serious problem, according to the interview, is that the attitude towards Bulgarians and other immigrants in the UK is deteriorating. Both traditional and social media in the UK often portray the migrants negatively by claiming that they take British job positions while simultaneously abuse the welfare system. As a result, the Bulgarian migrants often face social exclusion, which might have negative influence on their health and welfare. In this sense, some of the interviewed stress on the fact that the most important changes after Brexit must take place in British society itself. The aim of the proposed study is to provide a better understanding of the Bulgarian migrants’ economic, health and sociocultural experience in the context of Brexit. Methodologically, the proposed paper leans on: 1. Analysing ethnographic materials dedicated to the pre- and post-migratory experiences of Bulgarian working class migrants, using SPSS. 2. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with more than 50 Bulgarian working class migrants [N > 50] in the UK, between 18 and 65 years. The communication with the interviewees was possible via Viber/Skype or face-to-face interaction. 3. The analysis is guided by theoretical frameworks. The paper has been developed within the framework of the research projects of the National Scientific Fund of Bulgaria: DCOST 01/25-20.02.2017 supporting COST Action CA16111 ‘International Ethnic and Immigrant Minorities Survey Data Network’.

Keywords: Bulgarian migrants in UK, economic experiences, sociocultural experiences, Brexit

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11 Shifting Constitutionalism: An Analysis of Emerging Paradigms within the United Kingdom

Authors: Stephen Clear

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Brexit, the relationship between devolved administrations, and Westminster, as well as recent Supreme Court judgments, all evidence that traditional paradigms in the divide between legal and political constitutionalism are changing within the United Kingdom. Whilst not mutually exclusive concepts, these latest constitutional developments suggest that the UK is about to embark upon radical constitutional reform over the course of the next decade. Such will systematically redefine the roles and relationships of each of the three arms of the State. In mapping these three latest events, this paper starts by defining constitutionalism as a jurisprudential concept, from the Age of Enlightenment, through to its present day manifestations in 2020. Such thereafter explains why the UK is seeking to move further away from political constitutionalism, and instead towards an increased reliance on newly defined laws and rules, particularly given that the UK now has a government with a stronger working majority following the general election results in 2019. In doing so, this paper concludes by commenting upon recent concerns surrounding the potential for the politicization of the judiciary within the United Kingdom, at a time when the UK Prime Minister is seeking to redefine the country’s constitutional rulebook.

Keywords: United Kingdom, Brexit, constitutionalism, law, politics, constitutional reform, separation of powers

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10 EU Citizenship, Brexit, and Democracy

Authors: Noemi Bessa Vilela

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The citizenship of the European Union nowadays established under article 20/1 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union has been a hallmark of the EU’s political integration since the adoption of the Maastricht Treaty. Initially received with some doubt regarding what it would mean to be a European citizen, and what would happen to individual national citizenships, the Union’s citizenship appears to have been relegated at present times to a secondary position in relation to other, more pressing, economic and market policies. Notwithstanding the veritable myriad of specific rights and freedoms attributed to citizens of the Union, it is not hard to understand that, given the importance of citizenship as a true cohesion policy at its core, somewhere along the way the Union has failed in its mission of giving its citizens a feeling of European identity, along with the values it so bravely wants to defend and promote. In fact, notwithstanding the ever-so-permanent presence of the blue and yellow flag next to national flags, and the elections to European Parliament, most citizens have no idea of the relevance of EU law as an integral part of their legal heritage. In fact, it is safe to state, while the majority of traveling nationals are aware of i.e. their right to freely move in between Member-States, most overlook the fact that this is a result of their status as EU citizens. We have now arrived at a crossroad between accepting the law as it is, or to create new possibilities. The question raised is whether the citizens of UK may, or may not, and shall or shall not, keep the EU citizenship.

Keywords: Brexit, democracy, EU citizenship, EU law, TFUE

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9 Model for Remanufacture of Medical Equipment in Cross Border Collaboration

Authors: Kingsley Oturu, Winifred Ijomah, Wale Coker, Chibueze Achi

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With the impact of BREXIT and the need for cross-border collaboration, this international research investigated the use of a conceptual model for remanufacturing medical equipment (with a focus on anesthetic machines and baby incubators). Early findings of the research suggest that contextual factors need to be taken into consideration, as well as an emphasis on cleaning (e.g., sterilization) during the process of remanufacturing medical equipment. For example, copper tubings may be more important in the remanufacturing of anesthetic equipment in tropical climates than in cold climates.

Keywords: medical equipment remanufacture, sustainability, circular business models, remanufacture process model

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8 Crisis, Identity and Challenge: Next Steps for the ‘English’ Constitution

Authors: Carol Howells, Edwin Parks

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This paper explores the existing and evolving constitutional arrangements within the United Kingdom and within the wider international context of the EU. It considers the nature of an ‘English’ constitution and internal colonialism that underpins it. The debates over the UK’s exit from the EU have been many however the constitutional position of the devolved nations (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) is little understood or explored. Their constitutional position has been touched upon in academic debate (but not widely) and is only now beginning to receive attention. The paper considers the constitutional role of the legislatures within the UK; the UK Parliament Bill for exiting the European Union and provides a commentary on the Brexit process in relation to constitutional arrangements within the UK and EU. Questions arise over the constitutional framework and, whether, having delegated competencies, the UK Parliament can now legislate in relation to delegated competencies without the consent. The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are a permanent and a fixed feature of the UK’s constitution, but their position is set within the traditional concept of the ‘English’ constitution. The current situation is opaque and complex and raises significant constitutional questions. In relation to exit from the EU two of the nations did not vote in favour of Brexit and the third is in receipt of an inequitable funding settlement. Questions arise as to whether the work of modernising the UK’s constitution over the past twenty years in recognising the Nations and governments within those nations is now being unpicked and whether the piecemeal and unequal process of devolution and new constitutional arrangements hold weight. Questions of democratic legitimacy arise throughout. An advisory referendum (where no definition of the EU was provided) in which two of the four nations voted to leave the EU and two voted to remain has led the UK Government negotiating a wholesale exit from the EU based on ‘English’ constitutional law principles. Previous constitutional referendums in relation to devolution within the UK have been treated differently. Within the EU questions are being raised in relation to the focus on member states. The goals of the EU mention member countries and its purpose is seen as being to promote greater social, political and economic harmony among the nations of Europe. The emphasis on member states is proving challenging and has led flawed processes. Scrutiny of legislative proposals, historical developments, and social commentary reveal distinct national identities within the UK. Analysis of the debate, legislation and case law surrounding the exiting process from the EU reveal a muddled picture of a constitution in crisis and significant challenges to principles underpinning the rule of law. Suggestions are made for future reforms and a move towards new constitutional arrangements beyond the current ‘English’ constitution.

Keywords: English, constitution, parliament, devolved

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7 The Anti-Globalization Movement, Brexit, Outsourcing and the Current State of Globalization

Authors: Alexis Naranjo

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In the current global stage, a new sense and mix feelings against the globalization has started to take shape thanks to events such as Brexit and the 2016 US election. The perceptions towards the globalization have started to focus in a resistance movement called the 'anti-globalization movement'. This paper examines the current global stage vs. leadership decisions in a time when market integrations are not longer seeing as an opportunity for an economic growth buster. The biggest economy in the world the United States of America has started to face a new beginning of something called 'anti-globalization', in the current global stage starting with the United Kingdom to the United States a new strategy to help local economies has started to emerge. A new nationalist movement has started to focus on their local economies which now represents a direct threat to the globalization, trade agreements, wages and free markets. Business leaders of multinationals now in our days face a new dilemma, how to address the feeling that globalization and outsourcing destroy and take away jobs from local economies. The initial perception of the literature and data rebels that companies in Western countries like the US sees many risks associate with outsourcing, however, saving cost associated with outsourcing is greater than the firm’s local reputation. Starting with India as a good example of a supplier of IT developers, analysts and call centers we can start saying that India is an industrialized nation which has not yet secured its spot and title. India has emerged as a powerhouse in the outsource industry, which makes India hold the number one spot in the world to outsource IT services. Thanks to the globalization of economies and markets around the globe that new ideas to increase productivity at a lower cost has been existing for years and has started to offer new ideas and options to businesses in different industries. The economic growth of the information technology (IT) industry in India is an example of the power of the globalization which in the case of India has been tremendous and significant especially in the economic arena. This research paper concentrates in understand the behavior of business leaders: First, how multinational’s leaders will face the new challenges and what actions help them to lead in turbulent times. Second, if outsourcing or withdraw from a market is an option what are the consequences and how you communicate and negotiate from the business leader perspective. Finally, is the perception of leaders focusing on financial results or they have a different goal? To answer these questions, this study focuses on the most recent data available to outline and present the findings of the reason why outsourcing is and option and second, how and why those decisions are made. This research also explores the perception of the phenomenon of outsourcing in many ways and explores how the globalization has contributed to its own questioning.

Keywords: anti-globalization, globalization, leadership, outsourcing

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6 The Perspective of British Politicians on English Identity: Qualitative Study of Parliamentary Debates, Blogs, and Interviews

Authors: Victoria Crynes

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The question of England’s role in Britain is increasingly relevant due to the ongoing rise in citizens identifying as English. Furthermore, the Brexit Referendum was predominantly supported by constituents identifying as English. Few politicians appear to comprehend how Englishness is politically manifested. Politics and the media have depicted English identity as a negative and extremist problem - an inaccurate representation that ignores the breadth of English identifying citizens. This environment prompts the question, 'How are British Politicians Addressing the Modern English Identity Question?' Parliamentary debates, political blogs, and interviews are synthesized to establish a more coherent understanding of the current political attitudes towards English identity, the perceived nature of English identity, and the political manifestation of English representation and governance. Analyzed parliamentary debates addressed the democratic structure of English governance through topics such as English votes for English laws, devolution, and the union. The blogs examined include party-based, multi-author style blogs, and independently authored blogs by politicians, which provide a dynamic and up-to-date representation of party and politician viewpoints. Lastly, fourteen semi-structured interviews of British politicians provide a nuanced perspective on how politicians conceptualize Englishness. Interviewee selection was based on three criteria: (i) Members of Parliament (MP) known for discussing English identity politics, (ii) MPs of strongly English identifying constituencies, (iii) MPs with minimal English identity affiliation. Analysis of parliamentary debates reveals the discussion of English representation has gained little momentum. Many politicians fail to comprehend who the English are, why they desire greater representation and believe that increased recognition of the English would disrupt the unity of the UK. These debates highlight the disconnect of parliament from the disenfranchised English towns. A failure to recognize the legitimacy of English identity politics generates an inability for solution-focused debates to occur. Political blogs demonstrate cross-party recognition of growing English disenfranchisement. The dissatisfaction with British politics derives from multiple factors, including economic decline, shifting community structures, and the delay of Brexit. The left-behind communities have seen little response from Westminster, which is often contrasted to the devolved and louder voices of the other UK nations. Many blogs recognize the need for a political response to the English and lament the lack of party-level initiatives. In comparison, interviews depict an array of local-level initiatives reconnecting MPs to community members. Local efforts include town trips to Westminster, multi-cultural cooking classes, and English language courses. These efforts begin to rebuild positive, local narratives, promote engagement across community sectors, and acknowledge the English voices. These interviewees called for large-scale, political action. Meanwhile, several interviewees denied the saliency of English identity. For them, the term held only extremist narratives. The multi-level analysis reveals continued uncertainty on Englishness within British politics, contrasted with increased recognition of its saliency by politicians. It is paramount that politicians increase discussions on English identity politics to avoid increased alienation of English citizens and to rebuild trust in the abilities of Westminster.

Keywords: British politics, contemporary identity politics and its impacts, English identity, English nationalism, identity politics

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5 Developing Index of Democratic Institutions' Vulnerability

Authors: Kamil Jonski

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Last year vividly demonstrated, that populism and political instability can endanger democratic institutions in countries regarded as democratic transition champions (Poland) or cornerstones of liberal order (UK, US). So called ‘illiberal democracy’ is winning hearts and minds of voters, keen to believe that rule of strongman is a viable alternative to perceived decay of western values and institutions. These developments pose a serious threat to the democratic institutions (including rule of law), proven critical for both personal freedom and economic development. Although scholars proposed some structural explanations of the illiberal wave (notably focusing on inequality, stagnant incomes and drawbacks of globalization), they seem to have little predictive value. Indeed, events like Trump’s victory, Brexit or Polish shift towards populist nationalism always came as a surprise. Intriguingly, in the case of US election, simple rules like ‘Bread and Peace model’ gauged prospects of Trump’s victory better than pundits and pollsters. This paper attempts to compile set of indicators, in order to gauge various democracies’ vulnerability to populism, instability and pursuance of ‘illiberal’ projects. Among them, it identifies the gap between consensus assessment of institutional performance (as measured by WGI indicators) and citizens’ subjective assessment (survey based confidence in institutions). Plotting these variables against each other, reveals three clusters of countries – ‘predictable’ (good institutions and high confidence, poor institutions and low confidence), ‘blind’ (poor institutions, high confidence e.g. Uzbekistan or Azerbaijan) and ‘disillusioned’ (good institutions, low confidence e.g. Spain, Chile, Poland and US). It seems that this clustering – carried out separately for various institutions (like legislature, executive and courts) and blended with economic indicators like inequality and living standards (using PCA) – offers reasonably good watchlist of countries, that should ‘expect the unexpected’.

Keywords: illiberal democracy, populism, political instability, political risk measurement

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4 An Analysis of Emmanuel Macron's Campaign Discourse

Authors: Robin Turner

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In the context of the strengthening conservative movements such as “Brexit” and the election of US President Donald Trump, the global political stage was shaken up by the election of Emmanuel Macron to the French presidency, defeating the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. The election itself was a first for the Fifth Republic in which neither final candidate was from the traditional two major political parties: the left Parti Socialiste (PS) and the right Les Républicains (LR). Macron, who served as the Minister of Finance under his predecessor, founded the centrist liberal political party En Marche! in April 2016 before resigning from his post in August to launch his bid for the presidency. Between the time of the party’s creation to the first round of elections a year later, Emmanuel Macron and En Marche! had garnered enough support to make it to the run-off election, finishing far ahead of many seasoned national political figures. Now months into his presidency, the youngest President of the Republic shows no sign of losing fuel anytime soon. His unprecedented success raises a lot of questions with respect to international relations, economics, and the evolving relationship between the French government and its citizens. The effectiveness of Macron’s campaign, of course, relies on many factors, one of which is his manner of communicating his platform to French voters. Using data from oral discourse and primary material from Macron and En Marche! in sources such as party publications and Twitter, the study categorizes linguistic instruments – address, lexicon, tone, register, and syntax – to identify prevailing patterns of speech and communication. The linguistic analysis in this project is two-fold. In addition to these findings’ stand-alone value, these discourse patterns are contextualized by comparable discourse of other 2017 presidential candidates with high emphasis on that of Marine Le Pen. Secondly, to provide an alternative approach, the study contextualizes Macron’s discourse using those of two immediate predecessors representing the traditional stronghold political parties, François Hollande (PS) and Nicolas Sarkozy (LR). These comparative methods produce an analysis that gives insight to not only a contributing factor to Macron’s successful 2017 campaign but also provides insight into how Macron’s platform presents itself differently to previous presidential platforms. Furthermore, this study extends analysis to supply data that contributes to a wider analysis of the defeat of “traditional” French political parties by the “start-up” movement En Marche!.

Keywords: Emmanuel Macron, French, discourse analysis, political discourse

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3 Poverty: The Risk to Children’s Mental Health

Authors: Steven Walker

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This paper assesses recent data on the prevalence of poverty among children and young people diagnosed with mental health problems. The paper will demonstrate that the current hierarchy of risk factors for developing mental health problems needs adjusting to place poverty among the highest risk factors. Globally poverty is calculated to keep rising especially among less developed countries, and the post-Covid 19 economic recession in developed countries is set to rise. The experience of young people enduring Pandemic isolation is already being quantified and is expected to increase referrals for specialist intervention. Searches on several medical/psychological/social databases using keywords: poverty, children, mental illness were undertaken between 2018 and 2021. Worldwide, 700 million people still live in extreme poverty, half of whom are children. Children are physically and mentally disproportionately affected. Children who grow up impoverished lack the basic necessities they need to survive and thrive. 150 million children have been plunged into multidimensional poverty due to COVID-19. The poorest children are twice as likely to die in childhood than their wealthier peers. For those growing up in humanitarian crises such as Ukraine, the risks of deprivation and exclusion are magnified. In the world’s richest countries, one in seven children still live in poverty. Currently, one in four children in the European Union are at risk of falling into poverty. In Europe the impact of Brexit on the UK economy is predicted to reduce GDP by 5% in 2021 with a corresponding rise in poverty. According to the global charity Oxfam wealth inequality impacts levels of child abuse and affects women and girls worse and is a contributory factor in the risk of developing childhood mental illness. In the UK 2000 Foodbanks have opened since 2010, handing out 2 million food parcels annually, where there are currently 4 million children officially living in poverty. This research demonstrates that there is a strong association between families’ socio-economic circumstances and the chances that their children will experience mental illness. Evidence of this association is found repeatedly across developed countries. The paper will conclude by arguing that psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers and CAMHS specialists need to place more importance on this critical socio-economic variable when assessing referred children and also advocate for political priorities in governments to reduce poverty and lower the risk of childhood mental illness.

Keywords: poverty, resilience, risk factor, socio economic, susceptibility

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2 Make Populism Great Again: Identity Crisis in Western World with a Narrative Analysis of Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign Announcement Speech

Authors: Soumi Banerjee

Abstract:

In this research paper we will go deep into understanding Benedict Anderson’s definition of the nation as an imagined community and we will analyze why and how national identities were created through long and complex processes, and how there can exist strong emotional bonds between people within an imagined community, given the fact that these people have never known each other personally, but will still feel some form of imagined unity. Such identity construction on the part of an individual or within societies are always in some sense in a state of flux as imagined communities are ever changing, which provides us with the ontological foundation for reaching on this paper. This sort of identity crisis among individuals living in the Western world, who are in search for psychological comfort and security, illustrates a possible need for spatially dislocated, ontologically insecure and vulnerable individuals to have a secure identity. To create such an identity there has to be something to build upon, which could be achieved through what may be termed as ‘homesteading’. This could in short, and in my interpretation of Kinnvall and Nesbitt’s concept, be described as a search for security that involves a search for ‘home’, where home acts as a secure place, which one can build an identity around. The next half of the paper will then look into how populism and identity have played an increasingly important role in the political elections in the so-called western democracies of the world, using the U.S. as an example. Notions of ‘us and them’, the people and the elites will be looked into and analyzed through a social constructivist theoretical lens. Here we will analyze how such narratives about identity and the nation state affects people, their personality development and identity in different ways by studying the U.S. President Donald Trump’s speeches and analyze if and how he used different identity creating narratives for gaining political and popular support. The reason to choose narrative analysis as a method in this research paper is to use the narratives as a device to understand how the perceived notions of 'us and them' can initiate huge identity crisis with a community or a nation-state. This is a relevant subject as results and developments such as rising populist rightwing movements are being felt in a number of European states, with the so-called Brexit vote in the U.K. and the election of Donald Trump as president are two of the prime examples. This paper will then attempt to argue that these mechanisms are strengthened and gaining significance in situations when humans in an economic, social or ontologically vulnerable position, imagined or otherwise, in a general and broad meaning perceive themselves to be under pressure, and a sense of insecurity is rising. These insecurities and sense of being under threat have been on the rise in many of the Western states that are otherwise usually perceived to be some of the safest, democratically stable and prosperous states in the world, which makes it of interest to study what has changed, and help provide some part of the explanation as to how creating a ‘them’ in the discourse of national identity can cause massive security crisis.

Keywords: identity crisis, migration, ontological security(in), nation-states

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1 Polarization as a Proxy of Misinformation Spreading

Authors: Michela Del Vicario, Walter Quattrociocchi, Antonio Scala, Ana Lucía Schmidt, Fabiana Zollo

Abstract:

Information, rumors, and debates may shape and impact public opinion heavily. In the latest years, several concerns have been expressed about social influence on the Internet and the outcome that online debates might have on real-world processes. Indeed, on online social networks users tend to select information that is coherent to their system of beliefs and to form groups of like-minded people –i.e., echo chambers– where they reinforce and polarize their opinions. In this way, the potential benefits coming from the exposure to different points of view may be reduced dramatically, and individuals' views may become more and more extreme. Such a context fosters misinformation spreading, which has always represented a socio-political and economic risk. The persistence of unsubstantiated rumors –e.g., the hypothetical and hazardous link between vaccines and autism– suggests that social media do have the power to misinform, manipulate, or control public opinion. As an example, current approaches such as debunking efforts or algorithmic-driven solutions based on the reputation of the source seem to prove ineffective against collective superstition. Indeed, experimental evidence shows that confirmatory information gets accepted even when containing deliberately false claims while dissenting information is mainly ignored, influences users’ emotions negatively and may even increase group polarization. Moreover, confirmation bias has been shown to play a pivotal role in information cascades, posing serious warnings about the efficacy of current debunking efforts. Nevertheless, mitigation strategies have to be adopted. To generalize the problem and to better understand social dynamics behind information spreading, in this work we rely on a tight quantitative analysis to investigate the behavior of more than 300M users w.r.t. news consumption on Facebook over a time span of six years (2010-2015). Through a massive analysis on 920 news outlets pages, we are able to characterize the anatomy of news consumption on a global and international scale. We show that users tend to focus on a limited set of pages (selective exposure) eliciting a sharp and polarized community structure among news outlets. Moreover, we find similar patterns around the Brexit –the British referendum to leave the European Union– debate, where we observe the spontaneous emergence of two well segregated and polarized groups of users around news outlets. Our findings provide interesting insights into the determinants of polarization and the evolution of core narratives on online debating. Our main aim is to understand and map the information space on online social media by identifying non-trivial proxies for the early detection of massive informational cascades. Furthermore, by combining users traces, we are finally able to draft the main concepts and beliefs of the core narrative of an echo chamber and its related perceptions.

Keywords: information spreading, misinformation, narratives, online social networks, polarization

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