What's the subject? Brexit and politics as articulation

Clarke, John and Newman, Janet (2019). What's the subject? Brexit and politics as articulation. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 29(1) pp. 67–77.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/casp.2376


This paper focuses on the moment of Brexit and its political aftermath in order to challenge dominant academic and popular conceptions of the political subject as singular and coherent. Instead, we suggest that there is an urgent political and analytical need for a view of the subject as multiple, contradictory, and dialogic. As interdisciplinary scholars working on the borders of policy studies and cultural studies, we think this is a critical site for transdisciplinary conversations about such conceptions of the subject. In the political field, such subjects are selectively and unevenly addressed and mobilized by political projects—such as Vote Leave—that invite them to recognize themselves as part of an imagined collective identity. In the twin disturbances of the European Union referendum and the 2017 general election, we suggest that it is possible to see that other voicings, other identifications, and other projects remain possible. Specific political mobilizations are neither singular nor stable.

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