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Anti-System PoliticsThe Crisis of Market Liberalism in Rich Democracies$
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Jonathan Hopkin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190699765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190699765.001.0001

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Taking Back Control: Britain Turns against the Market

Taking Back Control: Britain Turns against the Market

(p.117) Chapter 4 Taking Back Control: Britain Turns against the Market
Anti-System Politics

Jonathan Hopkin

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the response to inequality and financial collapse in the United Kingdom, with the anti-system Right represented by the Brexit campaign, and the Left by Jeremy Corbyn’s takeover of the Labour Party. Like Trump’s election in the United States, which it preceded by less than six months, the Brexit vote was an anti-system vote, a vote of rejection of the existing political establishment and the economic policies it had implemented since the 1980s. Just as Trump’s victory mobilized entrenched racial divides in the United States, Brexit reflected a long-standing skepticism about European integration in British society. The chapter then argues that Brexit formed part of a wider anti-system revolt in Britain, which replaced the centrist politics of the 1990s and 2000s with a deeply polarized politics pitting half the country against the other.

Keywords:   inequality, financial collapse, United Kingdom, Brexit, Labour Party, anti-system politics, European integration, British society, centrist politics, Jeremy Corbyn

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