Exit Discourses: People, Democracy, Union

Room: 
Room H, City Hall
Time Slot: 
Wednesday 28th March 09:00 - 10:30
Panel Chair: 
  • Mr Neil Barnett (Leeds Beckett University)
Panel Members: 
  • Mr Ryan Flitcroft (University of Essex)
  • Mr Joash Tapiheru (University of Essex)
  • Dr Lazaros Karaliotas (University of Glasgow)
  • Mr Kostis Roussos (University of Essex )
  • Awaiting details of this person
  • Mr Panos Panayotu (University of Essex)

‘Who will be the next to leave?’, a question that unlocks the Pandora’s box of contemporary European politics. Almost a decade since the beginning of an economic crisis that has effectively determined the political and economic trajectory of the so called ‘old continent’, Europe seems to have already entered in a new phase of radical indeterminacy. In this respect a wider, structural crisis is striking Europe today; being manifested in different ways from the violent neoliberal turn of governance to the emergence of far-right parties, and through Europe’s deadly failure to treat the ongoing waves of refugees. And yet, in the hurt of this structural dislocation, we can address on the one hand the return of narratives that claim back the sovereignty of their countries or regions being imbued with nationalist ideas and characteristics, whilst on the other hand left-wing parties and grassroots agents seek to intervene in such debates by offering a political agenda based on solidarity among the peoples and alternative forms of (trans-)local governance. There is, in other words, a proliferation of contesting representations of space in different national and international contexts that brings to the fore the significance of the spatial dimension for politics, practices of government and administration as well as for activists and social movements. Our panel, by sharing the framework of the new PSA Specialist Group in Space, Governance and Politics, seeks to attract contributions on the different referenda that took place in Europe lately (Greece, Scotland, UK, Catalonia etc.), the politicization of space through these processes, the differentiation between local and trans-local governmental practices or discourses and the pattern of ‘exit’ discourses resonating throughout the region.

We seek to address and discuss the following questions in response to these phenomena:

  • To what extent does the role of the spatial dimension contribute to the constitution of the political discourses that currently permeate the European continent?
  • Does the character of specific spatialities effect the constitution of the subject with regard to their political orientation within those spaces?
  • What are the differences between left and right wing approaches to the emergence of these discourses and the strategies that are formed at the national and transnational level?
  • How has the EU reacted to these challenges and to what extent have they been successful/unsuccessful in responding to these phenomena?

By addressing these and other vital questions surrounding the emergence of so called ‘exit’ discourses, we expect to grapple with the significance of the spatial dimension in governance, whilst anticipating the new dynamics emerging within the political spaces across the continent.