Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 6, 2019

1997 and 2016: Referenda, Brexit, and (Re-)bordering at the European Periphery

Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins and Rhys Dafydd Jones
From the journal New Global Studies

Abstract

2016 is likely to be recalled – in Europe, at least – as a temporal bordering, after a majority in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The “Brexit” referendum result has been pinned on the rise of populist politics and the revenge of so-called “left behind” places. Regardless of reasons, the referendum left the UK with fraught politics and protracted negotiations, especially over how to re-border with a Europe that has held the dismantling of borders at the heart of its philosophical project. While Brexit has already become a byword, an earlier referendum on British borders has long slipped from international note. In 1997, a majority in Wales (one of the four constituent countries of the UK), voted for devolution from central government in Westminster. Like the Brexit referendum twenty years later, the majority in favor of devolution was slight, exposing uneasy fractures and internal cleavages as it opened fresh questions of governance and geography. By attending to a small country at the periphery of Europe, we seek to destabilize the assumption of shared markers of global bordering (1989, 2001), revealing instead the palimpsests of identity and territoriality across which re-made borders run “all over.”

Acknowledgements

Our research for this article was enabled by the IMAJINE project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement 726950. We thank our project colleagues Michael Woods and Rhys Alwyn Jones, editors Melissa Tandiwe Myambo and Pier Paolo Frassinelli, and two anonymous reviewers. The usual disclaimers apply.

References

Amin, Ash. 2004. “Regions Unbound: Towards a New Politics of Place.” Geografiska Annaler B 86 (1): 33–44.10.1111/j.0435-3684.2004.00152.xSearch in Google Scholar

Anderson, Ben, and Helen F. Wilson. 2017. “Everyday Brexits.” Area 50 (2): 291–95.10.1111/area.12385Search in Google Scholar

Appadurai, Arjun. 1996. “Sovereignty without Territoriality: Notes for a Postnational Geography.” In The Geography of Identity, edited by Patricia Yaeger, 40–58. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press.Search in Google Scholar

Bachmann, Veit, and James D. Sidaway. 2016. “Brexit Geopolitics.” Geoforum 77 (1): 47–50.10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.10.001Search in Google Scholar

Balibar, Ètienne. 1998. “The Borders of Europe.” In Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation, edited by Pheng Cheah, and Bruce Robbins, 216–29. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Search in Google Scholar

Boland, Phil. 2005. “An Assessment of the Objective 1 Programme in Wales, 1999–2003.” Contemporary Wales 17 (1): 66–78.Search in Google Scholar

Brambilla, Chiara. 2015. “Exploring the Critical Potential of the Borderscapes Concept.” Geopolitics 20 (1): 14–34.10.1080/14650045.2014.884561Search in Google Scholar

Cadwalladr, Carole. 2016. “View from Wales: Town Showered with EU Cash Votes to Leave EU.” The Guardian, 25 June.Search in Google Scholar

Cassidy, Kathryn, Nira Yuval-Davis, and Georgie Wemyss. 2018. “Debordering and Everyday (Re)bordering in and of Dover: Post-Borderland Borderscapes.” Political Geography 66: 171–79.10.1016/j.polgeo.2017.04.005Search in Google Scholar

CEC. 2017. Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions. Brussels: European Commission.Search in Google Scholar

Cole, Alistair, Jean-Baptiste Hargundéguy, Ian Stafford, Romain Pasquier, and Christian de Visscher. 2015. “States of Convergence in Territorial Governance.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 45 (2): 297–321.10.1093/publius/pjv001Search in Google Scholar

Cole, Alistair, and Rosanne Palmer. 2011. “Europeanising Devolution: Wales and the European Union.” British Politics 6 (3): 379–96.10.1057/bp.2011.17Search in Google Scholar

Day, Graham. 2006. “Chasing the Dragon? Devolution and the Ambiguities of Civil Society in Wales.” Critical Social Policy 26 (3): 642–55.10.1177/0261018306065616Search in Google Scholar

Donnan, Hastings. 2010. “Cold War along the Emerald Curtain: Rural Boundaries in a Contested Border Zone.” Social Anthropology 18 (3): 253–66.10.1111/j.1469-8676.2010.00114.xSearch in Google Scholar

Donnan, Hastings, and Thomas M. Wilson. 2010. “Symbols of Security and Contest along the Irish Border.” In Borderlands: Ethnographic Approaches to Security, Power, and Identity, edited by Hastings Donnan, and Thomas M. Wilson, 73–92. Lanham: University Press of America.Search in Google Scholar

Green, Sarah. 2013. “Borders and the Relocation of Europe.” Annual Review of Anthropology 42: 345–61.10.1146/annurev-anthro-092412-155457Search in Google Scholar

Gripaios, Peter, and Paul Bishop. 2006. “Objective One Funding in the UK: A Critical Assessment.” Regional Studies 40 (8): 937–51.10.1080/00343400600877839Search in Google Scholar

Guma, Taulant. 2018. “Turning Citizens into Immigrants: State Practices of Welfare ‘Cancellations’ and Document Retention among EU Nationals Living in Glasgow.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1535313.10.1080/1369183X.2018.1535313Search in Google Scholar

Guma, Taulant, and Rhys Dafydd Jones. 2019. “‘Where are We Going to Go Now?’ European Union Migrants’ Experiences of Hostility, Anxiety, and (Non-)belonging during Brexit.” Population, Space & Place 25 (1): 1–10.10.1002/psp.2198Search in Google Scholar

Gupta, Akhil, and James Ferguson, eds. 1997. Culture, Power, Place. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.10.1515/9780822382089Search in Google Scholar

Haselsberger, Beatrix. 2014. “Decoding Borders. Appreciating Border Impacts on Space and People.” Planning Theory & Practice 15 (4): 505–26.10.1080/14649357.2014.963652Search in Google Scholar

Hinkson, Melinda. 2019. “Locating a Zeitgeist: Displacement, Becoming and the End of Alterity.” Critique of Anthropology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308275X19856420.10.1177/0308275X19856420Search in Google Scholar

House of Commons, Great Britain. 1997. A Voice for Wales: The Government’s Proposals for a Welsh Assembly. London: Stationery Office.Search in Google Scholar

Jammar, Tomas. 1990. Democracy and the Nation-State. London: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Jones, Rhys, and Andrea Ross. 2016. “National Sustainabilities.” Political Geography 51 (1): 53–62.10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.12.002Search in Google Scholar

Laine, Jussi P. 2016. “The Multiscalar Production of Borders.” Geopolitics 21 (3): 465–82.10.1080/14650045.2016.1195132Search in Google Scholar

MacKinnon, Danny. 2015. “Devolution, State Restructuring and Policy Divergence in the UK.” The Geographical Journal 181 (1): 47–56.10.1111/geoj.12057Search in Google Scholar

McAllister, Laura. 1998. “The Welsh Devolution Referendum: Definitely, Maybe?” Parliamentary Affairs 51 (2): 149–65.10.1093/oxfordjournals.pa.a028781Search in Google Scholar

Mitchell, James. 2006. “Evolution and Devolution: Citizenship, Institutions, and Public Policy.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 36 (1): 153–68.10.1093/publius/pjj010Search in Google Scholar

Newman, David. 2006. “The Lines that Continue to Separate Us: Borders in Our ‘Borderless’ World.” Progress in Human Geography 30 (2): 143–61.10.1191/0309132506ph599xxSearch in Google Scholar

Novak, Paolo. 2017. “Back to Borders.” Critical Sociology 43 (6): 847–64.10.1177/0896920516644034Search in Google Scholar

Paasi, Anssi. 2009. “Bounded Spaces in a “Borderless World”: Border Studies, Power and the Anatomy of Territory.” Journal of Power 2 (2): 213–34.10.1080/17540290903064275Search in Google Scholar

Pettifor, Ann. 2017. “Brexit and Its Consequences.” Globalizations 14 (1): 127–32.10.1080/14747731.2016.1229953Search in Google Scholar

Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés. 2018. “The Revenge of the Places that Don’t Matter (And What to Do about It).” Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 11 (1): 189–209.10.1093/cjres/rsx024Search in Google Scholar

Royles, Elin. 2007. Revitalising Democracy? Devolution and Civil Society in Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.Search in Google Scholar

Rumford, Chris. 2007. “Does Europe Have Cosmopolitan Borders?” Globalizations 4 (3): 327–39.10.1080/14747730701532419Search in Google Scholar

Saxer, Martin, and Ruben Andersson. 2019. “The Return of Remoteness: Insecurity, Isolation and Connectivity in the New World Disorder.” Social Anthropology 27 (2): 140–55.10.1111/1469-8676.12652Search in Google Scholar

Torrance, David. 2018. “A Process, Not an event”: Devolution in Wales, 1998–2018. House of Commons Library, briefing paper number 08318.Search in Google Scholar

Van Houtum, Henk. 2012. “Remapping Borders.” In A Companion to Border Studies, edited by Thomas M. Wilson, and Hastings Donnan, 405–18. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.10.1002/9781118255223.ch23Search in Google Scholar

Welsh Government. 2017. Brexit and Devolution: Securing Wales’ Future. Cardiff: Welsh Government.Search in Google Scholar

Wilson, Thomas M, and Hastings Donnan. 2012. “Borders and Border Studies.” In A Companion to Border Studies, edited by Thomas M. Wilson, and Hastings Donnan, 1–26. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.10.1002/9781118255223Search in Google Scholar

Wyn Jones, Richard. 2017. “Brexit a Hunaniaeth Genedlaethol.” In Barn, 656 (September): n.p.Search in Google Scholar

Wyn Jones, Richard, and Bethan Lewis. 1999. “The Welsh Devolution Referendum.” Politics 19 (1): 37–46.10.1111/1467-9256.00084Search in Google Scholar

Yuval-Davis, Nira, Georgie Wemyss, and Kathryn Cassidy. 2018. “Everyday Bordering, Belonging and the Reorientation of British Immigration Legislation.” Sociology 52 (2): 228–44.10.1177/0038038517702599Search in Google Scholar

Zaun, Natascha. 2018. “Taking Back Control? the Impact of Brexit on the Immigration of Third Country Nationals and Asylum Seekers.” Last accessed July 30, 2019. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2018/05/11/taking-back-control-the-impact-of-brexit-on-the-immigration-of-third-country-nationals-and-asylum-seekers/.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2019-12-06
Published in Print: 2019-11-18

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow