SSAHE (Social Scientists Against the Hostile Environment) invites you to our April Webinar: Racism, Nationalism and Patriotism in Brexit Britain

Which will take place by Zoom at 19 April 2021, 5PM BST

To register please follow: Joining details will be sent to registered participants in advance of the event

There have been recent calls by the Labour Party to embrace a progressive patriotism, partly as a response to the Brexit vote and the perceived importance of love of country for red wall voters in the last election. Nigel Farage and UKIP launched their fight against the EU in 2013/2014, taking more seats than any other British parties in EU elections, reflecting and giving expression to English nationalism.   An element of patriotism has accompanied the growth of nationalism over some years, for example in Brown’s call for British Jobs for British Workers.  However, its recent manifestation testifies to the consolidation of patriotism as an accompaniment to nationalism’s hold over British politics. 

Debates on nationalism and its links to racism have been extremely important for understanding the changing landscapes of racialised inequalities in Britain today and the different manifestations of racism. How nationalism links to other modes of inequality relating to class and gender have also been important areas of debate. However, issues of patriotism and its link to nationalism and racism, as well as to how difference is marked and politically deployed, have not been prominent features of these debates.

This webinar seeks to extend the conversation on the links between the politics of country, nation and race by addressing the following questions amongst others: To what extent is it possible to embrace patriotism but reject nationalism and racism? What is at stake in the pursuit of a ‘progressive’ patriotism, particularly in multi-ethnic and racially unequal societies, such as Britain today? Why has the question of patriotism emerged so emphatically in the last few years as a central component of the politics of belonging, on the one hand, but also as a politics of exclusion, on the other?   To what extent is a progressive embrace of patriotism displacing a politics of economic redistribution?  How do patriotism, nationalism and racism today talk to neo-liberal agendas and the projects of capital?


Speakers and Titles:

Don Flynn | Did immigration win it for Brexit? Lessons for Labour.

Don began his encounter with UK immigration law in the mid-1970s in his work at a London law centre.  He went on to work as policy officer for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, and for a ten year stint as director of the Migrants’ Rights Network. He now does most of his work as a steering group member of the Permanent People’s Tribunal on Violations of the Rights of Migrants. He is the author of numerous blogs charting the development of immigration policy over the years as well as peer reviewed articles on immigration in the political schemes of New Labour and populist movements.

Floya Anthias | Patriot Games: love of country, ghosts of empire and the allure of nation.

Floya is an anti-racist and socialist feminist academic whose work has been concerned with different forms of oppression and power relations and their intersections. She has written extensively on issues of race and racism, nationalism and migration, as well as gender and class. Having held professorships at a number of UK Universities, she is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Social Justice at the University of Roehampton and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences. Floya was born in Cyprus and migrated as a small child with her parents to Britain. Her most recent book is Translocational Belongings: Intersectional Dilemmas and Social Inequalities (Routledge 2020).

Sivamohan Valluvan | ‘Red walls’, borders and dead-ends: Nationalism and the left.

Sivamohan is Assistant Professor in Sociology at the University of Warwick. He is the author of The Clamour of Nationalism (Manchester University Press). His wider body of writing has covered the areas of race and racism, multiculture and cosmopolitanism, consumer culture, as well as more general social theory.  

Chair and Coordinators:

Eleonore Kofman FAcSS, is Professor of Gender, Migration and Citizenship, Middlesex University London.

Gwyneth Lonergan is Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Social Science and Bioethics, Sociology, Lancaster University.

Ulrike Vieten, Assistant Professorin Sociologyand Fellow of the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University Belfast.