SSAHE (Social Scientists Against the Hostile Environment) would like to invite you to its May webinar which will take place on May 17th at 5 PM.

The webinar is free but please register as soon as possible via Eventbrite to secure your place. Registration link here:

This webinar continues SSAHE’s series of webinars exploring the impacts of Brexit on the Hostile Environment in the UK.

The role of English nationalism as a key driver of Brexit has significant implications for the ongoing existence of the United Kingdom outside of European Union.  With a large majority in Scotland opposed to leaving the EU, Brexit has led to a resurgence of the Scottish nationalist movement, with Nicola Sturgeon suggesting it provides a pretext for another independence referendum.  The recent violent youth riots in Northern Ireland illustrate a more complex notion of what the BBC and Westminster likes to call ‘The four nations’. On the one side, Irish nationalists might seek a Union with the Republic of Ireland whereas Loyalists wish to remain part of the British nation family. It seems working class loyalists feel not only disenfranchised from the peace process since 1998 but resist the legal effects of the NI protocol since January 2021. Johnson’s agreement with the EU created a customs border in the Irish sea offending Unionists.

What effects have these regional disparities had on contemporary political projects of belonging in the UK? The focus of this webinar is on the specific ways Brexit has impacted the stability and the functioning of the British state both at the centre and its periphery, focusing on nationalism and the state in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In particular, we would like to examine how these major destabilisations, which might lead to possible dissolutions of the UK, are affecting both majorities and racialised minorities in these locations and the extent to which the interrelationships between  Brexit, COVID 19 and the state have reconstructed and/or intensified Hostile Environments to those who ‘do not belong’.


 Prof. Bob Jessop:  The British State, State Failure, and Brexit.

Bob Jessop is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. He is well-known for his contributions to state theory, critical governance studies, heterodox political economy, cultural political economy, and the philosophy of social sciences. His work on Brexit concerns its relation with the organic crisis of the British state and its implications for uneven development. His work can be accessed at and

Dr Emma Hill: At the limits of the nation: identity, migration and the ‘Scottish Question’?

Emma Hill is a Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, working on the GLIMER (Governance and Local Integration of Migrants and Europe’s Refugees) Project.  She gained her PhD in Cultural Research from Heriot-Watt University, for which her thesis was awarded the MacFarlane Prize for outstanding contribution to research.  Emma is currently an Associate Editor for the Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power journal and a Trustee of Maryhill Integration Network.  She has previously held research positions with the RADAR (Regulating Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Racism) Project and is an alumna of ‘Transformations’ doctoral training programme curated by Ludwig-Maximillian Universität. 

Dr. Ulrike Vieten:  No break-up, but break out: sectarian omnipresence in Northern Irish borderlands

Ulrike M Vietenis an Assistant Professor in Sociology, and Fellow of the Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University Belfast. Her research focuses on the historical construction and shifting of racialised, gendered and classed group boundaries. She has published widely on configurations of European citizenship, post-migration, gender and far-right-populism. In cooperation with Dr Fiona Murphy, she directed the first study on the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in Northern Ireland (Murphy & Vieten 2017) stressing the omnipresence of everyday sectarianism in the life of newcomers and settled communities alike (Vieten & Murphy, 2019). She is editor in Chief of the European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, active with SSESW, and also with the QUB based Centre for European and Transnational Studies. 


Nira Yuval-Davis is Professor Emeritus, Honorary Director of the Research Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) at the University of East London. She has been the President of the Research Committee 05 (on Racism, Nationalism, Indigeneity and Ethnic Relations) of the International Sociological Association. She has been a founder member of WAF (Women Against Fundamentalism) as well as of SSAHE (Social Scientists Against the Hostile Environment) and is a member of the Education group of JVL (Jewish Voice for Labour). Nira Yuval-Davis has written widely on intersected gendered nationalisms, racisms, fundamentalisms, citizenships, identities, belonging/s and everyday bordering. Among her books Israel and the Palestinians, 1975, Woman-Nation-State, 1989, Racialized Boundaries, 1992, Unsettling Settler Societies, 1995, Gender and Nation,1997, The Warning Signs of Fundamentalism, 2004, The Politics of Belonging: Intersectional Contestations, 2011, Women Against Fundamentalism, 2014 and Bordering, 2019.

Don Flynn began his encounter with UK immigration law in the mid-1970s in his work at a central 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.