Popular Understandings of Politics in Britain, 1937-2015


Call For Papers

By UoSAnti-Politics |

Conference: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Exeter, 1-4 Sept 2015

Session: Geographies of Politics and Anti-Politics

Convenors: Nick Clarke, University of Southampton, n.clarke@soton.ac.uk; Jonathan Moss, University of Southampton, j.t.moss@soton.ac.uk

Sponsor: The Political Geography Research Group (PolGRG)

These are interesting times for Politics with a capital P. In the UK, voter turnout is in decline, with a notable exception being the Scottish independence referendum. Membership of political parties is in decline, with notable exceptions being the SNP, UKIP, and the Green Party. Trust in politicians is in decline, almost without exception. Topics of public debate include whether Britain should remain in Europe, whether Britain can remain in Europe and control policy areas like immigration, the rise of UKIP, whether Scotland should remain in the UK, the rise of the SNP, further devolution to Scotland, devolution to England’s northern cities, the relative merits of coalitions and other forms of government, and whether people should bother voting at all. At least some of these developments and issues are mirrored beyond the UK – especially in other western European countries and the USA.

This session invites papers on the spatial components of these developments in formal Politics. Does political disengagement, alienation, and support for third parties or anti-political parties like UKIP vary across the UK? How does the experience of the UK compare to the experiences of other countries? What are the roles of globalisation, Europeanisation, and the nationalisation of political campaigning in these developments? What explains talk at the moment of ‘Westminster Politics’ and ‘out-of-touch metropolitan elites’?

Topics we hope the session might cover include:

* Definitions of Politics and anti-Politics.
* The relationship between formal Politics and informal politics (i.e. new social movements, transnational political networks, internet activism etc.).
* Temporal and spatial patterns of citizen-engagement with formal Politics.
* The roles of globalisation and Europeanisation in explaining these patterns.
* The roles of privatisation and depoliticisation in explaining these patterns.
* The roles of media coverage and the nationalisation of political campaigning in explaining these patterns.
* Independence and devolution in the UK.
* The changing party system.
* Discourses of Westminster, London, and the rest.

We anticipate that contributors will have 15 minutes to present a paper plus at least five minutes per paper for discussion. If you would like to contribute, please send a title, abstract of less than 250 words, and author details to both convenors by 4 Feb 2015.


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