Breaking Point? An Examination of the Politics of Othering in Brexit Britain

33 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2017

See all articles by Sarah Looney

Sarah Looney

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: April 28, 2017

Abstract

The politics of othering has become increasingly visible in Britain’s mainstream political rhetoric and policies. This politics aims to disunite, alienate and dehumanise entire groups, specifically migrants and some minorities, and foster a culture in which xenophobia and racism no longer reside in the domain of the far-right. Brexit has been a catalyst for this, serving as an opportunity for mainstream politicians and various media outlets to wager their future power on villainising and scapegoating the migrant for the failures of neoliberal and hyper-capitalist policies; directing the electorate’s grievances to the “other.” The here presented paper aims to explore this racialized and racializing politics, which is by no means a new phenomenon, and assess its impact on those it targets. These impacts include a lack of decisive political action when faced with the Gordian knot of the refugee crisis, increased reports of hate crime and xenophobia and an erosion of minority rights. Against this background, this paper argues that this rhetoric places the very ideas of human dignity and equality under relentless assault, and results in a deliberate obfuscation of those who are truly responsible for the failure of neoliberal policies.

Keywords: Transnational Law, Globalisation, Brexit, Human Rights, Immigration, Neoliberalism, Racism

Suggested Citation

Looney, Sarah, Breaking Point? An Examination of the Politics of Othering in Brexit Britain (April 28, 2017). TLI Think! Paper 69/2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3014638 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3014638

Sarah Looney (Contact Author)

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Strand
United Kingdom

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