European Integration and the Politics of Economic Ideas: Economics, Economists and Market Contestation in the Brexit Debate
22 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2020
Date Written: September 2020
Debates about the economy are central to political exchange and political choice is typically presented as a matter of selecting among rival economic competence claims. The capacity to speak with authority about the economy or to draw upon accredited economic expertise is an important source of political advantage. However, the Brexit process is a form of politicized market contestation that has taken place against the backdrop of significant challenges to expert authority. This article shows how key parts of the Leave campaign developed three strategies within the discursive politics of Brexit: setting aside the economy as a central issue in Brexit; advancing alternative economic knowledge to that of institutionally advantaged professionals; and creating a cadre of alternative economic experts. The article suggests that attempts to use the inherently depoliticizing logic of causal ideas derived from authorized economic knowledge has not prevailed over the central normative beliefs that drive ‘Brexitism’.
Keywords: Brexit, economic ideas, expertise, politicization, European Union
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