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The unexpected result of the Brexit referendum has left hundreds of migrants, who have been contributing to the British economy, in limbo. For these young people from Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania and other European countries “should I stay or should I go” is no longer just a song by Clash, but a real dilemma. In his lecture on “Brexit and Mobility: Between Connection, Disruption and Affect”, Professor Russell King from the University of Sussex will talk about the challenges these young migrants are currently facing.

The lecture, organized jointly by SWPS University's Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program and the Centre of Migration Research of University of Warsaw, is part of the series The Challenges of the Humanities of the 21st Century.

The lecture will be conducted in English. Free admission.

Lecture

March
16 2018

Warsaw

Brexit and Mobility: Between Connection, Disruption and Affect

This lecture considers the pre-Brexit and post-Brexit experiences of a large and diverse sample of young EU migrants interviewed in the London and South-East Region in the months before the Brexit Referendum of 23 June 2016, and re-interviewed in the months following the vote.

The research draws on a wider program of activities funded by the H2020 project ‘YMOBILITY’ on new European youth mobilities, coordinated across nine EU countries. Pre-Brexit, 120 interviews were carried out with young (18–35) migrants from six countries: Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. Post-Brexit, about half of the original sample were re-interviewed to gauge their reactions to the unexpected result and to get an idea of how their future plans had changed. Additionally, 15 young Poles were also interviewed post-Brexit. Although the generalizations from the analysis are drawn from a reading of all the interview transcripts, this presentation strategically selects three national groups – Irish, Italians and Romanians – to compare and contrast their reactions.

We find a post-Brexit migrant population profoundly upset by the Brexit outcome and uncertain about their future. Reacting against a resurgent ‘affective nationalism’ in Britain (especially England), phrases like ‘You don’t want us anymore’, and ‘What have we done to deserve this?’ echo through the post-Brexit interviews. Against a widespread ‘Let’s wait and see what happens’ narrative, others remain defiant and stress their ‘rights to belong’, whilst others plan to return quickly to their country of origin. These reactions should be seen in the background context of ongoing tricky negotiations between Britain and the EU over the rights of EU citizens in the UK and the promise to ‘control our borders’ as regards immigration from the EU.

Prof Russell King

Speaker

Russell King - Professor at the Department of Geography, at the University of Sussex. Member of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth. He specializes in Migration Studies. His previous posts include Professor of Geography at Trinity College Dublin and Lecturer in Geography at the University of Leicester. He held visiting appointments at the University of Malta, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, the University of Trieste and Cornell. During 2013 he was Willy Brandt Guest Professor in Migration Studies at Malmo University and he continues there as part-time visiting professor. In 1986 he was awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Edward Heath medal for his work on the geography of Europe and the Mediterranean, and he is Honorary Fellow of the Società Geografica Italiana.

We are very glad to host Professor Russell King at SWPS University and to have the opportunity to learn about the current challenges that European migrants, including thousands of Poles, are facing in post-Brexit Britain.

Associate Professor Izabela Grabowska, Director of Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program

The Challenges of the Humanities of the 21st Century

“The Challenges of Humanities of the 21st Century” is a series of lectures by distinguished specialists, who represent various disciplines from the field of humanities. The events are aimed at students of SWPS University's Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program, however all interested parties are welcome. The format includes post-lecture informal discussions on topics presented by the invited experts. The friendly atmosphere of the events is conducive to networking, which lends itself to opportunities of future internships at universities or research centers around the world.

Doctoral Studies at SWPS University

Doctoral Studies at SWPS University are directed to people interested in an academic career and also to those, who would like to continue their education and personal development in support of their career advancement. The interdisciplinary character of our programs allows students to participate in projects from various disciplines. Our doctoral students collaborate with scholars from the best research centers in Poland and around the world. The master-apprentice approach guarantees that each student receives individual attention and professional support.

Date and Location

March 16, 2018 at 17.00

SWPS University, Chodakowska 19/31, Warsaw, Prof. Tomaszewski's Lecture Hall

Organizers

  • SWPS University's Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studies Program
  • Center of Migration Research at the University of Warsaw
logo Center of Migration Research UW
 
 
 

 

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