The Brexit Referendum: Testing the Support of Elites and their Allies for Democracy; or, Racists, Bigots and Xenophobes, Oh My!
The referendum on the United Kingdom’s continued membership of the European Union was the largest exercise in mass public democracy in political history. Yet, the result of that referendum has seen a sustained campaign by remain supporting elite groups and their allies, to undermine, delay and ultimately prevent withdrawal from the European Union. The paper explores the reaction of elite groups and their allies to the referendum result for what it tells us about attitudes towards mass democracy, the thin veneer of tolerance of public dissent from perceived elite wisdom, how elite groups and their allies seek to undermine and de-legitimise the result and nature of the majority of voters. The paper also explores what the neo-reactionary elite response to the result tells us about relationships between elite groups in a liberal democratic state and whether popular, mass democracy will transform into a post-democratic polity.
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Citation : Copus, C. (2018) The Brexit referendum: testing the support of elites and their allies for democracy; or, racists, bigots and xenophobes, oh my! British Politics,
ISSN : 1746-918X
Research Group : Local Governance Research Unit
Peer Reviewed : Yes