Brexit, the failure of the British political class, and the case for greater diversity in UK political recruitment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Britain’s exit from the European Union on the 31st of January 2020 was the culmination of what was arguably the second major failure of statecraft by the British political class this century, following the UK’s participation in the 2003 Iraq invasion. Drawing on elite theory as well as research into group behaviour, identity diversity and cognitive diversity, and decision-making and organisational performance, the article examines key stages of the Brexit process. The article argues that failures at each stage are attributable to a degree of ‘groupthink’ and ‘group polarisation’ linked to the relatively homogenous nature of the British political class and the structural attributes of British government. It goes on to advocate greater diversity in political recruitment and fundamental reform of modes and structures of British government.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Politics
Early online date31 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Brexit
  • Cognitive diversity
  • Elite theory
  • Group polarisation
  • Groupthink
  • Identity diversity
  • Political recruitment

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