An Epic Day in Brexit-Era London

On Horse Guards’ Parade, behind St. James’ Palace. These buildings front on Whitehall, where all the major British governmental departments are located..

We began the day near the St. James’ Park Tube station, before discussing the origins of the Brexit Party outside their headquarters. Westminster Abbey in background.

I’m still not sure how these fantastic students managed to fit in so much today! We started the day with the inimitable and ever so knowledgeable Kim Dewdney , whose command of Brexit and electoral politics is second to none – including most academic treatments I’ve read on the subject. Kim’s background informs the way that she helps us understand the very real – and also socially constructed – discontents that led to the 2016 Referendum – she helped us understand it as being largely about the Conservative Party’s need to pull itself together and take the steam out of UKIP’s sails.

The indomitable Kim Dewdney discusses the economic origins – and effects – of Brexit outside Her Majesty’s Treasury.

Accordingly, we began at Conservative Party Headquarters, carried on to the polling station at Methodist Central Hall to talk about how voting works, to the Treasury to discuss the role of the Northern Ireland office housed within, then around the back of the famous Horse Guards’ Parade to view 10 Downing St and talk about Boris Johnson’s historically abysmal record of losing votes in Parliament.

We just happened to catch the Changing of the Guard (more impressive than Buckingham Palace, IMO!) before going on to Whitehall to the Brexit office and to view the very moving war memorials, still covered in poppies from Remembrance Day.

Just 36 hours before – ready to board the plane for London, at O’Hare!

We finished at the Supreme Court, in the shadow of Westminster Abbey and just across the square from the Houses of Parliament, where Kim poetically connected the four pillars of UK governance: the Parliament, the Sovereign, the Executive, and, most recently, the Judiciary (where we will be visiting on Thursday).


About Bethany Barratt

Dr. Barratt earned her PhD from the University of California in 2002, and her BA in Political Science/History from Duke University in 1994. She is Director of the Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project, which joins forces with community partners in Chicago and cities abroad to draw and apply comparative lessons to make measurable gains in respect for human rights in urban settings. Professor Barratt has conducted archival and field research in Yellowstone National Park, Central Asia, the UK, Canada, and Australia. She is author or editor of several books including “Human Rights and Foreign Aid” (Routledge, 2007), "The Politics of Harry Potter" (Palgrave McMillan, 2012), and coeditor o "Public Opinion and War: Lessons from Iraq" (Potomac, 2012). She has also authored articles on environmental politics and justice, conservation policy, human rights, foreign aid, US, British, Canadian, and Australian foreign policy, and counterterrorism, in Political Research Quarterly, The Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and edited volumes from Ashgate and Lexington Books. Besides her teaching experience at Roosevelt and the University of California, she has also taught in a number of jails and prisons. She is an officer or member of several scholarly associations including the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association.
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