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POLVOA22/S22 Going, going, gone? The British EU Referendum of June 23, 2016 5–10 ECTS
Implementation is also a part of open university teaching
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Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Intermediate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Degree Programme in Politics
Political Science
School of Management

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to analyse and assess the utility of the referendum as a decision-making instrument.

Students will acquire an appropriate contextual knowledge of British politics.

Students will be able to compare and contrast the British experience with EU-related referenda elsewhere within the ´28´

General description

On June 23 2016 the British were asked to respond to a simple referendum question which read: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? Until the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox on the street in her Batley constituency a week before the vote, the campaign was lively and hard-hitting. The ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ campaign focused on the damaging economic consequences of a Brexit whilst the ‘Vote Leave’ campaign concentrated on the immigration question, adding that “instead of subsidising French farmers, we should take control back and spend our money (never the euro!) on our priorities like the National Health Service”. Sophie from Peterborough had other things on her mind: “If we leave the EU does it mean we would be banned from the Eurovision Song Contest?” The course will represent a detailed portrait of a decision from the origins of the referendum to the campaign, an in-depth analysis of the result and a discussion of its likely consequences

Lecture/seminar topics

October 25 ‘How come the ‘Battle for Britain’? The Background to Brexit

October 27 ‘Project Fear’ versus ‘Project Hate’: The Campaign

November 1 Polish bakeries on the High Street: Euroscepticism or Immigration Scepticism?

November 3 Did the north and the poor cause Brexit? Analysing the Result

November 8 “Get ready for indy ref 2”: the Future for Scotland and Northern Ireland? BREXIT5.pdf

November 10 “If Labour stays at home, Britain leaves” Was it Labour’s fault? BREXIT6.pdf

November 15 ‘So what the hell happens now?’ (Daily Mail). The Challenges Ahead BREXIT7.pdf

November 17 A prime minister who lives by the referendum must ultimately day by the referendum. The wider lessons of the referendum.

Enrolment for University Studies

Email registration by October 1 essential

Enrolment for Open University Studies

Compulsory preceding studies: POLPOP02 Introduction to Political Science


David Arter, Teacher responsible


25-Oct-2016 – 17-Nov-2016
Lectures 16 hours
Tue 25-Oct-2016 - 1-Nov-2016 weekly at 14-16, Main building A3
Thu 27-Oct-2016 - 17-Nov-2016 weekly at 14-16, Main building A3
3-Nov-2016 at 14 –16 , Pinni A, Paavo Koli Auditorium
10-Nov-2016 , CANCELLED!
17-Nov-2016 , CANCELLED!
Tue 8-Nov-2016 - 15-Nov-2016 weekly at 14-16, Main building C6
8-Nov-2016 , CANCELLED!
15-Nov-2016 , CANCELLED!


Numeric 1-5.

Evaluation criteria

Compulsory course attendance and a short written assignment in English or Finnish


‘Critically assess the role of immigration in the British decision to leave the EU’

It is too early for the output of academic research and so the starting point is probably

www.bbc.com/news/politics which has a separate section on Brexit

Brian Wheeler and Alex Hunt, ‘Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU’ 2.10.2016 is a good overview

For Finns Anna-Mari Sipilä has written very many articles in Helsingin Sanomat. Other useful sources include:

Matthew Goodwin, ‘Labour’s core voters no longer share its progressive values’ The Guardian 24.6.2016

Zoe Williams, ‘Think the north and the poor caused Brexit? Think again’ The Guardian 8.8.2016

Asa Bennett, ‘Did Britain really vote Brexit to cut immigration? Daily Telegraph 29.6.2016

Michael Kenny, ‘The Genesis of English Nationalism’ Political Insight August 2016

Benjamin D. Hennig and Danny Dorling, ‘In Focus: The EU Referendum’ Political Insight August 2016

Browse the net but be careful about the quality of the sources


4-6 sides of double-spaced text in English or Finnish


12 noon Friday December 2

Hard copy only! Electronic submissions will not be accepted.

There is a box outside my room on the 4th floor of Pinni A and you can leave them in that.

Further information

Compulsory preceding studies: POLPOP02 Introduction to Political Science