Postcolonial Reconstructions of Europe


August 2015, Prague


In a recent discussion of European cosmopolitanism, Jürgen Habermas – one of the most prominent and respected commentators on the question of Europe – has stated that “the universalist project of the political Enlightenment in no way contradicts the particularist sensibilities of multiculturalism, provided that the latter is understood in the correct way” (2009, 68). Of course, the proviso is precisely what is at issue: who defines what is the correct way? And, if its correctness is challenged, are those who do so placed in contradiction to the universalism of a European Enlightenment?

Brexit: TEDx Birmingham


October 2015, Birmingham


Within a couple of hours of it being announced that we had voted to leave the European Union, the leading campaigners for Brexit had backtracked on some of their key pledges. Most notably, the pledge that leaving the EU would make an additional £350 million a week available to the NHS. Alongside the political misrepresentations prior to the vote, there have also been a number of problematic claims made after it. The most significant, perhaps, being that Brexit was delivered by the left-behind, northern, white working class who had suffered disproportionately from processes of economic globalization