Constitutional monarchy in the UK as a populist mediator: the case of Brexit

Conference paper


Jones, M. 2023. Constitutional monarchy in the UK as a populist mediator: the case of Brexit. 2023 South Eastern Association of Law Schools Annual Conference. Boca Raton, Florida, USA 23 - 29 Jul 2023
TypeConference paper
TitleConstitutional monarchy in the UK as a populist mediator: the case of Brexit
AuthorsJones, M.
Abstract

The rise of populist parties and -figures usually indicate deepening polarisation among the citizens of a country, and indeed the outcome of the Brexit referendum signalled such a situation in the UK as well. In an increasingly polarized society, it could well be argued that this gap cannot be bridged by law alone, nor by politics, nor by a combination of the two. Something more is needed, a unifying factor that transcends politics, class, religion, financial status, all the things that divide people in a country. Perhaps the reason why the UK has not torn itself apart over Brexit can be attributed, at least partly, to the fact that it does indeed possess such a unifying factor in the form of an institution that has existed continuously in the country for more than a thousand years and which still plays an active albeit quietly constitutional role: the British Monarchy. This paper explores this thesis by briefly recapping what populism means and why it is seen as a problem for democracy before more closely examining Brexit as a case study of the tensions around sovereignty. It finishes by examining the role the British Monarch played before, during and after the Brexit process, and asks whether a constitutional Monarchy may be a mediating influence in a modern pluralist democracy such as the UK.

KeywordsBrexit; Populism; Parliamentary sovereignty; British Monarchy; Constitutional Law
Sustainable Development Goals16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Conference2023 South Eastern Association of Law Schools Annual Conference
Publication process dates
Completed27 Jul 2023
Deposited15 Mar 2024
Draft pre-submission version
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Open
Copyright Statement

Mariette Jones reserves all copyright.

Additional information

This paper was delivered for the SEALS Global Outreach Committee session entitled "Democracy Worldwide in the Face of Populism", moderated by Prof Patrick Hugg, Loyola University, New Orleans.
Scholars from several countries discussed current issues presented as numerous national and supranational courts face criticisms of politicization and challenges to their authority. Topics included: challenges to the primacy of national constitutions, challenges to the effectiveness of European Union law and other intergovernmental norms; the rule of law commitments and politicization of courts in Europe, Brazil and in the U.S.

LanguageEnglish
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