What's next for British Democracy?

London, United Kingdom

9 December 2019

Brexit will bear an enduring mark on the British political landscape and on British society. Hailed for centuries as a beacon of gradualism, stability and resilience, the British political system seems nowadays in a state of permanent convulsion that calls into question its founding pillars as much as its future sustainability. The general public has turned away from the Parliament, that has been unable to find an issue, while trust in traditional political parties, an in particular in the Tories, is deeply eroded. Brexit has unlocked a new set of cleavages which goes beyond traditional party-lines, entrenched political categories and existing nationals' borders. The British political party system has been hugely impacted, as polarization, fragmentation and the generational gap on the future of the UK politics has significantly widened.

Within that context, what's next for British Democracy?

The panel discussion will address those issues by offering participants a strategic overview of the current state of British Democracy and the future that lays ahead. Moreover, in the context of a general election that might be shorty inevitable, the event will also shed light on the electoral complexities that a seemingly four-party race entails.

Pauline Schnapper, Professor of British Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, will start the event presenting ideas from her latest book in which she reflects on the far-reaching consequences that Brexit is imposing not only on the UK parliamentary democracy but also across Europe. 

The discussions will be joined by Dr Sarah Wolff and Professor Tim Bale.

The panel discussion will debate the following questions:

- Is the UK suffering a democratic malaise?
- Is that just about Brexit or other factors are in play?
- Is it time to reform the first-past-the-post (FTPT) system according to a 
  much more fragmented political landscape?
- Has the pure majoritarian electoral system contributed in seeding               the seeds of discontent among those felt unrepresented?
- How the next general elections look like?
- How to fix the generational and geographical gaps in which the country    is soaked in?
- To what extent those challenges that British Democracy is facing are      part of a broader transformation encompassing liberal-democratic        politics as a whole?

The discussion will be followed by a Q&A involving the audience.


Pauline Schnapper - Professor of British Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University.
Professor Tim Bale - Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London and academic member of the Centre for European Research.
Dr Sarah Wolff - Chair- Director of the Centre for European Research and Lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary University of London.

This is part of the lecture series UK-EU relations 2.0. of the Centre for European Research's NEXTEUK project co-funded by the European Commission. 

Date And Time 

Mon, 9 December 2019

18:30 - 20:00 GMT


Centre for Commercial law Studies

67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields

Queen Mary University of London



United Kingdom

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