Waiting for Brexit: Crisis, Conjuncture, Method

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UK geopolitics for the last five years has been heavily dominated by Brexit. The lead up to the referendum, the result, negotiations, intervening general election, extensions, further negotiations, and impending exit from the European Union have captured both academic and public interest. This paper contributes to geographical and wider social science research on the everyday geographies of socio-economic change, with a particular focus on Brexit and the temporal politics of waiting. Emerging analyses focus on Brexit as an event, as uncertainty, and a discrete period for and of research on public moods. I illustrate how exploring Brexit through the lens of waiting provides new ways of thinking through the time-spaces of Brexit, by drawing on data collected during an ethnographic participatory project in Gorse Hill, Greater Manchester (2018–2020). Analysis of group discussions, peer-led research projects, podcast recordings, vox pops, and ethnographic fieldnotes highlight the embodied, everyday, endured, and emplaced experience of waiting for Brexit. More specifically, findings make the case for this waiting as crisis, as conjuncture, and as method. The paper closes with a discussion of the pace and timeliness of research, and the implications of waiting for, in, and with Brexit and other forms of socio-economic change.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2021

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