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New BiE members: drawing on inter-disciplinary collaborations to interpret Brexit’s effect

From politics to international trade to the economy and fundamental human rights, Brexit has the potential to unsettle existing convention and practice, and generates significant risks and opportunities, for people and institutions with wide-ranging, often conflicting, interests. We will not be able to understand, let alone negotiate, these all-important transformations, unless we give ourselves the required methodological tools. Seeing Brexit through uniquely the lens of a particular discipline risks creating a myopic view, both as to the individuals or institutions affected and the type of solution we can propose; interdisciplinary collaborations can help mitigate this risk.

BiE thinktankThe Britain in Europe (BiE) thinktank, conscious of the above, brings together Law academics and academic scholars from other disciplines, barristers, solicitors, judges, politicians, members of international human rights organisations and other third sector experts from across Britain and Europe, to provide novel solutions to Brexit’s fast-emerging complexity.

The thinktank is now delighted to welcome on board its dynamic group of experts two Goldsmiths academics whose work is at the forefront of current debates on Europe and the UK, Dr Michaela Benson, from Sociology, and Dr Will Davies, from Politics and International Relations.

Dr Michaela BensonDr Michaela Benson is a Reader in Sociology and the research lead for a UK in a Changing Europe funded research project, BrExpats: freedom of movement, citizenship and Brexit in the lives of Britons resident in the EU-27. Michaela is internationally renowned for her work in the field of migration, and has conducted in-depth empirical research on British citizens living in France, and North Americans settled in Panama. She has extensively published on what migration means for identity, citizenship and belonging.

Since the EU referendum, Michaela has been closely examining what Brexit variously means for British citizens living across the EU-27, communicating through written commentary and the project podcast. She has provided written evidence for the House of Lords EU Justice subcommittee, and co-authored the report Next Steps: implementing a Brexit deal for UK citizens living in the EU27.

Dr Will DaviesDr Will Davies is a Reader in Political Economy, and works on history of economics, neoliberalism and the present crisis of expertise. His first book The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty & the Logic of Competition looked at how regulators and policy-makers in Brussels and Washington DC applied ideals of competition, derived from the University of Chicago law and economics tradition. His most recent book is Nervous States: How feeling took over the woNervous Statesrld, which looks at the roots of the current populist reaction against technocrats, as manifest in Brexit. His writing has appeared in London Review of Books, The Guardian and The New York Times amongst others

We are delighted that Michaela and Will are joining our network of Law academics, legal practitioners, MEPs and third sector experts in the ‘Britain in Europe’ thinktank, and that we are developing an increasing capacity to rely on cross-disciplinary work – on Law, Sociology and Political Economy among other BiE disciplinary expertise – in our effort to help engineer a constructive future relationship for the UK and the EU.

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