John Wiley & Sons Taking Control Cover Taking Control argues that neither side in the Brexit debate really understood the European Union or.. Product #: 978-1-5095-5319-8 Regular price: $57.85 $57.85 Auf Lager

Taking Control

Sovereignty and Democracy After Brexit

Cunliffe, Philip / Hoare, George / Jones, Lee / Ramsay, Peter


1. Auflage April 2023
240 Seiten, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-5095-5319-8
John Wiley & Sons

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Taking Control argues that neither side in the Brexit debate really understood the European Union or what was involved in reclaiming Britain's sovereignty. The EU is neither a supranational nanny state, nor an internationalist peace project. It is the means by which Europe's elites transformed their own states in order to rule the void where representative politics used to be. Leaving the EU is a necessary but not sufficient step towards closing the chasm between rulers and ruled.

This book makes the democratic case for national sovereignty, arguing for a radical, forward-looking reconstitution of the British nation-state through strengthening representative democracy. It is essential for anyone who wonders why British politics is so dysfunctional and who wants to do better.


1 From Nation-States to Member-States
2 Voiding National Sovereignty
3 The Vote
4 Leaving the EU, Remaining in the Void
5 Constituting the Nation
6 Taking Control: Towards a Democratic Britain

"This is the most important book to come out of the struggles over Britain's membership of the EU, and it makes all other works on the subject look trivial. The authors provide a profound analysis of the issues involved, and show how only thorough-going changes in Britain's political and constitutional arrangements will be able to respond to the challenges of this near-revolutionary moment."
Richard Tuck, Professor of Government Theory, University of Harvard

"This book forcefully argues that Brexit was no more than the first step in a long process of rebuilding a democratic nation-state, indeed a democratic nation, out of the ruins of a politics without national sovereignty. Sovereign democracy requires effective institutions of civic representation that disempower a political elite content with ruling the void. This book is a breakthrough for democratic theory and a milestone for political debates on the future of democracy."
Wolfgang Streeck, Emeritus Director, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, Germany

"A crucial book for understanding the Brexit paradox: why it failed catastrophically to deliver on its promise to re-democratise British politics, but why it remains a necessary precondition for achieving just that."
Thomas Fazi, Co-author Reclaiming the State and The Covid Consensus

"The condition of post-Brexit Britain is grim. This excellent book shows that this has little to do with having lost the putative benefits of EU membership. Far more important is the British state's steady incapacitation and the decay of neoliberal political parties. The promise of "taking control" remains, but only if Britain undergoes a democratic and social transformation."
Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics, SOAS London

"A worthy contribution to our understanding of the EU, and to attempts to escape it."
Morning Star

"Their critiques of the UK political establishment are trenchant and their proposals are far reaching... the wider message is important"
Times Literary Supplement

Matthew Goodwin, author of Values, Voice and Virtue
Philip Cunliffe is Associate Professor in International Relations at University College London.

George Hoare is an independent researcher and co-host of the Bungacast podcast.

Lee Jones is Professor of Political Economy and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London.

Peter Ramsay is Professor of Law at the London School of Economics.

The authors write about politics at

P. Cunliffe, University College London; G. Hoare, Bungacast podcast; L. Jones, Queen Mary University of London; P. Ramsay, London School of Economics Law School