PhD

Lead Research Organisation: University of Teesside
Department Name: Sch of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law

Abstract

The New English Nationalism: Class, culture and the politics of the future: An ethnographic case study of a post-industrial northern town

This research seeks to offer a timely investigation into the growth of right-wing nationalism in a traditionally Labour heartland. The core foci will be those who voted for UKIP at the 2015 general election and Brexit in 2016. In this way, the proposed research aims to:

1. Investigate the upsurge in support for the right-wing nationalist agenda in Hartlepool.
2. Study the socioeconomic, political and cultural forces that create the conditions for the nationalist agenda.
3. Develop theory and offer a nuanced comprehensive analysis.
4. Understand why the post-industrial working class are increasingly lending their support to the nationalist cause in Hartlepool.
5. Produce relevant findings of academic, political and public value that can feed into on-going discourses and practice.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000762/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
1954503 Studentship ES/P000762/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2020 Luke Telford
 
Description By conducting my qualitative research project, the key findings ascertained are:

The Brexit result on Teesside appears to be the culmination of historic changes, including economic decline, the loss of stable industrial employment, discontent with closed stores on the high-street, austerity measures, labour market insecurity and uncertainty, the absence of a clear biography for their children and grandchildren and political abandonment. Whilst some endorsed current immigration levels, others were more reserved and believed that current numbers should be reduced. None of the participants spoke positively about the European Union and believed it was undemocratic and unaccountable. They felt politically powerless and believed Brexit offered a means to restructure society and the economy. The study's participants did not believe in a second referendum and the Labour Party's support for remain angered them. They were also aware of the accusations that they were unaware of their own economic interests and how they had been duped by the media.

Politically, they felt abandoned by the Labour Party, particularly from the New Labour era onwards. Although many expressed excitement about Tony Blair's leadership, they believed he was disingenuous and protected his own interests. Many highlighted the Iraq war as an example of lies and deception. Whilst New Labour invested in public services, they did not feel that this improved their livelihoods as stable and secure employment opportunities continued to decline. They also associated this era with the start of political spin and deception. Interestingly, whilst some expressed excitement about Jeremy Corbyn and his progressive economic policies, others failed to support him partially because of mistrust and how they did not believe he was a leader.

As the UK leaves the European Union, people on Teesside will hope to see a significant material improvement in their livelihoods. As the area has just voted for the Conservatives for the first time in its history, whether that change occurs is ambiguous. It is now time for the Labour Party to work hard to harness the social and political discontent through listening to voters and taking their concerns seriously.
Exploitation Route More in-depth qualitative research is needed on the evolving political spectrum. Interviewing Brexit voters and non-voters and building up a complex picture of their lives enables researchers to identify the nuanced causes of political discontent and understand why people feel the way they do.

Going forward, my next empirical project will either focus on (a) non-voters' motivations or (b) the social harms of unemployment.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Other

URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0309816819873310
 
Description Attendance at the NINE DTP ESRC Autumn conference. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I attended the NINE DTP ESRC Autumn conference at Queens University in Belfast.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Attendance at the NINE DTP summer school. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I attended the NINE DTP ESRC summer school at Durham University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Blog post for The Full Brexit. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I wrote a blog piece that was published on The Full Brexit that is entitled: 'Understanding Leave voters' motivations in Northeast England'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a conference presentation titled "The New English Nationalism" at Teesside University's postgraduate conference on the 13th September 2018. The talk stimulated intellectual discussion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a conference presentation titled "Brexit and the working class" at 'The Non-Death of Neoliberalism' conference at York St John University, 25th May 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a conference presentation titled "Brexit and the working class" at the British Society of Criminology conference at Birmingham City University, 5th July 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a conference presentation titled "Deindustrialized Teesside, loss and absence" at the Invisibility: The Absent, the Unseen and the Forgotten conference at Sheffield Hallam University on 31st May 2019. The talk stimulated debate about myriad social changes.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a conference presentation titled "Deindustrialization, lost futures and political discontent on Teesside" at the Working Class Studies Association International Conference, University of Kent, 5th September 2019. The talk ignited debate about my recently published co-authored journal article, and many scholars subsequently emailed me to discuss it further.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Conference presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave a conference presentation titled "Deindustrialization, lost futures and political dissatisfaction at the Frontiers conference, University of Sheffield, 11th June 2019. The talk stimulated debate.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Guest Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was invited to, and delivered, a guest lecture, at Plymouth University titled "The rise of right-wing populism" on 13th December 2018. The talk ignited debate about various social issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview for Switzerland TV 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I was interviewed by established Swiss journalist Serge Enderlin about social, economic and cultural change and Brexit on Teesside. He read my journal article which is published in Capital & Class. A part of the interview was broadcasted on Swiss TV via 'Mise Au Point'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Membership of a professional body. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I recently became a member of both The British Sociological Association and The British Society of Criminology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Panel debate 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was part of a panel discussion at the NINE DTP ESRC autumn conference titled "Brexit: Perspectives from the North East and Northern Ireland" on 2nd November, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Panel discussion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I was involved in a panel discussion titled "Brexit or Brentrance? English, historical and social science perspectives on leaving the EU" at Teesside University's postgraduate conference on 13th September 2018. The panel discussion ignited debate about a core social issue.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018