Fog in the Channel? The Impact of Brexit on the Transnational Relations of British Political Parties

Lead Research Organisation: University of Portsmouth
Department Name: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences


My ultimate goal in undertaking this project is to create an Applied Policy Framework that might be used by British political parties and other organisations in order to establish, maintain and strengthen transnational links with European counterparts, particularly amid continuing negotiations between the UK and the EU. This will involve a significant amount of classification and quantification work, as explained below.

Firstly, I will conduct a literature review to better understand existing scholarship on the subject. It is clear that there has been, in the past couple of years, an abundance of academic writing undertaken on the topic of Brexit. I will look to dig deeper into the theory of European political transnationalism. In doing so, I will be able to map relationship trends from the formation of the EU to present. This might include a quantitative realisation of diplomacy - or indeed relationship strength - in relation to world events.

Secondly, I will establish a framework (currently envisioned as one axis of the Applied Policy Framework) to understand existing organisational "levels." As demonstrated in my abstract, I have primitively grouped these levels as "micro" and "macro," though I expect there to be a significant amount of necessary nuance here. By classifying the various organisations that exist within the transnational political environment, I will be able to preeminently identify the characteristics of each "level," and indeed the ways in which they work for one another, for future reference.

Qualitative data will be collected primarily in the form of interviews and process monitoring tailored to each organisational "level," which I will conduct in London, Brussels and over the phone. These interviews will attempt to target three main things: network establishment, communication processes, and cooperation outcomes.

Brexit will have its own inevitable chapter, particularly in term of how the mechanics of the Withdrawal Agreement are aiding or abetting British communications with EU political parties. I expect to see a shift here in relational dynamics here, which again may be quantitatively realised. If feasible, I would like to forecast how these dynamics might prevail under a number of courses of action; using a control model (no attempt to maintain transnational political relations) to illustrate trends for British stakeholders whose institutions or organisations are unconvinced of the importance of relationship maintenance.

In whatever way the United Kingdom leaves the EU - indeed, even if it doesn't - evidence suggests that transnational networks will suffer. By classifying different "levels" of organisation and identifying the key stages of a network link - formation, maintenance and dissolution - we will be able to forge a better understanding of transnational cooperation landscape.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000673/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2278687 Studentship ES/P000673/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Molly Nolan