Examination of Discourses in the Referendums, and How They Built up, or Questioned, Romanticised Nationalisms (co-presenter)

Thursday, July 13, 2017
WMB - Hugh Fraser Seminar Room 2 (University of Glasgow)
Arianna Introna , English Studies, Stirling University
During the referendum, from an anti-capitalist standpoint, Gordon Asher and Leigh French denounced the consensus whereby independence and participation in the campaign were ‘posited as ipso facto “progressive”’ in ways that elided struggles for social justice and empowerment.   I am interested in examining the ways in which both pro-independence discourses produced in the run-up to the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence and discourses in favour of Brexit before and after the 2016 referendum share common ground in furthering such elision on two points. On the one hand, through the pursuit of nation-states as independent / insulated from supra-national institutions of governance as the emancipatory way out of austerity they both put the national(ist) aspect of capitalism beyond contestation. On the other hand, both sets of narratives empty out class  a category of struggle at multiple scales while elevating institutions are the terrain and agents of conflict, and thus as the recipient of citizens’ loyalty. Consideration of the ways in which autonomous movements and collectives have been operating in Scotland within (post-)referendum contexts – in terms of the limits, tensions, and possibilities involved – affords a way of putting pressure, from an anti-capitalist autonomist perspective, on the logics and politics that clash with those informing pro-independence and Brexit discourses. <with Leigh French>