The international consequences of Brexit: an English School analysis

2020-02-20T15:01:05Z (GMT) by Peter Wilson Tim Oliver
The English School is one of the main traditions of thought in International Relations and the only one home-grown in Britain. While initially unconcerned with questions of integration, and the regional level more generally, its concepts and insights have recently been applied to the European integration process. However, an English School analysis of the consequences of Brexit has yet to be conducted. This article rectifies this omission and offers a broad system-level analysis of major-state withdrawal from deep multilateral arrangements. Following a brief introduction to the main phases of English School development, the article analyses the consequences of Brexit in terms of three central areas: the pluralist-solidarist debate; primary institutions; and great power status. It finds that while the adjustment costs of Brexit will be considerable, the longer-term systemic consequences are unlikely to be far-reaching. The main consequence is the additional pressure Brexit puts on Britain’s precarious great power status.