Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Video review of Command and Control by Eric Schlosser

A video review of my 2014 book review of Command and Control by Eric Schlosser (published by Allen Lane in 2013). The written review - here - first appeared in International Affairs, the journal of Chatham House. The book tells the history of accidents and near-misses involving the US nuclear arsenal and is one of the most brilliantly written but profoundly disturbing books I have ever read. Events surrounding North Korea made me think this was a good time to create a short video review.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Guilty Men: Brexit Edition by Cato the Younger

My latest book review is of Guilty Men: Brexit Edition by Cato the Younger. You can read it on the LSE's Brexit Vote Blog or in the document below.

You can also watch a short video review on my YouTube channel.

Friday, July 28, 2017

A Brexit summer reading guide

Have you been struggling to keep up with all the new books on Brexit? Were you secretly planning to spend your summer holiday catching up on some of them? Ok, so you probably weren’t. But if you were, then here to help c/o the LSE's Brexit blog is my guide on what to take away with you to the beach or poolside to keep your mind focused on an issue that will be keeping us all busy for several more summers to come.

As a bonus I even offer some thoughts on which Brexit books might make excellent Christmas stocking fillers...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The EU Falling Apart? Theoretical Discussions of Brexit, Grexit and Other Exit Scenarios

I have a chapter in the recently published in ‘Solidarity in the European Union: A Fundamental Value in Crisis’ edited by Andreas Grimmel and Susanne My Giang.

Abstract: The contribution by Tim Oliver studies the theoretical discussions of Brexit, Grexit and other exit scenarios. Oliver starts from the fact that the UK’s vote to leave the European Union has presented the integration project with an unprecedented challenge. What this could mean for the EU has been the subject of increased levels of analysis and speculation, albeit nowhere near as comprehensive as that into what the vote might mean for the UK. One concern is that Brexit signals or could begin the unravelling of the EU, eventually leading to its complete collapse and disintegration. To examine whether or not Brexit will lead to European disintegration, this chapter explores some of the analysis into what Brexit could mean for the EU and then explores some of the theoretical debates about European disintegration.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Presentation to the 24th International Conference of Europeanists, Glasgow.

A few days spent in Glasgow at the 24th International Conference of Europeanists. Below is the script for my presentation on 'Europe's Britain', which is a project I'll be continuing to work on while at the EUI in Florence.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

May's Brexit election that wasn't

My take for the Clingendael Institute on what happened in the 2017 UK election and what it means for Brexit.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Assessing the Value of Regionally Aligned Forces in Army Security Cooperation

While a TAPIR Fellow at RAND in 2014 I contributed to research that was recently published in a report assessing the value of Regionally Aligned Forces. The report is focused on US Army efforts in this area, but there are some brief sections exploring similar efforts by the British and French armies. 

Dissecting the Elexit

It's one year since the EU referendum, so I had to say something... 

Britain’s recent General Election and its unanticipated outcome marks the latest chapter in the political turbulence that has characterised the last twelve months since the EU referendum. However LSE Ideas Associate and former Dahrendorf Postdoctoral Fellow Tim Oliver argues that the election was not in fact about Brexit, although it does now leave the timing of Brexit in flux.

Full article here:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Bibliography of Books on Brexit

Britain’s relations with the EU and the rest of Europe have long fascinated authors. The result has been a wealth of books on the topic, to say nothing of the media and academic journal articles, and reports from think tanks, government, the EU and other European governments, businesses, charities, NGOs, law firms and consultancies.

Britain’s vote to leave has added more choice. As part of a recent book proposal I had to produce a list of books published on UK-EU relations since the referendum, and I thought it would be helpful to publish that list here and try to update it regularly. I focus here on books and not the far too numerous reports or articles.

I list the books here in alphabetical order with no divisions based on quality, background or political slant. If I’ve missed a book then please email me the details via Also, please take a look at my regularly updated Brexicon: A Dictionary of Brexit, which is also summarised here.  

Some of these books are included in my Brexit summer reading guide on the LSE's Brexit Blog. 
  • K. Armstrong, Brexit Time: Leaving the EU - why, how and when? Cambridge University Press, 2017, £17.99 (PB), £29.99 (HB), online access also available. Written by Kenneth Armstrong, professor of law at Cambridge University, its analysis is divided into four sections examining the world before the vote, the vote itself, preparing for Brexit, and Brexit itself. Comes with a very helpful online edition. 
  • M. Ashcroft and K. Culwick, Well, You Did Ask…: Why the UK voted to leave the EU, Biteback, 2016, £9.99 (PB), £3.89 (Kindle). Looks at the available data on how and why the British people voted as they did. Published quickly, draws on a wide range of sources, not least that backed by Lord Ashcroft’s own polling, focuses on the campaign and polling, with little analysis of the future, history, or implications for the EU.
  • D. Bailey and L. Budd, The Political Economy of Brexit, Agenda, 2017, £16.99 (PB), £16.99 (Kindle). An edited collection of academic analyses with a focus on political economy, but also some domestic political issues such as the unity of the UK, and the future of the EU. Ideal for postgraduate readers studying political economy and with an existing knowledge of the topic of UK-EU relations.
  • O. Bennett, The Brexit Club, Biteback, 2016, £12.99 (PB), £7.91 (Kindle). A popular account of what happened inside the Leave campaigns.
  • Cato the Younger, Guilty Men: Brexit Edition, Biteback, 2017, £10 (HB), £7.99 (eBook). Based on the 1940 book of the same name that destroyed the reputation of the men responsible for appeasement, this 2017 edition goes after the men - or 13 men and 2 women - guilty of causing Brexit and plunging Britain into a period of unnecessary risks that could end in calamity. Whether you voted Leave or Remain, it's difficult not to view Brexit Britain as a country of lions misled by donkeys. 
  • H. Clarke, M. Goodwin and P. Whiteley, Brexit: Why Britain voted to leave the European Union, CUP, 2017, £49.99 (HB), £15.99 (PB). The most comprehensive analysis so far of the vote, with a focus on voting behaviour over time and giving some pointers as to where Brexit goes next. You can read my review of the book for the LSE's Brexit blog here.
  • T.J. Coles, The Great Brexit Swindle: Why the mega-rich and free market fanatics conspired to force Britain from the EU, Clairview Books, 2016, £11.68 (PB), £6.47 (Kindle). A provocative book focusing on the neoliberal backers of Brexit and the deceitful way in which Leave supporters were drawn to an agenda that will not be fulfilled or benefit them.
  • I. Dunt, Brexit: What the Hell happens now? Canbury Press, 2016, £5.59 (PB), £3.99 (Kindle). Written by a journalist in the immediate aftermath of the vote, it looks at the future giving a popular – but Remain leaning – account of what may unfold.
  • G. Evans and A. Menon, Brexit and British Politics. Wiley, due late 2017. Looks set to explain the outcome of the vote by looking at longer-term trends in British politics. 
  • J. Farrell and P. Goldsmith, How to Lose A Referendum: The Definitive Story of Why the UK Voted for Brexit. Biteback, 2017, £20 (HB). An overview of the various reasons  (they identify eighteen key ones) for why Britain voted leave. The book looks back at the history of UK-EU relations along with analysis of the referendum campaign and contemporary UK politics. 
  • G. Gibbon, Breaking Point: The UK referendum on the EU and its aftermath, Uni of Chicago Press, 2017, £13.00 (PB) £6.47 (Kindle). A short analysis by political editor of C4 News looking into what drove Brexit with some analysis of what it could mean for the rest of the EU. Strengths:
  • A. Glencross, Why the UK voted for Brexit, Routledge Pivot series, 2016, £36.99 (HB), £24.69 (Kindle). A short academic analysis of the referendum divided into four sections covering the history of Euroscepticism, the renegotiation, the campaign, and the future handling of Brexit. It focuses on the nature of direct democracy in the UK and the nature of Euroscepticism.
  • D. Allen Green, Brexit: What Everyone Needs to Know. OUP, due to be published late 2017. Due out later this year, the book forms part of a wider 'What everyone needs to know' series. What you need to know is set out in the answers to 41 questions. 
  • E. Guild, Brexit and its Consequences for UK and EU Citizenship or Monstrous Citizenship, Brill, 2017, €54 (HB). An analysis of the potential implications of Brexit for citizenship. Strengths: detailed analysis of issue concerning many people. Weakness: too focused on citizenship.
  • D. Hannan, What Next: How to get the best from Brexit, Head of Zeus, 2016, £9.99 (PB), £3.69 (Kindle). Written by longstanding Eurosceptic Dan Hannan, it offers a Leavers analysis of where Britain and UK-EU relations can go next with a focus on the nature of UK democracy.
  • F. Harrison and M. Gaffney, Beyond Brexit: The blueprint, Land Research Trust, 2016, £8.00 (PB). Looks at Brexit from the perspective of taxation (especially land taxes) and political economy, arguing for reform of both to enable a post-Brexit Britain to succeed.
  • D. Kauders, Understanding Brexit Options: What future for Britain? Sparkling books, 2016, £11.99 (PB), £2.37 (Kindle). A short book, written around the time of the vote and in a non-academic way, describing the various options facing the UK on leaving the EU. Backed remaining in the EU.
  • D. MacShane, Brexit: How Britain will leave the EU, I.B.Tauris, 2016, £8.99 (PB), £8.54 (Kindle). A readable, provocative analysis written before the referendum looking at the reasons why Britain was likely to vote leave.
  • D. MacShane, Brexit: How Britain will stay in the EU, I.B.Tauris, 2017 (forthcoming). Will be a follow-up to his previous book, but with a focus on the limits of Brexit.
  • J. Montague and J. Pick, The Brexit Years: a handbook for survivors, ATWP, 2017, £10.95 (PB), £4.99 (Kindle). A short attempt at a satirical analysis of the referendum and its outcome.
  • J. Morphet, Beyond Brexit: How to assess the UK’s future, Policy Press, 2017, £9.99 (PB), £8.39 (Kindle). A detailed academic analysis focused on the potential implications of Brexit across a wide range of institutions and policy areas.
  • M. Mosbacher and O. Wiseman, Brexit revolt: How the UK voted to leave the EU, New Culture forum, 2016, £10 (PB), £4.99 (Kindle) A short contemporary history written by Eurosceptics explaining how the Leave campaign won.
  • H. Mount, Summer Madness: How Brexit split the Tories, destroyed Labour and divided the country, Biteback, 2016, £12.99 (PB), £7.47 (Kindle). A quickly published insider account of the campaign.
  • C. Oliver, Unleashing Demons: The inside story of Brexit, Hodder and Stoughton, 2016, £20 (HB), £9.99 (PB), £20 (Kindle). An insider’s account by Cameron’s Communications Director of what happened during the campaign. One of the best insiders accounts.
  • T. Oliver, Europe's Brexit, Agenda, due out late 2017. Through chapters written by authors from across the rest of the EU, the book will examine how the rest of the EU responded to the UK's renegotiation, referendum campaign and the result of the vote. 
  • W. Outhwaite, Brexit: Sociological Responses, Anthem Press, 2017, £70 (HB), £32.27 (PB), £29.39 (Kindle). An edited academic analysis of a wide range of issues connected to Brexit. Comprehensive in coverage, academic in analysis.
  • D. Owen and D. Ludlow, British Foreign Policy After Brexit, Biteback, July 2017, £12.99. A forthcoming book looking at the way forward for UK foreign policy.
  • T. Shipman, All Out War: The full story of how Brexit sank Britain’s political class, William Collins, 2016, £25 (HB), £9.99 (PB), £25 (Kindle). A popular account of both the Remain and Leave campaigns. Another good insiders account.
  • J. Smith, The UK's journey into and out of the EU: Destinations Unknown. Routledge, 2017, £48.99 (HB), £10.50 (eBook). An overview of Britain's European journey written byJulie Smith, member of the House of Lords and Director of the European Centre at Cambridge University. 
Updated: 28 July 2017.

Prague European Summit 2017

Last week I spoke at the Prague European Summit 2017 on the panel 'Brexit: Bad or Worse?' Other speakers on the panel included: 

Steffan De Rynck, Advisor for Outreach and Think Tanks, Brexit Task Force of European Commission 
Emmy van Deurzen, Director, New Europeans
Martin Povejšil, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the EU 

Chair: Tom Nuttall, Charlemagne Columnist, Economist