1st Edition

What Brexit Means An Anthropology of Polarization and Cultural Change in Britain

By Max Horder Copyright 2025
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    What Brexit Means explores the rise of populism in Britain. Drawing on several years of ethnographic fieldwork amongst ideologically committed Brexit activists, it examines the discourse of populism across language, culture, politics, psychology, and cognition. It explains how populism is expressed in terms of ritually renewing social order and solidarity. Rejecting the notion that the territory of populism studies belongs to political science, this book shows how it is in the realm of anthropology - myth, ritual, alterity, consciousness, selfhood - that we witness the most compelling examples of how a phenomena as modern as populism depends upon the same symbolic logics that we find in the premodern world. What Brexit Means is a demonstration of the power of anthropology to explain momentous and poorly predicted transformations in the global order. It will become a benchmark text for those eager for anthropology’s contribution to understanding the political turbulence that is rocking the stability of Western democracies.



    What Brexit Means


    Chapter One

    Does Britain Have a Sacred? Sacrifice, Renewal, and the 2019 December General Election

    Chapter Two

    Britain Alone: Readings on Myth, Fantasy, and Reality


    Chapter Three

    Carnival and Critique: Towards a Structural-Functionalist Reading of Brexit


    Chapter Four

    Populist Man as Philosopher: How Magical Consciousness Shapes Conspiracy Fantasy



    Brexit Means Brexit






    Max Horder is a cognitive anthropologist working on issues of belief, trust, and identity in modern Europe. He received his PhD in Anthropology at Princeton University for his work on populism in Britain.