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 MPIfG Podcasts



Helen Thompson
Brexit: Causes, Consequences, and Implications for Europe


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In her lecture, Helen Thompson explains the origins of Brexit in Britain’s constitutional tradition, political economy, and geopolitical position in the post-war world. She shows how these became connected problems between 2009 and 2016 for British governments. She argues that a referendum in the medium term was largely inevitable, and that the chances it would result in a Leave vote were always quite high. She also explains why it took so long within British domestic politics to resolve whether Brexit would actually happen, and finally she considers what British secession reveals about the EU both internally and in terms of geopolitical predicaments.
Helen Thompson is Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University. She is a regular contributor to the podcast Talking Politics and is a columnist for the New Statesman.


Selected Publications
  • Thompson, Helen. 2017. Oil and the Western Economic Crisis. London: Palgrave.
  • Thompson, Helen. 2017. "How the City of London Lost at Brexit: A Historical Perspective." Economy and Society 46 (2): 211–28.
  • Thompson, Helen. 2017. "Inevitability and Contingency: The Political Economy of Brexit." British Journal of Politics and International Relations 19 (3): 434–49.
  • Thompson, Helen. 2016. "Enduring capital flow constraints and the 2007-8 financial and euro-zone crises." British Journal of Politics and International Relations 18 (1): 216-33.
  • Thompson, Helen. 2015. "Germany and the euro zone crisis: The European reformation of the German banking crisis." New Political Economy 20 (6): 851-70.
Preparatory Reading
  • Thompson, Helen. 2016. "Between Scylla and Charybdis: Brexit as fate and trap." Juncture 23 (2): 111-15.


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