Political think tank launched to create greater public understanding of Brexit result
Inform EU Debate (InformED) brings together academics from within the social sciences from universities across the UK who share a belief that many who voted to leave in the EU referendum did so out of a justified sense of alienation and insecurity.
Alex Nunn, Professor in Political Economy and the founding Director of the Centre for Applied Social Research at Leeds Beckett, said: “I believe that the recent EU referendum result is the product of a new politics of inequality, in which the divisions between the 1% and the 99% have become ever more apparent, but the 99% are also deeply divided in their reactions to this socio-economic inequality.
“Unless politicians, the media and academic experts do more to connect with public opinion on both sides of the EU debate, social divisions are likely to increase, with potentially dangerous consequences. We have set up Inform ED in order to promote discussion and debates beyond the Westminster bubble and are developing resources to help communities identify if and how Brexit will affect them and to plan their responses accordingly.”
InformED is a collaboration of academics, public sector professionals, artists and others brought together in recognition of the need for greater interaction between grassroots public opinion and politics in Westminster, the City Hall and universities. The group was formed following the referendum vote as more than 250 people – mostly academics - joined a Facebook discussion.
InformED aims to be different to other think tanks in bringing expertise to bear in scrutinising the status quo with the aim of contributing to greater social, economic and political equality, especially in the complex negotiations involved in leaving the EU.
Dr Sophia Price, Principal Lecturer in Social Sciences and Head of Politics and International Relations at Leeds Beckett, added: “We need to engage beyond the lecture hall and academic conference room, with the people whose lives we study.
“The decisions which are yet to be made will involve detailed negotiations over complex issues and will have a significant impact on the inequality, alienation and insecurity that led to this decision in the first place. Unless this process is subjected to informed scrutiny, grounded in the interests of grass roots communities, there is a real danger that those inequalities and insecurities will increase as a result.”
For more information and InformED visit https://informedfuture.wordpress.com which includes a blog and an expert directory, containing details of 50 academics and researchers from 28 Universities and research organisations across the disciplines of politics, sociology, international political economy, European studies, business and public policy.