Brexit: On the declining homogeneity of European elites
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Brexit: On the declining homogeneity of European elites
Brexit: On the declining homogeneity of European elites – and on the importance of a domestic habitus in times of globalization

Michael Hartmann ( Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany
Klarissa Lueg ( Flensburg University, Germany

„The British economic elite – contrary to common perceptions of a globalized powerful elite – was not capable, not even on the national level, to prevent a decision which, to this elite group, is of eminently outstanding relevance.“ (M. Hartmann)

In this interview, Michael Hartmann addresses three aspects related to the social phenomenon

“Brexit“: mass vs. elite; elite vs. elite; and implications for the theoretical perspective on Bourdieusian power structure research. First, Hartmann argues that frustration as to social democratic and socialist politics, combined with social decline, fostered pro-Brexit votes – as well as, on a broader European level, mainly right wing protest movements. Second, Hartmann argues that two ideal typical groups of elites in the UK, the political and the economic one, have become alienated from each other previous to the Brexit discussion. This is demonstrated by the economic elite not being able to prevent the Brexit referendum which, potentially, is damaging to British economy. Alienation between the two groups is tied to globalized and diverse life courses. Globalization, here, is responsible for lessening social similarities between managers and politicians. Hartmann concludes that, given this habitus alienation, even an otherwise powerful globalized economic elite cannot oppose a domestic political elite. Third, and finally, Hartmann conjectures that the habitus concept will remain of empirical importance despite globalizing careers. (...)

"The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage."

“My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” Carl Schurz

"Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms."

"Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must." Thucydides
2018 Jul 14 00:30

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