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19.02.2019: Brexit: The Historical Perspective

Aarhus University, Richard Mortensen Stuen, Studenternes hus,
Frederik Nielsens Vej 4, 8000 Aarhus C
16:15–18:00

To be or not to be … European’ seems to be an ever-present British dilemma. When the British are in, they want to get out, and when they are out, they want – or need – to get in. That has been true in times of both war and peace, and reflects the fact that Europe may not be liked and embraced easily by the British, although it constitutes a fate that they cannot easily avoid. This dilemma has one again been rehearsed in the present Brexit drama where the end is still uncertain. But what is certain is that Europe, in this case the EU, is still a British dilemma which in fact is also a European dilemma.

To reflect on this historical dilemma the Research Program in History at Aarhus University and The Danish Foreign Policy Society invite researchers, students and all other interested in European current affairs to attend a panel debate on Brexit in a historical perspective. The debate will take place on 19 February at 16.15 at Richard Mortensen Stuen, Studenternes Hus.

In the panel we have two distinguished guests and long-time scholars of British and European history, professor Anne Deighton, Oxford University, and professor Dominik Geppert, University of Potsdam. In the panel they will be joined by professor Thorsten Borring Olesen, Department of History at Aarhus University. All three participants have recently contributed to a special issue on the historical roots and significance of Brexit published by the prominent journal, Contemporary European History. The panelists will draw on these contributions as a starting point for addressing two core questions:

  1. Can history help us understand and explain Brexit?
  2. Can history guide us as to what will be the wider significance of Brexit for Britain and for Europe?

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