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Series: Pocket Politics

This book is a series of 'remarks' and 'sketches', which together form a mosaic to show how the use of the referendum followed a strict, almost Hegelian pattern of the 'unfolding of freedom' throughout the ages. It outlines how referendums have been used in Britain and abroad, presenting some of the arguments for and against this institution. The book commences with an outline of the world history of the referendum from the French Revolution to the present day, and then discusses the British experience up to 2010. The book examines the referendum on European Economic Community membership in 1975, considering the alternative vote referendum in 2011 and the referendum on Scottish independence in 2014. Next, the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum in 2016, especially the campaign leading up to it, is discussed. After the analysis of the Brexit referendum, the book touches on the Maltese referendum on divorce in 2011. It summarises some of the trends and tendencies in the use of the referendum internationally, highlighting that Britain is not a unique case in holding referendums. The book shows that, notwithstanding the general assumptions about referendums, these are not usually associated with demagogues and populism, but the referendum has tended to be used as a constitutional safeguard. However, in Britain, a country without a formal written constitution, these safeguards were not in place. For the referendum to work, for this institution to be a constitutional safeguard, it must be a people's shield and not the government's sword.

Joe Cleary

actually its relative brevity. An institutionally maintained link between dominant religion, nation and the state endured for several centuries in England, Spain, Sweden and Holland (to cite just a few examples). But in the Republic of Ireland’s case, that linkage was for a variety of reasons –​these ranging from the challenges of the women’s movement to the need, against the backdrop of the Troubles, to create a stronger case for a non-​denominational state more hospitable to Protestants and unionists, to European Economic Community membership –​already being severely

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
Abstract only
Lindsay Aqui

2017. 9 Haeussler, ‘The Popular Press’, p. 121. 10 Lindsay Aqui, ‘Macmillan, Nkrumah and the 1961 Application for European Economic Community Membership’, The International History Review 39:4 (2017): pp. 583–584 and Ludlow, Dealing with Britain , p. 171. 11 CVCE , The Truth about the Common Market , published by the Common Market Safeguards Campaign , 1971 . Available online:–4825–439d-b748-bdef873add3f.html . Last accessed 20 September 2019. 12

in The first referendum
Cordoning off colonial spoils
Nadine El-Enany

was dependent on Britain retaining its status as a global power at the centre of a multi-racial Commonwealth system. Gaitskell feared a situation that would see Britain ‘reduced to playing the role of a regional power’, and thus firmly resisted any prospect of European Economic Community membership.132 Some Conservative MPs, such as Robin Turton, also heavily opposed to European integration, tactically opposed the removal of entry rights for racialised colony and Commonwealth citizens, viewing this legislative move as the first step towards transforming Britain into

in (B)ordering Britain