Nationalstaternes suverænitet i en supranational og multikulturel verden: Hvordan øget supranationalt samarbejde i en stigende multikulturel verden presser nationalstatens klassiske rolle eksemplificeret gennem Brexit

Amalie Ejlebæk Ebbestad

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim of this thesis is to explore the historical, cultural and political factors that may have influenced the referendum in Britain in 2016 and thus caused Brexit. This thesis will use the two integration theories Intergovernmentalism and Liberal Intergovernmentalism, and the concepts of Supranationalism and Multiculturalism that describe the effects of said concepts have on the nation state. The thesis will use an historical overview to exemplify how the Conservatives, who called for a referendum, have become increasingly eurosceptical and will briefly describe some of the British institutions that have been mostly effected by the supranational European Union and an increasingly multicultural society in Britain. These include: parliamentarism, Common-law and the Welfare state. The thesis will analyse five speeches given during the referendum campaign, two speeches from leading Remain and Leave politicians, respectively David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson & Michael Gove, and all from the Conservative Party. The thesis will also analyse a speech given by Nigel Farage from UKIP, as the party has had a significant impact on the question of Britain’s EU membership. The analysis will be conducted using the theoretical background and the thesis will try to uncover which theory best might explain Brexit. After the discussion of the theories and their explanatory efficacy, this thesis concludes that Brexit may be best explained by Intergovernmentalism, Supranationalism and Multiculturalism. Intergovernmentalism stipulates that states with a long history will have a harder time integrating with other states. This thesis concludes that Britain has a long historical baggage and this is one part of the explanation of Brexit. This long historical baggage is also reflected in the British institutions such as parliamentarism and Common-law. This thesis finds that the supranational nature of the EU and thus being above both the British parliament and legal system has made it undesirable for the Brits to remain in the EU. The thesis finds that this is certainly true for many Conservative politicians. This leads to the thesis final conclusion, Brexit is a rejection of a multicultural society. The eurosceptic politicians were not able to get a referendum on the political agenda until they combined membership of the EU with immigration. Immigration is not only a non-negotiable part of EU membership, it also entails that most EU citizens immigrating to Britain are rapidly able to receive benefits from the Welfare state on equal terms with native British citizens. The thesis concludes that a more or less forced European multicultural society and the British Welfare state are incompatible in the mind of the Leave voters, as research showed they were most concern with immigration, and thus Brexit was the result.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages128