Journal Article

Before and beyond Brexit: political dimensions of UK lifestyle migration


Lifestyle migration is a now-established section within the anthropology of migration, and interdisciplinary migration studies, usually justified by its extensive and increasing spread, globally. Yet, bar a few exceptions, the political behaviour of lifestyle migrants has been relatively neglected. I redress this imbalance by critically comparing two overlapping processes where British migrants to Spain act politically: elected councillors in town-halls; campaigning anti-Brexit activists. This pair is as comparable as it is contrastive. In theoretical terms, I argue that modern versions of practice theory are a useful mode for analysing municipal activity by foreign agents, while the Brexit process, because novel, fast-paced, and open-ended, is better understood via Isin’s ‘enactment of citizenship’ approach. Both explanatory modes are powerful, have perspectival slants, and are best applied to different contexts and styles of contest: practice theorists research how people work with change; Isinians, how they produce it. The paper also furthers the anthropology of citizenship by investigating a case where the link between citizenship of a country as a prerequisite for legitimate political activity in it is broken.

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Macclancy, Jeremy

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-02-15

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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