Book Launch

Taking Control: Sovereignty and Democracy after Brexit

12 May 2023, 6pm

London School of Economics
New Academic Building,
Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ

Tickets are free but registration is required. Click the button below.

Launch organised by LSE Law Events

‘This is the most important book to come out of the struggles over Britain’s membership of the EU, and it makes all other works on the subject look trivial.’
Richard Tuck, Professor of Government Theory, University of Harvard

Britain’s politics are once again at an impasse as our bankrupt political parties work together to draw the UK back into the EU’s orbit. Taking Control offers a new political perspective that aims to realise the potential of democratic national sovereignty.

In Taking Control, the editors of The Northern Star argue that Brexit has confronted Britain with the task of building a new nation out of the political void left by decades of EU member-statehood. They explore the contradictions of the Brexit process and the complete exhaustion of Britain’s political traditions that has been exposed by Brexit and its aftermath. They show how a new political nation can only be built by internationalists who reject both liberal cosmopolitanism and national populism.

Taking Control is published by Polity in April (£15.99 pbk, £50 hbk).
You can pre-order here.

Birmingham launch:

22nd April 2023, 1pm

At Birmingham Salon’s United? Kingdom? event
Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BS
Full agenda and ticket details here.

Gloucester launch:

3rd May 2023, 7pm

St Mary de Crypt, Cooke Room
Southgate Street, Gloucester GL1 1TP

Launches to come in Liverpool and Canterbury. Details TBC.


‘This is the most important book to come out of the struggles over Britain’s membership of the EU, and it makes all other works on the subject look trivial. The authors provide a profound analysis of the issues involved, and show how only thorough-going changes in Britain’s political and constitutional arrangements will be able to respond to the challenges of this near-revolutionary moment.’
Richard Tuck, Professor of Government Theory, University of Harvard

‘Brexit, this book forcefully argues, was no more than the first step in a long process of rebuilding a democratic nation-state, indeed a democratic nation, out of the ruins of a politics without national sovereignty. Sovereign democracy requires effective institutions of civic representation that disempower a political elite content with ruling the void. Taking Control is a breakthrough for democratic theory and a milestone for political debates on the future of democracy.’
Wolfgang Streeck, Emeritus Director, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, Germany

‘The condition of post-Brexit Britain is grim. This excellent book shows that this has little to do with having lost the putative benefits of EU membership. Far more important is the British state’s steady incapacitation and the decay of neoliberal political parties. The promise of “taking control” remains, but only if Britain undergoes a democratic and social transformation.’
Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics, SOAS London

‘A crucial book for understanding the Brexit paradox: why it failed catastrophically to deliver on its promise to re-democratise British politics, but why it remains a necessary precondition for achieving just that.’
Thomas Fazi, Co-author Reclaiming the State and The Covid Consensus

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