Understanding 'the economy' in Brexit Britain

By Anna Killick



  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5927-4
  • Pages: 168
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £21.00
  • Published Date: June 2021
  • BIC Category: British Politics, Political economy, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Social Theory, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography, Economics, finance, business & management / Political economy
  • Series: Political Ethnography


In Brexit Britain, talk of 'the economy' dominates; however, we know surprisingly little about how people understand this term. In the aftermath of the 2008 crash and decades of neoliberalism, how are understandings of 'the economy' changing, and is it the case that Remain supporters care more about 'the economy' than Leave supporters?

This timely and insightful book argues that people with similar experiences of the economy share an understanding of the term, regardless of whether they supported Leave or Remain. Through extensive ethnographic research in a city on the South coast of England, Anna Killick explores what people from a range of backgrounds understand about key aspects of 'the economy', including employment, austerity, trade and the economic effects of migration.


'A stunning achievement and a very, very important book. Killick produces a series of invaluable insights into two of the most under-asked questions in contemporary British politics: what do people mean when they talk about "the economy" and do they think they get their fair share from it? The answers reveal much about the divisions of post-Brexit Britain.'
Matthew Watson, Professor of Political Economy, University of Warwick

'Essential reading for anyone interested in how economics is perceived, and more specifically in why half the country voted for Brexit. Easy to read and free from jargon, this study lets its subjects do the talking.'
Simon Wren-Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Fellow of Merton College, University of Oxford

'Rich and packed with detail, Rigged provides a fascinating insight into the nation's relationship with its economy. Killick shows us that listening to people talk about "the economy", whatever they understand it to mean, is vitally important to understanding the world today.'
Joe Earle is co-author of The Econocracy and Chief Executive of Economy (


1 What is 'the economy'?
2 Researching understandings of 'the economy'
3 Provisioning: 'whole buildings have disappeared'
4 'Government debt is not an issue'
5 Trade and migration: 'other people'
6 'The word economy is hollow'
7 Formal and rigged versions of 'the economy' in Brexit Britain
8 'Economically, something new, something different'


Anna Killick is a Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science at University College London

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