The 2016 European Union Referendum, Consociationalism and the Territorial Constitution of the UK

  • Andrew Blick
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


This chapter notes that the overall UK constitutional system is not generally classified as consociational in nature. However, the diversity of the UK state creates challenges with similarities to those difficulties which consociationalism is intended to manage. It is also demonstrated that some administrative and constitutional mechanisms developed partly in response to those problems could be said to display characteristics of a consociational nature. However, the devolved institutions do not have a firm legal role in the conduct of policy at the UK level. The chapter argues that membership of the European Union (EU) had served to diffuse some of the tensions that might otherwise consequently have existed, through transferring responsibility to a supranational sphere. Blick concludes that exit from the EU might remove this means of release and necessitate further steps in a consociational direction.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Blick
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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