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Afterlives of the Atlantic Charter : sovereignty, self-determination and self-government in British politics since 1941

Colloque organisé avec le soutien de l'Institute of Commonwealth Studies, l'Institut universitaire de France, l'Université de Picardie Jules Verne/CORPUS et l'Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin/CHCSC.

du 10 juin 2021 au 11 juin 2021

Jeudi 10 et vendredi 11 juin 2021
En visio-conférence
In the context of the 80th anniversary of the Atlantic Charter and Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, this conference seeks to reflect on understandings of sovereignty, self-determination and self-government, their place in public discourse and their translation into British policies – local, national and international.
The recent debates on inter/in-dependence and democracy in British politics call for further analysis of the ways in which the memory, reverberations and representations of the Second World War and empire have influenced interpretations of sovereignty, power and influence at the level of governments and administrations but also, more diffusely perhaps, in British culture. One of the objectives of this conference is therefore to shed light on the interplay of decolonisation and devolution in reshaping visions of Britain’s international role and on what “overseas” means in a (post-)imperial context.
Whilst imperial nostalgia and anxieties have certainly played a part in the vote in favour of Brexit (Koegler et al.), diffidence towards the European project is far more complex – as is the European project itself and its imperial roots. This conference discusses the conceptual and practical tensions between the supranational, the transnational and the international, and how issues of sovereignty and self-determination have been mediated, shedding light on the connections and faultlines between processes of decolonisation, devolution and (de-)Europeanisation.

10h15 - Welcome and introduction

10h30 > 12h00 - Principles and practices of British international policy: ruptures and continuities since 1941
  • Adrien Rodd, Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin
  • Tommaso Milani, European University Institute: ‘An Anti-Atlantic Programme? E. H. Carr, Conditions of Peace, and Britain’s European Role’
  • David Grealy, Lancaster University : ‘Transatlantic Triangulations : Britain’s Human Rights Diplomacy and US-EC Relations, 1977-79’
  • Louise Dalingwater, Sorbonne Université: ‘Britain’s post Brexit trade deals: Taking back control or a threat to sovereignty?’
12h00 - Lunch break

13h00 > 14h15 - Self-government and self-determination as colonial tools: British policy-makers in transition
  • Mark Reeves, UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Naïma Magetti, University of Geneva: ‘Self-government at the heart of the post-war British colonial rhetoric (1945-1955)’
  • Kushboo Mangroo, Université de Poitiers: ‘Sovereignty and self-determination in the creation of the British Indian Ocean Territory’
14h30 > 15h45 -  Legacies of empire and post-imperial ambitions: Britain’s contemporary foreign policy in Africa
  • Manu Lekunze, University of Aberdeen
  • Amal El Founti, Université de Picardie Jules Verne: ‘Self-determination as historical revisionism? Corbynism and Western Sahara’
  • Roxana Willis, University of Oxford: ‘British foreign policy in Cameroon: past, present and future’
16h00 > 17h30 - Round Table on the legacies of the Atlantic Charter in contemporary politics
  • Mélanie Torrent, Université de Picardie Jules Verne/Institute of Commonwealth Studies/Institut universitaire de France
  • With Peter Clegg (University of the West of England), Harshan Kumarasingham (University of Edinburgh),
  • Henning Melber (Nordic Africa Institute/Institute of Commonwealth Studies) and Pauline Schnapper (Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3).


10h30 > 12h00 - Keynote speech
  • Philip Murphy, Institute of Commonwealth Studies
  • Stuart Ward, University of Copenhagen: ‘Cosmologies of our Own: Determining selfhood after empire’
12h00 - Lunch break

13h00 > 14h15 - (Post-)imperialism, Europeanism and the political futures of Scotland
  • Amal El Founti, Université de Picardie Jules Verne
  • Mariia Mayer, Université de Haute Alsace: ‘The (Scottish) Conservative and Unionist party’s imperialism and the shift towards Europeanism’
  • Edwige Camp-Pietrain, Université Polytechnique des Hauts-de-France: ‘The referendum as a means of self-determination in Scotland’
14h30 > 15h45 - The impact of Brexit on meanings and spaces of sovereignty
  • Elias Msaddek, Université de Picardie Jules Verne
  • Alicia Mornington, Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne: ‘From Brexit to the Chagos Archipelago: the indeterminacy of self-determination in British politics’
  • Adrien Rodd, Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin: ‘Wales and self-determination in the 2020s’
16h00 > 17h45 - Referenda at home and overseas: comparing dynamics and impact
  • Marc Chatterji, Université de Picardie Jules Verne
  • Maria Mut Bosque, Universitat Internacional de Barcelona, ‘The sovereignty referenda in Gibraltar as a means of self-determination’
  • Philippe Cauvet, Université de Poitiers, ‘From the 1973 Northern Ireland Border Poll to the post Brexit Referendum crisis: reflexions on the democratic value of referendums in Northern Ireland and in the UK’

Pour télécharger l'affiche du colloque en PDF
Pour télécharger le programme du colloque en PDF
Informations complémentaires
To register :

Organisers : Marc Chatterji, Amal El Founti, Elias Msaddek, Philip Murphy, Adrien Rodd, Mélanie Torrent

Contact :

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